With the conversation around maintaining a healthy gut taking precedence recently, people are looking for the right foods to eat and ones to avoid. Bananas fall into the former category.
The soluble fiber in bananas is essential nutrition for healthy gut microbiomes – probiotics, per The Healthy. A healthy gut is a prerequisite for many things including your immune system health, digestion, heart health, and management of blood sugar levels. And if you’ve heard that bananas put you in a better mood, this is another byproduct of maintaining a good gut. While all of this applies to the regular yellow fruit your mind conjures up when you think of bananas, there’s something to be said about their less-ripe green counterparts too when it comes to gut health.
In fact, according to a 2021 study published in PLOS ONE, the specific fiber found in bananas that is beneficial for gut health — pectin — is more concentrated in the unripe fruit. This is also why green bananas are recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As explained by integrative medicine physician and registered dietitian, Dr. Amy Burkhart, green bananas are considered low-FODMAP foods. “FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that contribute to stomach problems in some people, such as those with IBS,” she added. You can’t speak of the benefits of a certain type of food without talking about just how much of it you should consume. And even with this nutritious fruit, there is such a thing as too many bananas.