Do Bananas Cause Constipation? It Depends On the Color
Considering you can get a bundle of bananas for less than $2, it’s hard to find healthy food that gives you a better bang for your buck.
They’re a good source of fiber, loaded with potassium and magnesium, and have antioxidants to fight diseases. However, there’s some controversy about how bananas affect your digestive system.
Some people say bananas make them constipated—but others say they give them the urge to take a dump.
How can this fruit have such drastically different effects in the bathroom?
The short answer is: green, unripe bananas can plug you up, but yellowish-brown bananas can make you poop. Confused? You’re not alone.
In this article, we’ll explore the link between bananas and bowel movements and whether you should eat them or avoid them, depending on what’s going on in your gut.
Do Bananas Cause Constipation?
Bananas can cause constipation, but only if you eat them when they’re green.
Before bananas ripen, they’re full of resistant starch: a complex carbohydrate that doesn’t get digested in your small intestine. Instead, it ferments in your large intestine, where it feeds your healthy gut bacteria (AKA your microbiome).
Resistant starch has a binding effect that bulks up your poop. As a result, green bananas can cause constipation, especially for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). According to this study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology, nearly half of IBS patients blamed bananas for their constipation.
Green bananas have also been used to treat diarrhea since they add extra bulk to stool.
For context, you probably can’t blame a single green banana if you’re having trouble going #2. There are endless causes of constipation that you’re probably overlooking:
- Not drinking enough water
- Lack of physical exercise
- Low fiber intake
- Traveling away from your home throne
If you’re craving bananas but don’t want strain on the toilet, buy ones that are already ripe.
Can Bananas Relieve Constipation?
Yes, eating bananas can give you constipation relief. But there’s a catch: you should aim to eat ripe bananas. When you go to the store, look for bananas that are yellow with some brown spots. They should be just starting to soften but still hold their shape.
As bananas ripen, the resistant starch gets converted into sugars. Fully ripe bananas contain about 3 grams of fiber, which can help relieve constipation. The soluble fiber in bananas soaks up water in your digestive tract, making your poop soft and easy to push out of your b-hole.
So, after a few days sitting on the counter, your bananas basically transform into a natural laxative. Science is crazy, dudes.
Along with prunes, beans, and whole grains, bananas have a well-earned spot in the High Fiber Food Hall of Fame.
Are Bananas Good For Your Digestive Health?
In addition to helping you drop deuces, bananas have a ton of health benefits for your digestive system.
For starters, bananas are a great source of prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria you need for digestion.
Despite having just 100 calories, bananas are surprisingly filling—thanks to their dietary fiber content. Eating a banana in the morning (instead of sugary cereals or donuts) can help you feel more satisfied and limit cravings throughout the day.
Lastly, a study from 2011 found that people who ate bananas significantly reduced their bloating and stomach pain compared to a control group.
Bottom line: bananas belong in your diet.
Be Ready for Banana Poops with DUDE Wipes
Here’s a scenario: you’re enjoying a banana and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Then, all of a sudden, you get that familiar feeling. Your tummy starts to rumble, and you’ve got a solid two minutes before you crap your pants.
The office bathroom only has dry toilet paper, and your butt is still recovering from last night’s hot wing feast. That’s where DUDE Wipes come in to save the day: infused with aloe and vitamin E, these wipes will clean your mess and soothe your sensitive sides—all at the same time.
Next time you grab a bunch of bananas on your grocery run, make a pit stop for DUDE Wipes and thank us later.