RIP to RIPE Bananas: A Gut-Friendly Approach
Oct 14, 2022
If you're like most people, you probably think that ripe bananas are the best kind to eat. After all, they're sweeter and more flavourful than their unripe counterparts. But when it comes to your gut health, ripe bananas may not be the best choice.
Ripe bananas are high in FODMAPs, which are a group of short-chain carbohydrates that can be difficult for some people to digest. This can lead to gut symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhoea. Unripe bananas, on the other hand, are low in FODMAPs and much easier on the digestive system.
What changes when the banana ripens?
It’s hard to imagine how a food item can convert itself from a gut-loving energy snack to a gut-disturbing nuisance with nothing but time, but science overrules.
The answer to this mystery lies in the ripening process; as the banana matures, it produces oligofructose (also known as fructooligosaccharides), a fermentable carbohydrate that the gut sometimes finds difficult to break down. The result for the most sensitive of guts is irritability and tummy upset. Do I have to give up bananas completely?
No, but like anything, it really does depend on how your individual body reacts to them.
The good news is that unripe bananas don’t contain harmful compounds, so younger bananas are a safer bet. It is difficult to identify the exact point the friendly banana converts into a tummy-destroying torpedo, but like anything, there is a scale and common sense usually prevails: the younger it is, the safer it is, while the older it is, the more likely it will cause you problems.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to keep a watchful eye or wait from dusk til dawn for your banana to convert like a vampire. You can still enjoy your favourite pre-workout and post-workout snack. At least now you know why you have been getting confused over your dietary decisions - bananas have been a double agent harming you in stealth mode, but not anymore.
In case you’re still worried, don’t be quick to dismiss bananas from your shopping list. Bananas are a great source of fibre and they are nutritious too. When young, they are believed to feed the good bacteria in your gut, which promotes overall gut health. Being high in potassium, they are a great way to increase the electrolytes in your blood. There are definitely more pros than cons to eating bananas, so keep them in your diet if you can handle them when unripe.
Should I follow the FODMAP diet?
The FODMAP diet is the most reliable way to identify gut-busting culprits and to understand which foods are most likely to cause inflammation. Whether you go through the elimination process or not, using the scoring system will help you avoid unnecessary discomfort.
The FODMAP scoring system categorises food according to how high it is in short-chain carbohydrates, which the gut finds difficult to break down.
You can find the FODMAP scoring system here.
Is there anything I can do to increase my tolerance?
The simplest thing to do to manage your tolerance is to reduce your exposure. Your body can reduce how sensitive it is by managing inflammation: the more inflamed you are, the less tolerant you become.
Supplements can also be a good way to manage your tolerance. Having JUVIA with your meals can help to aid digestion. JUVIA is an enzyme-rich barley extract that promotes the proliferation of your good bacteria, kind of like the way unripe bananas do, only far more effectively. JUVIA can be eaten with your banana, on your banana, or after your banana. You get the point.
JUVIA is taken in two phases: the Rebalancing Phase introduces JUVIA to your gut with two servings for 6 weeks. After this comes the Maintenance Phase with only one serving per day. By then, you can probably withstand the most challenging of ingredients (ripe bananas included, but check for individual responses).
Most people report very positive results after taking JUVIA for just a few weeks, but some people need a little more time for the magic to take effect. Like anything, though, it's a game of trial and error and you have to see what works for you.
One of the best things about JUVIA is that it is entirely plant-based and the positive impacts being reported stretch far beyond the gut, which is unsurprising given the gut’s influence over the rest of our bodies, including our brains.Try JUVIA today and enjoy freedom from within.