Posted on Mon, 26 Sep 11
Bananas are a good source of prebiotic fibre which can boost levels of good gut bacteria and improve digestive health. Two bananas a day are enough to benefit your bacteria and reduce bloating.
In a clinical study a group of overweight women were asked to eat a banana twice daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days (overweight people have lower levels of good gut bacteria which may even contribute to weight gain). During the study their gut bacterial levels were measured and digestive symptoms recorded to see if bananas made any difference.
Snacking on bananas resulted in a slight increase in good bacteria (bifidobacteria) levels and a significant reduction in bloating. In fact before the study the women were bloating almost every day but adding bananas to their diet cut symptoms in half. “We concluded that daily consumption of bananas is a well-tolerated eating behaviour, which may induce bifidogenesis in healthy women experiencing body weight problems” commented the study investigators.
Mitsou EK, Kougia E, Nomikos T, Yannakoulia M, Mountzouris KC, Kyriacou A. Effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota: A randomised, controlled trial. Anaerobe. 2011 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]