image showing banana for constipation

Written By Sania Malik || Reviewed By Adeel Abbas

Constipation is a common digestive issue that affects millions of people worldwide. There are several factors that cause constipation, including a low fiber diet, dehydration, lack of exercise, and certain medications. [1]

Bananas are a tropical fruit that grows on a large herbaceous plant. They are one of the most popular fruits in the world and are known for their sweet taste and convenient packaging. [3]

However, one question that often arises is whether bananas can cause constipation. [2] In this article, we will explore the benefits of banana for constipation.

Image of Banana for constipation

Causes of Constipation

There are several factors that can cause constipation, including: [5]

  • Low fiber diet
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of exercise
  • Certain medications (such as opioids)
  • Medical conditions (such as irritable bowel syndrome, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease)

Banana for Constipation

Bananas have long been associated with constipation, but the truth is that they can both help and hinder bowel movements, depending on how they are consumed. [6]

Fiber Content of Banana

Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

However, the amount of fiber in bananas varies depending on their ripeness. [7] Unripe bananas contain more resistant starch, which is a type of fiber that is not digested in the small intestine but ferments in the large intestine.

This can help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve bowel regularity.

Resistant Starch in Bananas

Ripe bananas, the amount of resistant starch decreases, and the amount of soluble and insoluble fiber increases.

Soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestine and forms a gel-like substance that can help soften stool and make it easier to pass. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps promote bowel movements.

Ripe or unripe bananas for constipation?

Image showing Ripe or unripe bananas for constipation

1: Green bananas

These are unripe and might cause constipation because they have a lot of starch that’s hard to digest.

2: Yellow bananas

When bananas turn yellow, they’re ripe, easy to digest, and have antioxidants. They also contain soluble fiber, which helps make your digestive system smooth.

3: Brown bananas

At this stage, when bananas start turning brown, they can relieve constipation. They have the highest level of antioxidants, and the soluble fiber absorbs water, making it easier for your stool to pass.

How Bananas Can Help with Constipation

When consumed as part of a balanced diet, bananas can help improve bowel regularity and prevent constipation.

They are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can add bulk to stool and help move it through the digestive system.

Additionally, the resistant starch in unripe bananas can promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can improve overall digestive health.

Bananas also contain potassium, which can help regulate fluid balance in the body and prevent dehydration, another common cause of constipation.

image showing banana for constipation

Precautions When Eating Bananas

While bananas are generally safe and healthy to eat, there are some precautions to keep in mind. People who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to bananas, as they contain similar proteins.

People with diabetes should be aware that bananas are high in natural sugars and may cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.

Bananas can both help and hinder constipation depending on their ripeness and how they are consumed.

When eaten as part of a balanced diet, bananas can provide a good source of fiber, potassium, and other nutrients that support digestive health and overall wellbeing.

If you are struggling with constipation, adding more fiber-rich foods like bananas to your diet may be helpful, but be sure to also drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and speak with your healthcare provider if symptoms persist.

Related FAQs

How many bananas should I eat to alleviate constipation?

There is no specific recommended amount of bananas to eat to alleviate constipation. It is best to start with one banana a day and gradually increase the amount if necessary.

Can bananas cause diarrhea?

Bananas are typically used to alleviate constipation, they can also cause diarrhea if consumed in excessive amounts.

Are there any other natural remedies for constipation?

Yes, there are several other natural remedies for constipation, including drinking plenty of water, eating a high-fiber diet, and exercising regularly.

Can I still take over-the-counter laxatives if I eat bananas for constipation?

It is best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter laxatives in combination with bananas or any other natural remedies for constipation.

How long does it take for bananas to alleviate constipation?

The time it takes for bananas to alleviate constipation can vary depending on the individual’s digestive system and the severity of their constipation. It is best to incorporate bananas into your diet consistently and monitor their effects over time.

What is the difference between resistant starch and dietary fiber?

Resistant starch and dietary fiber are both types of carbohydrates that are not digested in the small intestine. Dietary fiber, on the other hand, includes all plant-based carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body and passes through the digestive system intact.

Are green or yellow bananas better for digestion?

Yellow or ripe bananas are generally better for digestion, as they contain more soluble fiber and less resistant starch than green or unripe bananas. Soluble fiber can help promote bowel movements and relieve constipation.

Can bananas cause constipation?

Ripe bananas are unlikely to cause constipation, as they contain soluble fiber that can help soften stool and promote bowel movements.