Diarrhea happens when a person experiences watery and loose stools. The frequency of bowel movements can also increase dramatically, and the bowel movements generally become uncomfortable. Everyone experiences diarrhea at one point or another, and luckily, there are some natural methods of managing diarrhea, including making changes to your diet to improve your bowel movement.
One such excellent food that we are going to tackle today is the humble banana. We know from tradition or folk remedies that bananas can be used for both diarrhea and constipation. There is a lot of confusion here because how can a piece of fruit be used to manage two entirely different conditions? However, it is true: you can naturally consume bananas to handle both diarrhea and constipation.
Bananas are so effective that one study showed that they could even manage diarrhea that enterally-fed patients experience. Enteric feeding is done when a person cannot eat food orally or through the mouth.
Enteric feeding is vital to patients who cannot eat normally, but it sometimes causes infections and diarrhea. In the study, banana flakes were added to the food, and the banana flakes helped manage the symptoms of diarrhea in enterally-fed patients.
The patients in the said study showed excellent recovery from diarrhea. 57% of those given banana flakes recovered from the symptoms, while only 24% of patients who were medically treated for diarrhea showed improvements. This is just one of the multiple researches that demonstrate the powerful capacity of bananas to normalize the intestines.
Do Bananas Make Diarrhea Worse?
There is no scientific evidence that points to bananas making diarrhea worse than it already is. One study showed that an increase in the consumption of bananas in patients showed increased markers for defection, but none of the patients complained of symptoms of diarrhea. Instead, the subjects reported feeling more satiated during mealtimes, contributing to a general feeling of wellbeing.
In another study that focused on the effect of green or unripe bananas on children with persistent diarrhea, researchers discovered that the pectin content of green bananas, on top of other natural components, did two things. First, the green bananas helped maintain the intestinal permeability of the children, which ensured that their colons were always hydrated, and this improved colonic wellness on the whole. Second, the pectin content of the green bananas improved bowel movement and digestive health of the children who ate the unripe bananas. Furthermore, the study indicated that the green bananas had potent chronotropic effects and improved the digestive ability and rate of absorption in the small intestines.
After examining many studies, we can confidently recommend to people that they can and should eat bananas. Consume both ripe and green bananas if you wish. On the other hand, green bananas are handier in combatting the symptoms of diarrhea, as it has more amylase-resistant starches. If you can’t find unripe bananas, there is nothing wrong with eating ripe bananas – perhaps eat more of these to get the same effects. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with eating bananas that are available in your local supermarket.
Why Do Bananas Help with Diarrhea?
The truly healing compound found in the ripe bananas bust, especially in unripe bananas, is pectin or amylase-resistant starch. According to one comprehensive study on the effect of pectin in children with diarrhea, here’s how pectin helps people with diarrhea:
- Pectin is not susceptible to pancreatic secretions, which means it reaches the small and large intestines in a more or less intact state.
- The digestive system ferments pectin through bacterial action. In the process, it releases energy for the body to use while stabilizing its surroundings.
- Pectin draws salt to its location, which in turn absorbs water from the surrounding areas. This means there is more water in the colon when you eat unripe bananas.
- The presence of pectin in the intestines has been associated with the improvement of stool quality and higher levels of protein synthesis, and improved oxygen exchange taking place at the surface of the colon’s mucosa.
In short, pectin is like a balm or cure-all in the intestines, and it does so much more than improve your bowel movement. This is why it is critical for people with diarrhea to always pay attention to the symptoms to medicate and manage their conditions easily.
It would also be helpful for diarrhea sufferers to cut down on certain food types of beverages during bouts of the disease because you wouldn’t want to make your stomach any more upset than it already is.
What Can Stop Diarrhea Fast?
You can start home management of your diarrhea right now if you want to start reducing the symptoms.
- Eat better food. And by better nutrition, we refer to lighter food items like crackers, bananas, and applesauce. These softer food items will not stress your stomach and intestines, and you can give your digestive system time to recover and repair.
- Probiotics can improve the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation in infants, children, teenagers, and adults. In short, probiotics can help anyone who is having a nasty bout of diarrhea! Having several probiotics per day can help restore the normal intestinal flora that is critical for normal digestion.
- Eat unripe bananas for the pectin. The amylase-resistant starch is super effective in cutting down the duration of diarrhea and improving the symptoms of diarrhea quickly.
- Avoid acidic beverages and food items that can irritate your stomach or digestive system in general. These no-nos include soda, sugary drinks, spicy food, fatty food, and red meat. We’re not saying that you should stop consuming these altogether; we are just saying that you should rest your digestive system for a day or two.