“Gut” isn’t the most appealing term to use in English. Perhaps this is because there’s nothing more painful than an unhappy stomach. The gastrointestinal tract knows how to make your life miserable from constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and persistent acid reflux.
You can exercise, manage stress, and get ample rest; however, your overall health will be affected if you ignore your digestive health. However, the moment your stomach is healthy, you’ll digest food more efficiently, feel more energetic, and combat illness by strengthening your immune system.
It’s good to know that attending to the needs of your gut isn’t expensive or complicated. Banana is one of the most liked fruit all over the world. Here’s a handful guide answering a burning question, “are bananas good for gut health”.
Portable, tasty, and healthy Bananas are among nature’s most delicious snacks. Although they can do your body good in various ways, they are especially beneficial for your gut health.
What is the importance of gut health?
If the good bacteria in our gut aren’t fed by prebiotics, they’ll go extinct and cause a gut bacterial imbalance known as dysbiosis.
Studies have demonstrated that dysbiosis could contribute to chronic diseases like IBS, inflammatory bowel disorder (IBS), diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Twellman states that a significant part of the issue is that cell integrity throughout the digestive tract is affected without healthful bacteria within our guts. If the structures of these cells weaken and they begin to weaken, it triggers an immune system response that is not needed. “This is among the reasons that could lead to persistent inflammation.”
What Exactly are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are the food source for probiotics. They are carbohydrates that do not break down when digesting food. Because they are in the stomach, the food particles can ferment. When this happens, beneficial stomach bacteria eat the fibers. So the gut biome is filled with a healthier intestinal flora.
Not every fruit contains prebiotics, but bananas are an excellent choice for prebiotics.
So, Are Bananas Good for Gut Health?
In 2021 researchers from Australia looked at over 50 studies from the past to better understand the way the digestive tract (or more popularly referred to as the digestive system) impacts our overall health. The importance of having a healthy microbiome. “The gut microbiome is the bacterial community that lives in our intestines,” states Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D. Dietitian with a senior position at UCLA Medical Center and author of the book released in January 2022.
Probiotics are a common topic, but what exactly are they? Probiotics are live bacterial species that can be present in fermented food and supplements. These are the “good” microbes in this balance of the microbiome. (And If you’re looking to boost your diet, check out which of the twelve probiotics that nutrition experts rely on the best.)
But you can’t simply consume probiotics and declare it as a day. Healthy bacteria require nourishment, and that’s where food items like bananas can help. “Bananas are extremely high in the type of fiber known as soluble fibre that’s an example of a prebiotic,” according to Sally Twellman, a registered dietitian at Heading Health. Prebiotics are food items that beneficial gut bacteria consume to carry out various healthy functions and play vital roles in your digestion and immune system regulation.
Let’s dive in how bananas are good for gut health.
Bananas help to boost gut bacteria and help reduce bloating
Bananas are an excellent option for prebiotic fiber that will increase the amount of gut-friendly bacteria and boost digestion. Two bananas per day are enough to boost your gut digestive tract and decrease constipation.
In a study conducted by a clinical researcher, the overweight women were required to consume a banana every day as a pre-meal snack over 60 days (overweight individuals are less likely to have gut bacteria that are good for digestion and could cause weight increase). In the course of the study, their bacteria levels in the gut were assessed, and digestive symptoms were recorded to determine if eating bananas were a factor in affecting their digestive health.
Consuming bananas for breakfast increased beneficial bacteria levels and decreased bloating significantly. Before the study, women were experiencing bloating nearly every day, but the addition of bananas to their diet reduced symptoms by half. “We found that the daily consumption of bananas is a palatable eating habit that could trigger bifidogenesis in women who are experiencing weight issues,” stated the study’s investigators.
The Benefits of Bananas for Gut Health
Not all bananas’ types are equally beneficial for your gut health. For digestive benefits, you’ll need to be attentive to the shade of your banana, especially when your stomach is sensitive. The nutritional content of a standard yellow banana (formally called Cavendish). Cavendish) is altered when it matures and offers distinct benefits based on the shade.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of different bananas types for gut health.
Unripe Bananas for Gut Health
The best way to get the maximum benefit from your prebiotics is by eating an apple when the peel remains green. We’re aware. It’s not particularly sweet and tastes so off. But, it’s not all about you. It’s about restoring the gut flora.
Consuming a banana that isn’t ripened is a great way to build beneficial gut bacteria that aid in weight loss. It’s because this fruit is not high in sugar. So, the carbohydrates found in unripe bananas aren’t contributing to adipose (fat) tissue growth. They’ll only fuel your probiotics.
Starch Diet Benefits:
Alongside the excellent gut bacteria essential for weight loss, bananas that are not ripened are abundant in starch-based carbohydrates. They are perfect for keeping your body in shape because they can make us feel fuller for longer. So, we aren’t compelled to indulge too much.
A recent study published in the Nutrition Journal examined the advantages of a high starch diet. They monitored participants’ vitals over a week, eating a low-fat program of 80% complex carbohydrates.
The results revealed, “A low-fat vegan, starch-based diet consumed in the ad-libitum mode for seven days can result in positive changes in the commonly used biomarkers, used to determine the risk for heart disease and metabolic diseases.”
Although gnawing on the unripe fruits isn’t recommended, it’s crucial to make the most out of your banana’s prebiotics hack. If you’re not fond of eating unripe bananas, put them in the form of a smoothie made with spirulina.
Maybe you can sprinkle some honey on the banana that isn’t ripe for adding sweetness. Even perhaps a kefir yogurt bowl? This combination of banana prebiotics is the perfect food to rebuild the gut flora. While a fresh, unripe banana may be the best method of getting your probiotic prebiotics, this isn’t the sole method. Please don’t throw your banana away in its new state. There is still plenty of prebiotics to be found in the fruit!
Ripe Bananas for Gut Health
When a mature banana is harvested, the sugar content grows. But, it’s still deficient in the glycemic indices. Thus, people who have diabetes might want to include bananas as prebiotics in their diet.
In addition to being a fantastic energy source (sugar), The ripe ones are more digestible. They function as prebiotics to your intestinal bacteria if they’re not ripe. Since the fruit gets softer, it is easier to get rid of. Thus, a ripe banana could assist in reducing constipation.
Finally, a mature banana is more antioxidant-rich than the unripe one. Antioxidants are vital to fight against free radicals. So, eating a banana can aid your body in protecting itself against the assault of disease.
Eating a perfectly ripe banana is like eating a piece (banana) cake. We’re indeed all somewhat annoyed with bananas that are browning. However, there is plenty of prebiotics from bananas in this tropical fruit. Please don’t put it in the garbage now. You can still have your brown banana and even eat it!
Brown Bananas for Gut Health
If the peel of a banana turns brown, we often dismiss the fruit as over-ripe. But, lots of minerals and vitamins are found in these foods for gut health.
Research on the bananas’ early history and their impact on our health suggest that bananas with brown skins contain an increased level of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor).
TNF is a type of cytokine is a cytokine that our immune system produces. It triggers a controlled flare of inflammation which kills the harmful bacteria in our stomachs. The other immune system takes an end to the fire and allows the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
The study concluded, “Banana extract administration led to the accumulation of neutrophils in a dose-dependent manner and activation of macrophages. For the i.p. study, the priming effects of cytokine stimulation intensified with maturation and were more evident in the bananas from the highland. The p.o. administration study, the number of activities of this regular variety of banana became more active as it grew older.”
How to Achieve Excellent Gut health with Bananas?
As a prebiotic fiber, bananas help feed your gut’s beneficial bacteria and help promote good digestion, which will aid in looking and feeling the best you can. However, there’s more to maintaining a healthy microbiome than taking in smoothies with chocolate and bananas or banana bread that a dietitian approves. The gut bacteria have to live with an appropriate diet, and the experts recommend that you eat plenty full of high-fiber, whole foods.
As well as bananas, prebiotics is also found naturally in various fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, Clairmont states. The list she provides includes garlic, onions and apples, asparagus, and dandelion greens.
Hunnes states that being mindful of your intake of antibiotics could be beneficial to the health of your gut, too. Because antibiotics “can frequently cause unwelcome adverse side effects, such as constipation or diarrhea and gas, cramping, or nausea. Because although antibiotics are intended to kill harmful bacteria, they tend to eliminate healthy bacteria and disrupt the balance of your microbiome.
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6 Ways to Use Bananas for Your Gut Health
There are numerous ways to enjoy bananas. They’re an extremely adaptable fruit that can be used for breakfasts, desserts, and even savory meals. While ripe bananas are known to make the most delicious pancakes, they also offer numerous other ways to incorporate the fruit into your daily meals.
Create a batch of Nice Cream
In the blender, when blitzed frozen bananas change into a creamy, dreamy texture reminiscent of the ice cream texture. You can make creamy ice cream without dairy with dairy-free alternatives to milk, and since bananas are relatively neutral in flavor, you can use almost any flavor you’d prefer.
Make Banana Pancakes
Make it seem like the weekend and make pancakes for a new Sunday tradition. The consistency of the fruit is ideal for pancakes and allows you to cut out the things that you do not want, like eggs, flour, or anything else.
Enjoy the Banana Smoothie
Bananas are commonly utilized as the base for smoothies due to their richness. We recommend freezing your bananas to make your smoothies more creamy.
Pair Bananas and Oats
Oats and bananas are a powerful pair: They provide the full-filling fiber that keeps you full until the next meal. Additionally, there are numerous ways to mix these two foods.
Combine with Nut Butter
There’s something timeless about bananas and peanut butter on toast. However, there are many options to enjoy bananas, including a nut spread that can reap the protein-satiating carbs and healthy fats.
If you’ve never tried a grilled banana, you’re in for something incredibly sweet. Grilling the fruit creates an encrusted effect that you will not regret. Grilled fruit kebabs are an excellent option for any recipes listed below.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bananas and Gut Heaalth
Does Boiled Bananas are good for gut health?
Here are some of the ways that boiled bananas can benefit your health. They aid digestion. Green bananas, specifically, are proven to ease diarrhea. Bananas are also loaded with fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics that assist digestion.
Are green bananas beneficial for your Gut health?
Eating green bananas can play a vital role in keeping your gut bacteria healthy. They can also boost your production of short-chain fatty acids that are crucial for digestion health.
Are bananas harmful to your stomach?
This healthy yellow fruit helps maintain gut bacteria and fight inflammation. They’re also portable, tasty, and affordable. If your digestive system is not in balance, Send bananas to the aid: They’re fantastic in preventing diarrhea and soothing stomachs that are upset.
Are bananas harsh on the digestive tract?
Do bananas cause gas? Bananas are rich in soluble fiber and sorbitol, which can cause abdominal discomfort and gas in people who have digestive problems.
Are bananas a prebiotic food?
Bananas are much more than an incredibly delicious fruit. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, as well as fiber. They also contain tiny quantities of inulin. The unripe (green) fruit is rich in resistant starch, which can have prebiotic properties.
Scientific Studies and References
- Xuewu Duan, Guiping Cheng, En Yang, Chun Yi, Neungnapa Ruenroengklin, Wangjin Lu, Yunbo Luo, Yueming Jiang, Modification of pectin polysaccharides during ripening of postharvest banana fruit, Food Chemistry, ISSN 0308-8146, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.03.049
- Leonel AJ, Alvarez-Leite JI. Butyrate: implications for intestinal function. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Sep;15(5):474-9. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835665fa. PMID: 22797568.
Maxwell EG, Colquhoun IJ, Chau HK, Hotchkiss AT, Waldron KW, Morris VJ, Belshaw NJ. Modified sugar beet pectin induces apoptosis of colon cancer cells via an interaction with the neutral sugar side-chains. Carbohydr Polym. 2016 Jan 20;136:923-9. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.09.063. Epub 2015 Sep 26. PMID: 26572430.
Tan H, Chen W, Liu Q, Yang G, Li K. Pectin Oligosaccharides Ameliorate Colon Cancer by Regulating Oxidative Stress- and Inflammation-Activated Signaling Pathways. Front Immunol. 2018 Jun 27;9:1504. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01504. PMID: 30013563; PMCID: PMC6036268.
Moslemi M. Reviewing the recent advances in application of pectin for technical and health promotion purposes: From laboratory to market. Carbohydr Polym. 2021 Feb 15;254:117324. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117324. Epub 2020 Nov 15. PMID: 33357885.
- Amini Khoozani A, Birch J, Bekhit AEA. Production, application and health effects of banana pulp and peel flour in the food industry. J Food Sci Technol. 2019 Feb;56(2):548-559. doi: 10.1007/s13197-018-03562-z. Epub 2019 Feb 8. PMID: 30906012; PMCID: PMC6400781.
- Zaman SA, Sarbini SR. The potential of resistant starch as a prebiotic. Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2016;36(3):578-84. doi: 10.3109/07388551.2014.993590. Epub 2015 Jan 13. PMID: 25582732.
Patterson MA, Maiya M, Stewart ML. Resistant Starch Content in Foods Commonly Consumed in the United States: A Narrative Review. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2020 Feb;120(2):230-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2019.10.019. PMID: 32040399.