Diarrhea is one of the most common household ailments that affects everyone irrespective of their age. The onset of Diarrhea is due to parasitic (Giardia), viral (norovirus or rotavirus) or bacterial (salmonella) infection of the bowels. Diarrhea, which is caused by any of the above reasons, is called gastroenteritis.
No matter what is the cause of diarrhea, dehydration is one of the primary symptoms of diarrhea. The fluids lost in every passing of the bowel should be replaced by taking in fluids orally. While there are antidiarrheal medications and antibiotics, one can always choose to consume bananas for treating this common household ailment.
Banana has an abundance amount of potassium in it. It helps in replacing the lost electrolytes from the body. Banana also contains soluble fibers which absorb the water from the intestines, making the stool firmer to move along the path.
Why Bananas for Diarrhea?
Banana is practically a wonder fruit. It is packed with an abundant source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. It also contains manganese and rich in dietary fiber that helps in thickening the loose and watery stool in case of the onset of diarrhea. Not to mention, bananas are fat-free, cholesterol-free and literally sodium-free.
Bananas for diarrhea is always recommended by doctors because they are easily digestible. They are the best choice of food to consume and soothe the unsettling stomach. The high levels of potassium(1) present in the bananas make it even more worthy of consumption, as it replaces the lost electrolytes due to the frequent passing of loose or watery stool.
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Bananas for Diarrhea: How Does it Work?
Bananas are known to have medicinal properties in abundance. It contains a rare combination of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. The fruit is also universally recognized as a source of energy.
Raw bananas are equally beneficial for diarrhea. The Pectin in the raw banana absorbs the excess water and protects the lining of the stomach.
On a daily basis, a large amount of water is secreted into the lumen of the small intestine, which in return is absorbed by the body before it reaches the large intestine. However, with the onset of diarrhea, the water secreted is much more than the water absorbed by the body. This is the reason why the stool runs watery. To alleviate diarrhea, the absorption of excess water is crucial.
Unripe or green bananas have a natural fibrous starch called pectin(2). This is not digested in the small intestine and is passed onto the colon, which is further fermented by bacteria into short chains of fatty acid. These short chains of fatty acids help in the stimulation of the absorption of the salt and water, making the stool firm and thick.
Pectin is also known to stimulate the production of mucus in the colon and small bowel, which serves as a barrier between the stomach lining and the acidic gastric substances, which generally upsets the stomach.
Banana and Diarrhea
Bananas provide the much-needed energy without adding any fat to the body or causing a risk of increasing cholesterol.
There are three types of natural sugars found in a banana. Glucose, sucrose, and fructose are the natural sugars that are found in a banana. They are responsible for providing energy and reducing the chances of high cholesterol and the consumption of fat.
Soluble and insoluble fibers play a crucial role in an individual’s health. A disruption in the balance of fibers in the stomach leads to infections. Bananas for diarrhea helps in keeping the gut healthy and safe from the harmful parasites, bacteria, and viruses that may upset the pH level of the stomach.
[Also Read: Banana Juice for Health]
Potassium in Banana Helps in Preventing Diarrhea
Bananas contain potassium that helps in bringing back digestion to the normal stage. Along with potassium, it also contains the resistant starch and this starch helps your body to absorb both the salt and the water present in the colon. Now, this makes the stool firmer.
Thus, bananas are one of the best fruits for diarrhea patients. One should also remember that the fruit here contains fiber, which again is an important ingredient when you are talking about curing or preventing diarrhea because it helps in bringing back the normal bowel movement in your body.
[Also Read: Brat Diet for Diarrhea]
The Bottom Line
Diarrhea is the most commonly occurring ailment in every household. It is easily self-diagnosed and curable with home remedies. Ripe and unripe bananas, both are beneficial in curing diarrhea. Apart from banana, foods such as applesauce and yogurt are also being recommended for diarrhea patients.
However, it is always advisable to first take the opinion of your doctor or family physician adhering to this regime. If the symptoms continue for more than three to four days, it is best to consult an experienced medical practitioner for further treatment.
1. How long should diarrhea last?
In most cases, diarrhea lasts for about 3-5 days. However, acute or prolonged diarrhea can last more than 4 weeks.
2. Which other fruits are good for diarrhea?
After the banana, the best alternative to treat diarrhea is an apple. Having apple juice at regular intervals not only keeps you hydrated but it also helps in alleviating your symptoms.
3. Does lemon juice stop diarrhea?
Yes, lemon juice helps a great deal when suffering from diarrhea. Mixing lemon juice with warm water and sipping it slowly can ease the acids in your stomach.