Is Banana Good for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Banana is good for IBS-C and bad for IBS-D. Because it has resistant starch, pectin, fructans, and potassium and they can affect your bowel movements and gut bacteria.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects your digestive system.

In IBS, your body has problems with the movement and sensitivity of your intestines.

This can lead to various health problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

One of the key factors in managing IBS is diet.

What you consume can affect your gut bacteria, which can impact your IBS symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage IBS, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, carrots, and lentils and avoid FODMAP-rich foods like garlic, onion, and wheat.

Now, banana is a tropical fruit that grows on a plant.

People usually eat bananas raw or cooked, or use them in desserts, smoothies, or baked goods.

Banana is good or bad for IBS depending on its ripeness and your type of IBS. It contains resistant starch, pectin, fructans, and potassium.

One medium banana can give you about 3 grams of fiber (12% of your daily needs), 14 grams of sugar (28% of your daily needs), and 422 mg of potassium (9% of your daily needs).

Resistant starch can positively affect IBS-C (constipation-predominant IBS) by softening stools and promoting regular bowel movements.

It can also feed beneficial gut bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Pectin can positively affect IBS by soothing the stomach and protecting the intestinal lining.

It can also help regulate bowel movements and prevent diarrhea or constipation.

Fructans can negatively affect IBS-D (diarrhea-predominant IBS) by causing gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.

They are a type of FODMAP that are hard to digest and ferment in the colon.

Potassium can positively affect IBS by supporting nerve and muscle function and fluid balance.

It can also help lower blood pressure and prevent kidney stones.

Furthermore, banana is a fruit and fruits are generally good for IBS.

Because, they provide vitamins, antioxidants, and water that can improve your health and hydration.

You can eat one or two bananas per day safely.

More than that can cause excess sugar intake and potassium overdose, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, or irregular heartbeat.

You shouldn’t eat ripe bananas if you have IBS-D to prevent worsening your symptoms.

Because, ripe bananas have more fructans and sugar than unripe bananas.

You can buy fresh bananas in your local market or can order them online.

Always choose firm, green, or slightly yellow bananas if you have IBS.

Because, they have less fructans and sugar than ripe, brown, or spotted bananas.

You can store them in a cool, dry place for up to a week or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing IBS effectively.

I always recommend my IBS patients to follow a low FODMAP diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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