We can all agree that a quick snack — for when we are feeling slightly hungry but want to curb our calorie cravings — is a banana. It is hailed as one of the healthiest fruits, rich in antioxidants and also water and fibre. But not many people know that one of its primary functions is that of aiding digestion, for it contains phytochemicals like potassium.
“High-potassium foods such as banana are extremely helpful for many digestive system conditions. Potassium is helpful for nerve function in the digestive tract,” explains Anthony William, the author of Medical Medium in an Instagram post.
The best bananas that help with indigestion are those that “are mostly yellow, have some firmness, with small brown dots on the skin”.
What makes bananas great?
Prebiotic in nature
This means they don’t let unproductive bacteria to thrive in our intestine for long. William says: “They feed beneficial microorganisms there”. This is done by binding with the bacteria.
They are anti-pathogenic
“Pathogens are behind many digestive conditions and symptoms, along with many other chronic illnesses. Bananas have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.”
Soothe intestinal tract
“They have a ‘walk on water’ quality.” This means they can move in the intestinal tract without touching the intestinal lining.
William explains this phenomenon: “The chemical compounds in the banana become a film-like shield between the banana and the lining of the intestinal tract. While the nutrients in the banana (and other foods in the gut at the same time) can pass through the shield and absorb into your intestinal lining, as the banana breaks down, it doesn’t rub on the intestinal lining. Its chemical compound coats and soothes the lining like a healing ointment.”
Anti-spasmodic in nature
He also explains that because of their anti-spasmodic nature, they can help alleviate cramps caused by gastrointestinal disorders.