Bananas are a popular fruit for babies, which leads many parents to wonder if there are any negative side effects of feeding bananas to babies, especially when it comes to digestion.
Overall, research has shown mixed results when it comes to bananas’ effects on constipation, so they may relieve constipation in one baby and promote constipation in another. Therefore, look for patterns and observe how bananas affect your baby.
In this article, we will cover more information about giving bananas to babies, including constipation, gas, digestion, and more.
Can Bananas Cause or Relieve Constipation in Babies?
Unfortunately, the results are mixed regarding whether bananas cause or relieve constipation in babies. Bananas, especially those that are unripe or on the greener side, contain a type of carbohydrate called resistant starch.
The resistant starch is digested slowly in the body and therefore causes blood glucose levels to remain stable (source: Harvard School of Public Health).
In terms of constipation, a mice study conducted in 2017 found that mice that received resistant starch from bananas had an improvement in intestinal motility and therefore relieved constipation (source: Journal of Medicinal Food).
However, a community-based trial in Bangladesh found that green bananas in the diet helped manage acute and chronic diarrhea (source: Tropical Medicine and International Health). It is important to note that these green bananas were cooked.
Cooking green and unripe bananas increases the amount of resistant starch (Harvard School of Public Health). Therefore, it is important to observe if bananas worsen or improve your baby’s constipation.
Can Bananas Make Babies Gassy?
Since the resistant starch in bananas can act like dietary fiber, it is possible that bananas can make your baby gassy.
However, similar to constipation, what causes gas in your baby is individualized and may be different for each baby.
There is a widespread perception that bananas cause digestive issues, which may lead parents to suspect that bananas are negatively impacting their baby and causing gas.
However, be attentive to the food items you give your baby, especially high-fiber foods like bananas, to observe patterns in your baby’s gassiness and bowel habits.
Are Bananas Acidic or Hard for Babies to Digest?
While many believe that bananas are acidic, they are actually an alkaline or basic food. Alkaline foods can help counteract stomach acid and may improve indigestion (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine).
Additionally, bananas are easy to digest and can support gut healing because of the resistant starch that resists breakdown in the intestines (source: Harvard School of Public Health).
Resistant starch also helps to feed the beneficial bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract, also known as the gut microbiome.
A healthy gut microbiome can positively affect many medical conditions relating to the gastrointestinal tract and support overall health and wellness.
Overall, I hope this article helped break down the gastrointestinal health benefits and possible downsides of feeding bananas to your baby, including the banana’s impact on constipation, gas, digestion, and more.