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Do Bananas Cause Or Relieve Constipation?

Medically reviewed by Lucas Aoun, Naturopathic doctor
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Do Bananas Cause Or Relieve Constipation? Hyderabd040-395603080 June 12, 2019

Most of us have dealt with constipation at some point in our lives. This condition can be quite frustrating, especially if it continues to occur frequently. The popular belief is that bananas help relieve constipation. However, a few individuals believe that this fiber-rich fruit may trigger constipation instead of relieving it. So, what’s the bottom-line? Read on to find out.

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How Do Bananas Help With Constipation?

Constipation is a condition characterized by irregular bowel movements. It makes the stool hard to pass. It can be triggered by various factors like a poor diet or a sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise).

Bananas are often associated with relieving bowel conditions like constipation. This is mainly because they are rich sources of fiber. Fiber-rich foods have shown to help combat constipation (1).

Fiber is believed to promote absorption of water, thereby making the stool soft and easy to pass through the digestive tract.

Wondering how much fiber is present in bananas? Let’s find out.

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How Much Fiber Does A Banana Have?

A medium-sized banana contains about 3.1 grams of fiber (1). This makes it a wonderful addition to a high-fiber diet.

While there are many claims that fiber can help treat constipation, some studies claim that bananas or other fiber-rich foods may have a reverse effect and can trigger constipation. What do bananas actually do? Do they help constipation or trigger it?

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Do Bananas Make You Constipated Or Poop?

Some evidence hints that bananas help relieve constipation. However, some people believe that bananas make them constipated. How do you determine whether you should consume bananas or not?

Let’s look at a few facts.

Green banana is a rich source of resistant starch, which contains fiber-like proteins. It helps promote digestive health and metabolism as it is great for your gut flora (2). The resistant starch acts like fiber and can help in relieving constipation. In some cases, green or unripe bananas have also been noted to help with symptoms of diarrhea (3).

On the other hand, in a study, bananas were found to cause constipation. 29-48% of the respondents who took part in the survey considered bananas as constipating (4).

Hence, whether bananas make you constipated or poop depends on your individual constitution.

If bananas help in reducing constipation in your case, here are a few popular remedies you can try.

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How To Have Bananas To Relieve Constipation

  1. Banana And Honey
  2. Papaya And Banana
  3. Oatmeal And Banana

1. Banana And Honey

Banana And Honey Pinit

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[ Read: 25 Best Foods That Make You Poop ]
You Will Need
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • 1-2 teaspoons of honey
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Cut the ripe bananas into small slices.
  2. Blend the slices with water and honey.
  3. Drink the mixture.
  4. You can also top the cut bananas with honey and eat.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times per day.

Why This Works

Honey has a mild laxative effect that can help relieve constipation (5).

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2. Papaya And Banana

Papaya And Banana Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of diced papaya
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a cup of diced papaya and blend it with the banana slices.
  2. Add one-fourth cup of water to the mixture and blend again.
  3. Drink the papaya and banana mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink this not more than twice a day until the symptoms subside.

Why This Works

The digestion-enhancing properties of papaya work well in treating constipation (6).

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3. Oatmeal And Banana

Oatmeal And Banana Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • ½ cup rolled oatmeal
  • 1 big and very ripe banana
  • ¼ cup water or milk
  • Honey (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Cut the banana into small pieces.
  2. Add the pieces to half a cup of rolled oats and one-fourth cup of water or milk.
  3. Bring this to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Turn the heat off when the mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Top it with some honey and eat.
  6. You can also blend the mixture and drink it.
How Often You Should Do This

You may have to do this 1-2 times in a day.

Why This Works

Oatmeal is also a rich source of fiber. It can thus help alleviate the symptoms of constipation (7).

Though many health professionals associate high-fiber intake with constipation relief, there is no sufficient evidence that proves bananas or fiber-rich foods actually help relieve constipation.

At the end of the day, the impact of banana intake is different for different individuals. Try having a banana the next time you feel constipated to see whether it works for you or not. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, consume fewer bananas or eradicate them completely from your diet to see if that helps.

Did you find this post helpful? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to have bananas to control loose motions?

Here is a popular remedy. All you need are ½ cup of yogurt, 1 ripe banana, water, and 1-2 teaspoons of honey.
Blend all the ingredients. Drink the yogurt and banana mixture. You can also simply slice the banana and mix it with the yogurt and honey and eat it. You can also consume powdered green banana to control symptoms of diarrhea. You may have to do this 1-2 times a day until your condition improves.

References

  1. Diets for Constipation” Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Banana Resistant Starch and Its Effects on Constipation Model Mice” Journal of Medicinal Food, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Clinical studies in persistent diarrhea: dietary management with green banana or pectin in Bangladeshi children” Gastroenterology, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. The perceived effect of various foods and beverages on stool consistency.” European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
  5. Honey may have a laxative effect on normal subjects because of incomplete fructose absorption.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders.” Neuroendocrinology Letters, US National Library of Medicine.
  7. Use of fiber instead of laxative treatment in a geriatric hospital to improve the wellbeing of seniors.” Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, US National Library of Medicine.
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Shaheen Naser

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.