Bananas typically provide a gut-friendly taste that should sit well for most people.
In some cases, bananas may trigger heartburn and cause severe discomfort. Understanding why this is the case can help you avoid this uncomfortable situation.
For example, you will learn why green bananas trigger the worse banana-related heartburn. You’ll also learn how allergies may affect your heartburn.
Lastly, you’ll get insight into several therapy methods that help minimize heartburn severity.
While low in acid and fat, bananas may cause heartburn and acid reflux in specific situations. Typically, green bananas may cause heartburn when eaten at high levels.
Even riper bananas may cause heartburn in more sensitive stomachs or when eaten heavily. Thankfully, you can avoid these symptoms by following a few simple steps.
Now that you know the basics, it is essential to read on to learn more. Knowledge is power, and we have much extra information to share.
You’ll learn more about why a low-pH fruit like bananas can cause heartburn and ways to avoid this problem.
Why Do Raw Green Bananas Cause Heartburn?
Raw bananas cause heartburn more frequently than ripe ones. Raw bananas are those with green skins and harder, less chewable flesh.
They’re perfectly safe to eat and have the same nutrients as ripe bananas. However, they have a higher level of starch than ripe bananas.
Starch is very hard for the body to digest because of its density. As a result, starchy foods often trigger heartburn more often. Unripened bananas consist of 25% starch.
This difference in starch density between ripe bananas is extreme and accounts for the increased heartburn cases.
Ripened bananas have less than half of this starch content, by contrast. As a result, they typically rarely cause heartburn for most people. There are cases when ripened bananas may still cause heartburn in some people.
Can Ripe Bananas Give Me Heartburn?
A ripe banana is not likely to cause heartburn. They include 75% water, 23% carbohydrates, 3% fiber, 1% protein, and almost no fat.
Their nutrient content of vitamin B6 (31%) and manganese (13%) make them a healthy option for many diets.
Ripe bananas may cause heartburn in some situations, though. People eating multiple bananas on an empty stomach may cause heartburn because of the ripe banana’s starch content.
While not as high as a raw banana, it may be enough to cause heartburn.
That’s because a ripe banana may have varying starch levels. The ripening process converts starch into sugar, which is easier for the body to digest.
However, a semi-ripened banana may still contain heavy starch levels that may trigger or worsen heartburn.
Furthermore, the combination of sugar and starch in a semi-ripened banana can be problematic. Sugar can worsen some heartburn symptoms by itself.
Combining sugar with the harder-to-digest starch can make this situation even harder on the stomach.
Banana-related heartburn is usually caused by other digestive health issues. GERD and acid reflux most commonly cause heartburn and can be quite painful.
Even the milder tastes of a banana may cause heartburn for those with these conditions.
Some people may also experience banana-related heartburn because of allergies. Banana allergic reactions may include some heartburn symptoms. The severity of this reaction may vary based on a person’s overall health.
What is GERD?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a common condition that affects millions. It causes acid to rise into the esophagus during digestion.
This chronic disease may remain dormant for many months and then become a problem for weeks.
GERD makes a person more susceptible to heartburn and may trigger nearly daily heartburn episodes. Even fairly healthy foods may cause a heartburn outbreak.
As a result, people with this condition may experience its symptoms when eating a banana.
Frustratingly, GERD is rarely predictable and may cause varying symptoms. One day, you may safely eat a banana and experience symptoms another day.
Tracking your reactions and adjusting your dietary habits can help you avoid this persistent issue.
Why Do Banana Allergies Cause Heartburn?
Allergic reactions may vary heavily based on a person’s body and health. For example, banana allergies may cause skin rashes and other persistent health issues.
Some people may be unable to eat a banana without experiencing throat swelling that endangers their life.
Those with minor banana allergies may tolerate eating this food well. However, the banana may cause an upset stomach that may lead to serious heartburn. The intensity of this reaction may vary and may be unpredictable.
Taking allergy medications may help by decreasing your body’s reaction to the banana. Decreasing your banana intake may also help with this common problem.
Talk with your dietician about this concern to learn more about how your allergies affect you.
Will Bananas Worsen Acid Reflux?
Eating ripe bananas may help with some cases of acid reflux or GERD. That’s because bananas are a high source of potassium.
This healthy nutrient can calm the stomach by providing an alkaline balance to your stomach’s acid.
Many people with acid reflux may notice decreased heartburn symptoms when eating bananas. However, others may notice an increase in these symptoms.
The exact reaction you may experience varies depending on what type of reflux you possess.
The first type is typical reflux, which is a less severe and more common problem. This health concern causes far fewer symptoms in people who possess it.
Usually, these include heartburn and regurgitation, which makes it a little easier to tolerate. You may have this condition if:
- You can eat bananas sometimes without noticing side effects
- You get relief easily from over-the-counter medications
- Ripe bananas rarely cause any serious side effects
- Bananas sometimes decrease your reflux symptoms
Laryngopharyngeal reflux, or LPR, is the more problematic type of heartburn. It may cause other symptoms, such as cramps, stomach pain, and other issues.
This more severe condition may react more heavily to bananas than typical reflux conditions.
For example, you may notice problems like bloating, belching, and passing gas when eating bananas with LPR.
Note that some people may experience heartburn when eating bananas without reflux conditions if they have bad bacteria levels in their stomach.
Why Will Poor Gut Bacteria Levels Cause Heartburn?
Your stomach contains millions of healthy bacteria that help digest food. These good gut bacteria feed on the food you eat, break it down, and help minimize some health risks.
Poor gut bacteria levels may cause heartburn even when eating mild food like bananas.
For example, good gut bacteria help to break down food better and increase your digestion rate. It also helps when digesting tough or dense foods, like fatty or acidic foods.
A poor level may make your stomach work harder and cause problems with heartburn.
Poor gut bacteria levels occur for many reasons. Some people simply don’t support this bacteria’s health because they eat an unhealthy diet.
Eating minimal beans, vegetables, legumes, and grains may cause poor gut bacteria levels and leave you open to many health problems.
- If you think that you have poor gut health, it is important to take a few steps to improve it. These steps include:
- Cutting out unhealthy meals, like fried foods and snacks
- Decreasing your meat content to avoid burdening your stomach
- Switching to a plant-heavy diet that helps rebuild your gut bacteria
- Taking a probiotic to improve your gut’s overall health
Switching to a more plant-based diet can help you avoid heartburn when eating mild foods like bananas. Note that suddenly changing your diet to a vegan or vegetarian one may also temporarily increase your heartburn symptoms.
Why Does Going Vegetarian Or Vegan Cause Heartburn?
Switching to a plant-based diet is a smart move for many people. It can improve your overall gut health and provide a stronger level of nutrients.
Changing your diet too rapidly may cause some digestion problems that could linger for a long time.
For example, switching too quickly to a plant-based diet may take 1-3 months before your body acclimates. Some people may switch more quickly based on how many plants they were eating before.
Ironically, this switch can cause an increase in heartburn cases when eating bananas.
That’s because your stomach may feel uncomfortable eating fiber-rich foods. All the extra fiber may cause an upset stomach that can trigger heartburn cases.
As bananas are a great source of fiber, they may trigger heartburn during this transition period.
Note that bananas and a plant-based diet will improve your long-term gut health. Heartburn outbreaks should also decrease once your body acclimates.
It may just take some time before you feel fully comfortable switching to a totally plant-based diet.
RELATED: Are Apples Acidic?
How Do I Relieve These Symptoms?
Managing your heartburn symptoms may include several important steps. Home remedies, lifestyle changes, and various medications may help.
Medicines may include over-the-counter options or prescription items. Let’s break down a few of the most common options:
- Home Remedies: Some people swear by home remedies for banana-related heartburn, while others do not. These remedies include things like mixing baking soda with water to calm your stomach acid. Other methods include eating foods that relieve heartburn, like licorice supplements and apple cider vinegar.
- Lifestyle Changes: Eating healthier foods may help minimize your heartburn symptoms. For example, switching to a plant-based diet with fruits like bananas can decrease your heartburn outbreaks. Losing weight, quitting smoking, and stopping drinking can also reduce cases of heartburn.
- Over-the-Counter Medications: You can walk into a pharmacy or supermarket and buy heartburn treatments that can decrease your symptoms. These include H2 blockers that minimize acid production and proton pump inhibitors. Options like Tums and Antacid may also help.
Other methods to consider include chewing gum, eating ginger, loosening your clothes, standing up straight, and keeping your body elevated.
Your doctor may also prescribe stronger treatment methods if over-the-counter medicines don’t work.
Is Prevention Effective?
Prevention methods can decrease your banana-related heartburn outbreaks. These steps may include cutting back on your banana intake and taking other steps that may help, such as:
- Not eating for 2-3 hours before you lie down for bed
- Laying on your left side if you do eat to take pressure off your stomach
- Avoiding bending down or flexing after eating bananas
- Reducing how many bananas that you eat in a day
- Taking spicy foods, alcohol, tomatoes, coffee, and other trigger foods out of your diet
- Trying relaxation exercises to relieve stress in your body
- Losing weight to reduce the severity of your heartburn
Make sure that you talk with your doctor if these prevention methods don’t work. Also, talk with them if you feel any heart-related symptoms, such as tightness in the chest or trouble breathing.
These may indicate a potential heart attack is triggering your heartburn.
Make sure that you also avoid cigarette smoke, even if you don’t smoke. Tobacco smoke can trigger some heartburn simply when you smell it in the air.
If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible by using various medications to make this process smoother and more efficient.
Easy Banana Recipes To Love
Bananas are one of the most loved fruits around the world. It is most famous for its contents of potassium in it. Other than this, it is one of the most accessible fruit to eat.
If you love bananas, you are at the right place to learn some great things you can make with bananas. There are a lot of innovative things that you can make with bananas.
Let us look at some recipes that we can make with bananas.
Quick Banana Recipes
|Banana Oat Muffins||180 Per Serving||30 Minutes|
|Blueberry-Banana Wraps||402 Per Serving||30 Minutes|
|Banana Bread||206 Per Serving||45 Minutes|
Kids love muffins so do the adults because it is an excellent option for a light and healthy snack. Adding bananas to the muffin makes them more nutritious.
These muffins even help maintain your cholesterol. You need all-purpose flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, egg whites, milk, sugar, and canola oil.
Take a small bowl to beat brown sugar, milk, oil, banana, and egg whites. Keep whisking, and then add pecans to it. Fill the muffin cups and put them to bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
Calories Per Serving: 180 (per serving)
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Healthy wraps for breakfast! How do you like the idea? If you want the sound of it, then look at this recipe choice that you can make.
Here is a mouth-watering wrap with a punch of fruits and veggies. All you need is fresh blueberries, celery, walnuts, mint leaves, wheat tortillas, and spinach.
Take a bowl to blitz celery, walnuts, mint, and blueberries together. Next, heat a tortilla and put some spinach on it. Top it with a banana and a mixture of blueberries. Roll the tortilla, and bang; your wrap is ready.
Calories Per Serving: 402 (per serving)
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Most people like bread, and it is a fantastic option for a quick breakfast. You can go for this quick recipe when you have over-ripe bananas.
Of course, you won’t eat over-ripe bananas because they do not taste so good, but they are perfect for this bread.
Vegans can also try this recipe. It is an excellent option for them because finding eggless bread with a taste is quite challenging for vegan options. You will find both in this bread.
For this bread, you need sugar, oil, sunflower seeds, flour, and flavorings.
Preheat the oven and slice the bananas. Add sugar to the bananas and mash them. Combine some oil and seasonings into the mixture. Add some flour and baking soda to it and bake it. And your bread is ready!
Calories Per Serving: 206 (per serving)
Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
By now, you should feel comfortable with this topic. You probably have a method to help you minimize heartburn risk when eating bananas.
However, you may also have a few questions that deserve simple answers. Here are a few that we get commonly asked about this topic.
Does Mashing Bananas Minimize This Risk?
Blending bananas to make a smoothie shouldn’t affect their heartburn risk much. They still have the same nutrients and ingredients that they do whole.
Mixing or mashing them simply breaks them up into a liquid form that may be easier to ingest.
Note that adding other ingredients may affect this risk. For example, blending citrus fruits with a banana may increase its heartburn effects.
Also, adding sugar to the drink may worsen this danger because the sugar may cause higher stomach acid.
You may also experience heartburn when mixing bananas with honey or other ingredients.
A simple smoothie with no extra sugar typically won’t affect your GERD. Try to blend in other stomach-safe foods, such as blueberries, to avoid heartburn.
How Long Should A Banana Ripen To Avoid Heartburn?
Try to let your banana ripen to the point where the skin is yellow with no green. Green bananas cause the highest risk of heartburn, so avoid them when possible.
Wait until the skin is yellow but not browning. Though not likely to trigger heartburn, brown bananas may be mushy and unappetizing.
Do Other Fruits Cause Heartburn?
Fruits typically don’t cause many heartburn symptoms. Most, like bananas, may even help with some heartburn symptoms. However, if you experience heartburn eating usually tasty foods, you may have GERD or another serious digestion problem that needs to be treated.
There are some exceptions to the relatively safe level of fruits in your gut. Any citrus food may cause heartburn. This problem occurs due to higher acidity levels that go over 7 pH. A few fruits you may want to avoid include:
Small doses of these fruits may not cause serious heartburn risks. Try out a few bites to see how well your stomach reacts before ruling them out.
You may need to stop eating citrus fruits if you can’t tolerate even a single slice of orange or lemon.
What Should I Do If Bananas Keep Causing Heartburn?
If you take the proper precautions and still experience heartburn, visit your doctor. They can diagnose you with any serious digestive problems, like GERD.
You can get various medications or treatments that minimize your heartburn risk and avoid long-term health issues.
GERD and heartburn are typically not severe health concerns. However, persistent heartburn and GERD may cause damage to the esophagus. This unpleasant feeling can cause a hoarse speaking voice and even rawness in the throat.
Watch this video to learn more about bananas and acid reflux. It will explain when bananas may help with this common problem and when it may hurt.
This video is good to watch if you suffer from acid reflux and want to minimize its issues in your life.
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