Who should limit their consumption of bananas?

By Trinh Mai   October 26, 2023 | 03:47 pm PT
Bananas are extremely beneficial for the intestinal motility, but they may harm people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastralgia, or fructose intolerance.

Bananas are rich in nutrients, especially potassium, carbohydrates, B-group vitamins, and other minerals including manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.

This fruit contains a lot of resistant starch, a type of fiber that feeds beneficial bacteria like bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. Bananas also benefit people who have constipation.

According to nutritionist Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen at Hanoi’s Tam Anh Hospital, bananas contain a high amount of fructose and sorbitol, which may result in bloating for those who have digestive problems.

Moreover, sorbitol in bananas is, in fact, a sugar alcohol that boosts intestine activities. People who have IBS may suffer from bloating, stomach ache, or diarrhea if their sorbitol intake is too high.

100 grams of ripe bananas contains around 6 grams of fructose on average. People who have fructose intolerance, which is defined as a condition where the cells in the body cannot completely digest and absorb fructose, may have nausea, diarrhea, or bloating if they consume too many bananas.

Who should limit their consumption of bananas?

Huyen also advises people with gastralgia to avoid eating unripe bananas, since the fruit contains a high amount of pectin, which makes the stomach produce more acid. This means people may suffer from bloating and severe stomach ache if they eat too many bananas.

Hungry people should avoid eating bananas as well due to the fruit’s high amount of magnesium and vitamin C, which may harm the stomach severely. The fruit should be eaten 20 to 30 minutes after meals.

People with an allergy to bananas should avoid eating the fruit as well. However, according to Huyen, it is rare to have an allergy to bananas, of which symptoms may range from itches in the throat, swallowing and breathing difficulties, or dizziness.

It is advised not to eat bananas for breakfast since the fruit may make the blood sugar level rise uncontrollably which results in tiredness and sleepiness.

The recommended daily banana intake is between one and two. Combining bananas with healthy fats in peanut butter or yogurt helps neutralize acidity in the stomach, slow down the sugar transition process, and thus prevent uncontrollable insulin increase.

It is recommended to consult with a doctor if any unusual change is witnessed.

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