Eating Too Many Bananas? Know The Side Effects!

It is often advised by doctors and dieticians to incorporate at least one fruit into your diet. This is actually a good practice that is approved by people who are interested in a fit lifestyle. Fruits are a rich source of a multitude of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. They are also a healthy option for snacking. Bananas are a favourite fruit for many people as they are rich in potassium, calcium, and Vitamin B-6. However, despite being healthy and having plenty of helpful nutrients, excess consumption can have some side effects.

Possible negative side effects of bananas

There is a popular saying which goes, “excess of anything is bad”. This applies to something as seemingly innocent as consuming bananas as well. Even though it is a rather healthy snack with not too many obvious problems, consuming more than the recommended amount of bananas can have side effects as well.

Mentioned below are some possible side effects of bananas.

  • Constipation

Even though ripe bananas are a popular food to help aid in bowel movement, unripe bananas can cause constipation. Unripe or green bananas have a lot of resistant starch, which can increase the risk of constipation. The tannic acid present in banana can obstruct the secretion of gastrointestinal fluids and curb gastrointestinal activity.

  • Nutrient Imbalance

It is common knowledge that a balanced diet is important for the overall wellbeing of a person. One common side effect of bananas is that since they are rather filling, they can curb the hunger in a person and cause in consumption of less food than is required for a well-balanced diet. The also do not have any fat. This is a reason they are considered to be healthy, but the body also requires fat to function optimally.

  • Digestive problem due to excessive fiber

Consuming unripe bananas can cause severe stomach pain along with nausea. The resistant starch present in unripe bananas can take a very long time to digest. Unripe bananas may also cause diarrhoea, as well as vomiting. It can also cause bloating and gas.

  • Weight gain

Even though bananas have fewer calories than normal things people choose to snack on, they still do have calories. There are fewer calories in a banana than in chips, or fried food, or processed food, however, bananas still contain sugar which means they have enough calories to aid in weight gain if the portion size is not monitored. A medium-sized banana contains 105 calories. That, in comparison to a medium-sized orange (62), a bowl of diced watermelon (45), or a cup of grapes (62) is a lot higher. So, if you’re looking for a low-calorie snack to indulge in every few hours, bananas may not be the best choice.

  • Sleepiness

Bananas are rich in tryptophan which is an amino acid that reduces mental performance and reaction time. It also affects the sleep cycle because it makes a person feel sleepy. This is the reason bananas are not the best choice to start the day with. They also contain high doses of magnesium, which is known for its muscle relaxant properties. Even though they are not good as a snack to start the day, they are amazing to consume before going to bed.

  • Dental health problem

Bananas are high in starch. Starch is a substance that takes a very long time to dissolve in the mouth. Sugar dissolves faster in the mouth than starch. Since it dissolves slowly, the particles can stay in the mouth for upwards of two hours, and attract all kinds of bacteria. This would cause tooth decay. One major side effect of banana is that it is detrimental to the oral health, maybe even more so than consuming chocolates, or chewing gum. The bacteria attracted by the starch in banana can cause cavities.

  • Hyperkalemia

Hyperkalemia is a condition caused due to the presence of excessive potassium in the blood. It is characterised by symptoms like uneven pulse rate, nausea, and irregular heartbeat, which can also lead to heart attack. Certain fad-like diet plans demand excess consumption of bananas on certain days. This is a terrible idea as it could cause issues like excessive potassium.

  • Migraine

People suffering from migraine attacks should avoid eating bananas. A side effect of banana in people having regular headaches is increased frequency of migraines. Tyramine, a substance found in many foods like cheese, fish, meats, etc. is also found in bananas. It is a trigger for migraine headaches. Another interesting fact is that the peel of the banana contains more tyramine than the pulp, so the stringy pieces of peel should always be carefully removed before consumption.

Extra precautions

  • A person with kidney problems should always try to minimize their intake of bananas.
  • It is important to consume bananas within two days of purchase as they are store in room temperature and get spoiled easily. At the same time, it is important to ensure that only sufficiently ripe bananas are consumed.
  • Some people can be allergic to bananas which can show symptoms such as cramps, hives, wheezing, and throat irritation.
  • Certain medication can interact with the nutrients present in banana, therefore it is always advisable to consult a doctor before consuming bananas if someone is taking certain medications, especially for the heart and kidney.
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