Originally published March 25 2011
Eat more bananas to improve gut health and digestion
by Elizabeth Walling
(NaturalNews) Digestive disorders affect tens of millions of Americans, but diet is rarely examined as a cause or solution in conventional medicine. Certain foods have the power to soothe and heal the digestive system. Bananas, in particular, offer benefits for those suffering from digestive ailments and poor gut health. Bananas are coincidentally recommended for easing both constipation and diarrhea, and their benefits extend to the entire digestive system.
Bananas Are Easy to Digest
When digestive health is weak, it may be hard for your body to assimilate the nutrients from the food you eat. Adding easy to digest foods to your diet eases digestive strain and provides your body with energy to heal. Compared to complex starches, the carbohydrates in bananas are easily broken down into energy for your cells.
Bananas Are Full of Prebiotics
Bananas are a rich source of fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic that feeds friendly bacteria in the digestive system. Prebiotics are crucial for improving the balance of gut flora in your digestive tract, and most likely far more effective than probiotics. When populations of beneficial bacteria are fed well with prebiotics, they can establish a stronghold in the gut to fend off overgrowth of pathogenic organisms like yeast.
Even the most potent probiotic supplement doesn`t stand a chance if the live cultures don`t receive the nourishment they need once they reach the gut. Feeding your digestive system with fructooligosaccharides will help ensure that friendly bacteria have the fuel they need to do their job. Bananas are one of the easiest ways to include more prebiotics in your diet.
Eating More Bananas
Some people may find their digestion and elimination improves simply by snacking on one or two bananas during the day. Others may benefit from complete meals composed solely of bananas, where several bananas are eaten in one sitting. Starting small and slowly increasing consumption is the best way to gauge what your body can handle.
There are competing arguments about whether bananas should be eaten semi-ripened (still a bit green) or fully ripened (with plenty of brown spots). It might be worth a try to experiment and see what type of bananas work best for you. Fully ripened bananas appear to work best if you are looking to treat constipation. They may also provide more benefits to those who need easily digestible food.
About the authorElizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:
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