Bananas — the perfect fruit to soothe diarrhea
Bananas are often described as the ideal food. They have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, but are full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and complex carbohydrates. A banana is simple to digest, which makes it easy on the stomach and a favorite food for babies and seniors. It’s also a great remedy for heartburn and acid indigestion.
But because the average adult experiences diarrhea about four times a year, that’s when you’ll be more than grateful for this super fruit. Bananas are the perfect fruit to soothe diarrhea.
Bananas are an important part of the BRAT diet for people recovering from diarrhea. This combination of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast is rich in fiber and nutrition but gentle and bland enough to pass easily through a weakened digestive tract. An added benefit is the potassium in bananas. This mineral is one of the important electrolytes you lose during a bout of diarrhea.
* Click here for updated research on the BRAT diet and it's treatment for diarrhea.
Potassium replacement is just one reason bananas are also a great energy snack, especially for endurance athletes. Another is that bananas have more digestible carbohydrates than any other fruit. Your body burns calories from carbs faster and easier than calories from protein or fat.
Because bananas are harvested and shipped every day of the year, they are always in season. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy them more.
Bananas ripen best between 58 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. They get mushy, split open, and lose their flavor if left in the sun too long. Even in tropical growing areas, bananas are harvested green and stored in moist, shady places to ripen slowly.
Bananas have seven stages of ripeness, but the last three stages are the most important for consumers. Bananas with green tips are best for cooking. Full-yellow fruit is best for eating, and yellow with brown spots is recommended for baking.
Grab an apple
You can ripen bananas faster with an apple. Put them both in a brown paper bag out of the sunlight. Ethylene gas from the apple speeds up the maturing process.
Keep ‘em cold
Store fully ripe bananas in the refrigerator since cool temperatures slow ripening. Their skin will turn black, but the fruit inside stays fresh.
Peel overripe bananas and put them in a freezer bag. Eat them frozen for a sweet summer treat, or use them in baking or in frozen smoothies.
Find out about other great fruits and veggies in The most powerful foods in the produce aisle.
- FC&A Staff Writer