Could it be the bananas?
I have a bit of a strange query but I find when I consume bananas I feel like I tend towards constipation, is there any truth to this? Thank you, Felicity.
Hi Felicity. Unfortunately constipation is actually a relatively common health problem. It’s typically characterised by irregular bowel movements and hard stools that can be difficult to pass.
There can be many different reasons why people experience constipation, ranging from poor dietary habits, a diet lacking in fibre, dehydration, to not moving their body enough.
I have had a number of patients that identified that consuming bananas caused constipation, while others have said they help prevent it.
To see if it really is the bananas behind your constipation, remove them for two weeks and see if the constipation resolves. You may (or may not) want to add them back to then see if the constipation returns. Everyone is different in their response to foods. Green bananas are a good source of resistant starch, this starch acts like soluble fibre, and generally helps to remedy constipation.
Dietary fibre is an essential component of bowel regularity, as is drinking enough water, moving regularly and exploring gut health.
Generally speaking, dietary fibre comes from the edible parts of plants or carbohydrates that resist digestion and absorption in the small intestine.
Some of this fibre then goes on to be broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large intestine. There are two forms:
SOLUBLE FIBRE Soluble fibre is typically found in some legumes, vegetables, fruit, chia seeds, nuts, oats, and psyllium.
Soluble fibre attracts water, swells, and forms a gel. It bypasses digestion in the small intestine and is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. The bacteria in our gut ferment soluble fibre into short chain fatty acids. Soluble fibre can slow down the digestion of food.
INSOLUBLE FIBRE This is found in whole grains, rice (brown), seeds, fruit and vegetables. Insoluble fibres are not water-soluble and do not form gels. Insoluble fibre adds roughage, which helps to bulk stools. I amtrying to convince my family to do their bit and reduce their use of plastic. What are you top tips for anyone to use less plastic? Thanks, Sharon.
Hi Sharon. Thank you for asking such a fabulous question! The wonderful thing is that even small changes make a difference, particularly when it comes to reducing the impact of plastics on our world. Reducing your consumption of plastic in everyday life, and encouraging others to do the same doesn’t have to be difficult. Here is a selection of just a few things you can do to reduce your impact: 1. Use reusable produce bags; it has been reported that a single plastic bag can take between 20 to 1,000 years to degrade. Consider how many you have in your cupboard at home! 2. Stop using plastic straws, they’re single use and not necessary. 3. Whenever possible if purchasing products opt for products in boxes or with recyclable and compostable packaging. Better still, choose as much as you can without packaging. 4. Purchase foods in bulk to avoid using additional packaging. 5. Purchase a reusable cup/travel mug if you buy hot beverages from cafes.
Remember every time you purchase something you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.
Try removing bananas from your diet for a few weeks to see if that is the cause of constipation.