Is Banana Good for Anemia? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Banana is bad for anemia. Because it has calcium and oxalates and they can reduce iron absorption and availability.

Anemia is a condition that affects your blood. In anemia, your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, which carry oxygen to your tissues.

This can lead to various health problems, such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

One of the key factors in managing anemia is diet.

What you consume can affect your iron levels, which can impact your anemia symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage anemia, you should consume iron-rich foods like meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and leafy greens and avoid calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and bananas.

Now, banana is a tropical fruit that is widely consumed around the world. People usually eat it raw, cooked, or dried.

Banana is bad for anemia because it contains calcium, which interferes with the absorption of iron in your body.

This is especially true for people with iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia.

Banana may also contain oxalates, which can bind with iron and reduce its availability.

One medium banana (118 grams) can give you 9% of your daily vitamin C needs, 12% of your daily potassium needs, and 3% of your daily magnesium needs.

Vitamin C can help enhance iron absorption, while potassium and magnesium can support your heart and muscle health.

However, the same banana can also give you 6% of your daily calcium needs, which can hinder your iron intake.

Calcium can negatively affect anemia by reducing the amount of iron that your body can absorb from food or supplements.

This can worsen your anemia symptoms and lower your hemoglobin levels.

Oxalates can also form insoluble complexes with iron, making it less available for your body.

Furthermore, banana is a high-carbohydrate food and carbohydrate is bad for anemia.

Because, high-carbohydrate foods can increase your blood sugar levels, which can impair your immune system and increase your risk of infections.

Infections can cause inflammation, which can inhibit iron absorption and utilization.

That’s why I suggest you limit your banana intake to avoid worsening your anemia.

Stick to one small banana (less than 6 inches long) per day to minimize the negative effects of calcium and oxalates.

Also, you shouldn’t eat banana if you have pernicious anemia to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.

Because banana contains a substance called aminopropyl, which can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12, which is essential for red blood cell production.

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

Always choose ripe bananas that are yellow with brown spots, as they have less starch and more sugar.

Because starch can also reduce iron absorption by forming complexes with iron.

You can store them in a cool and dry place for up to a week.

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

I always recommend my anemia patients to follow an anemia-friendly 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 nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

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

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