What is constipation?
Constipation is a health situation whereby one has difficulties when passing stool. The symptoms range from infrequent bowel movements, passing smaller and harder stool, a strenuous feeling when passing stool and feeling generally bloated. It is a common health problem which affects most people from time to time and it can be as embarrassing as well as frustrating if it occurs frequently. Normally, constipation does not last long and is not health threatening as it is caused by food consumed on day to day basis. There are cases whereby constipation will be caused by sedentary lifestyles where a person due to age or health factors is immobile. Some people claim that bananas can help ease constipation while others swear by the opposite; that bananas are the constipation causing culprits. This article explores the fact file about bananas; how they may cause or relieve constipation.
Facts about bananas
Bananas are fruits that are commonly eaten in almost all the parts of the world. They are a sweet convenient snack that is amazingly healthy. They are a favorite because they are available all year round and ripen quickly. They contain lots of potassium and fiber and have many health benefits.This mineral maintains body fluid at optimal levels in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells.They may be beneficial in the prevention of diabetes, cancer, asthma, hypertension and common digestive problems. They are a natural antacid that amazingly soothes an upset stomach.
How do bananas relieve constipation?
Bananas are very high in fiber. A large banana contains up to 3 grams of fiber. Fiber is believed to prevent and help to relieve constipation. It does so by absorbing water to the food passing through the digestive system and eliminating toxins. The fiber found in bananas is insoluble and isn’t digested by the small intestines. It is moved to the large intestines where it eliminates toxins and aids in digestion there. The eventual stool formed will be voluminous and soft and its movement in the tract will be smooth.This will ensure improved overall digestion. This does not however occur magically after one takes a couple of bananas. Constipation can be caused or be relieved by other food options that we incorporate in our diets.
How do bananas cause constipation?
Claims that bananas can cause constipation have not been yet been supported by sufficient research. What is important to point out is the fact that not too ripe bananas contain indigestible starch. This starch in small quantities is harmless but when exceeded, the bowels will have trouble processing it. Bananas may cause gas in the digestive tract during the fermentation process when consumed in excess. The resulting feeling of being windy and bloated is harmless and should not be confused with constipation.
Ripe vs unripe bananas
Ripe and unripe bananas are used differently. Ripe bananas have high quantities of natural sugars and are best to relieve constipation. Unripe bananas on the other hand aid in diarrhea. This is because as aforementioned, they contain indigestible starch. This starch, also, known as resistant starch is a complex carbohydrate that contains fiber like proteins. This starch acts as fiber and escapes digestion. The result is increased volume of stool and its fast movement in the digestive tract. In some cases, some people will have difficulties processing this resistant starch and have constipation like symptoms. As bananas do ripen, the amount of starch and resistant starch decreases and is converted into sugar. If one is concerned about their blood sugar, they should opt for green bananas
Research results have indicated that bananas help reduce constipation as well as cause it with different people. This conflicting state of affairs is no cause of alarm as the health benefits of bananas far outweigh any negative consequences they may have in our bodies. Whether bananas make you constipated or pass stool with more ease depends on your individual constitution.A food that relieves constipation for you may have the opposite effect on someone else.The key to solve this dilemma is moderation. Our bodies are engineered differently and will therefore take on banana digestion differently. If one feels that bananas are detrimental to their health and comfort, they should simply reduce their intake or stop it completely. As it is said, one mans meat is another man’s poison.