Bananas are a healthy, nutritious fruit consumed and enjoyed around the world. While you might know how a banana tastes and that it is rich in potassium, do bananas make you poop? Or do they have the opposite effect?
Read this article to find out more!
An Overview of The Banana
What we commonly know as a banana (a yellow fruit) isn’t the only kind of banana. There are many kinds of bananas, such as yellow, green, scarlet, snow, and pink bananas. And depending on their characteristics and state of ripeness, they can have different nutritional properties. In this article, we’ll be referring mainly to the green and yellow bananas.
The regular yellow banana we all know and love is from the Cavendish family, while the green banana (also called plantain) is a different kind of banana often used for cooking.
So, the key to knowing whether bananas make you poop lies within the different characteristics of these two kinds.
Bananas Contain Healthy Dietary Fiber
Bananas are rich in fiber, an essential dietary component that ensures digestion happens smoothly. Soluble fiber absorbs water and slows digestion down, allowing the body to extract more nutrients from your food and keeping your stool soft. It’s commonly present in nuts, seeds, lentils, fruits, vegetables, and psyllium husk.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber does not attract water and can not be digested by the body. Found in whole grains and vegetables, it helps add bulk to the stool and allows food to pass easily through the digestive system.
A medium-sized banana, yellow or green, contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber, and this is a good amount that can help keep your bowels healthy and your bowel movements regular. However, the answer to their digestive impact lies in their starch content.
Do Bananas Make You Poop?
Green bananas have a higher starch content than ripened, yellow bananas. Specifically, they are high in resistant starch, which is difficult for the small intestine to digest, leading to its fermentation within the large intestine. While they’re great as a prebiotic and help feed healthy bacteria in your gut, they can contribute to constipation.
As bananas ripen, their starch content changes, and the resistant starches change to simpler sugars such as glucose. This is why ripe bananas taste sweeter. However, ripe bananas are also easier to digest and can help alleviate constipation due to their fiber content.
So, do bananas make you poop? The bottom line is that bananas offer different nutritional values depending on their ripeness. An unripe banana may be difficult for people to digest and may contribute to constipation due to its resistant starch content. However, a ripe banana has a lower resistant starch content and is more easily digested by the body, which can help keep your bowels healthy.
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