Do bananas help control loose motions

Blame it on the changing weather, food habits or even exertion, loose motions or diarrhea can happen to anyone. It is, in fact, one of the most common digestive disorders along with constipation. While there are several medicines available to instantly control loose motions, some people swear by home remedies like eating a banana to control loose stools and also make the body feel stronger.

But should you be having bananas?

A commonly available fruit, bananas are rich in fibre (like cellulose hemicellulose) which help add bulk to the stool and improve bowel movement. In fact, it is one of the most trusted traditional remedies for loose motions.

Dr Mahesh Gupta, senior consultant, gastroenterologist, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital says, “Basically, bananas are high in potassium which helps to get the digestion process back to normal. It is fibrous, and also a good source of energy, sugar and sodium, a combination needed most during loose motions. This property helps the patient absorb salt and water in the colon, making the stool firmer,” he told indianexpress.com.

Also, bananas, which are a low residue food, help deal with the weakness and dehydration that can come with losing too much fluid from the body. “Banana provides calories in the form of carbohydrate that gives instant energy to cope with the weakness due to loose motion,” said Seema Singh, chief clinical nutritionist, Fortis Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

Concurred Zoya Fakhi, nutritionist, Bhatia Hospital. Mumbai and said, “100 grams gives 116-kilo calorie, hence the energy lost and the exertion caused due to loose motions can be replenished by bananas.”

Studies have shown pectin, a type of fibre found in raw banana, absorbs excess water from intestines and forms the stools.

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How to have?

Consuming bananas with a little curd is a traditional combination which works wonders, remarked Singh.

Eating bananas with salt provides sodium and potassium, electrolytes which deplete if you have diarrhea, said Singh. “It can be consumed twice or thrice depending on the frequency of loose motions. In case the individual is unable to consume normal foods, they can consume banana in combination with curd and rice or as a plain fruit depending on their preference,” explained Fakhi.

However, Dr Gupta has a word of caution. “One has to make sure she/he is taking ripe bananas and not the raw/green ones which can potentially have a reverse effect during loose motions or diarrhea,” he asserted.

Don’t forget to drink enough fluid, especially water, to stay hydrated, suggest the nutritionists.

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