Do You Know Nutrition: Bananas both cause, cure

Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:14 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

I love bananas, but if I eat too many, I seem to have stomach issues, either diarrhea or constipation. Can you please enlighten me on bananas?

Bananas can actually cure diarrhea, cause diarrhea, cause constipation or cure constipation.

If you eat green bananas, they can actually help ease constipation since the fiber is highly soluble, which can help push the bowel movement through the intestines.

On the other hand, too many green bananas, hasten the movement through the bowels more rapidly than is comfortable. Consuming an unripe banana can cause constipation because they are high in starch and take a long time to digest.

Ripe bananas contain an enzyme, which prevents the fermenting of the banana benefiting anyone that suffers from constipation.

Have you ever wondered what the banana peel is good for? If you suffer from psoriasis, take the inside of the banana peel and rub it over the affected area - you should notice a difference in a few days. The inside of the banana peel also helps acne.

Bananas are the world's most popular fruit after tomatoes. The word banana is actually taken from the Arab word "banan," which means finger. Bananas with dark spots on them usually have an higher sugar content than a green banana. Approximately 44 million tons of bananas are produced annually.

I am a label reader, so I stay totally confused when grocery shopping. I recently purchased a product that stated "lightly breaded" thinking maybe this was healthier, but nowhere on the packaging could I find how "lightly" breaded it was. I guess this is just a marketing statement. Do you know what this means?

There are so many claims on our food items, it is confusing to everyone. Here are a few claims: lightly sweetened, good source of ..., reduced sodium (still contains 140 milligrams per serving), natural (USDA has set no definition except on meat and poultry), reduced fat, trans fat free (although it can still contain .49 grams of fat per serving) and the one I dislike the most, sugar free.

The lightly breaded is usually just a distraction, since the product has been rolled in white flour, dipped in some liquid, and tossed in a vat of cheap oil with cooking instructions on the package to toss it in the microwave to radiate it. So yes, many claims are just marketing ploys to get the product off the shelf and into your pantry.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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