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Nutrition - bananas

Q: Can you please tell me whether bananas contain enough fibre in them and do they cause constipation? Can you also tell me about the digestion process of bananas as a lot has been said about it.

A:Bananas have for some reasons been a controversial fruit. First of all let me clarify that the health giving properties of bananas differ according to their state of ripeness. Green bananas are rich in starch, ripe bananas are rich in sugar. While green bananas/plantains are useful as laxative very ripe bananas are useful to treat diarrhoea and gastroenteritis. Ripe bananas ease nausea, act as a gentle constipant and help to restore the healthy bacteria in the intestine. Overripe bananas are mashed to ease digestion. Ripe bananas are also used to treat oral thrush (fungal infection in the mouth cavity). Bananas are also rich in tannius. They contain histamine like substances, which may higher allergic reactions/migraines among those who are sensitive. Weight watchers tend to worry about the high carbohydrate and calorie count of bananas. Bananas are high in Potassium which make it useful for heart patients and hypertension (high blood pressure). Bananas and plantain have been found to have a soothing effect on stomach ulcers. The mucilage in plantains has a soothing effect through out the body, protecting mucous linings, relaxing spasm and relieving irritation. By stimulating cell and mucous production in the stomach walls and sealing its surface they may help to heal existing ulcers and stave off new ones. Some research has linked low incidence of stomach and bowel cancer with a diet high in indigestable starch, which is present in green bananas. More research is being carried out to investigate this link. It must be noted that green bananas must be cooked before eating or else they will cause fermentation in the intestine. Ripe bananas contains high level of natural sugar and provided quick energy. This makes them very useful for athletes and sportsmen before and during exercise.

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