Eating bananas can have a protective impact on health, from lowering blood pressure to reducing the risk of cancer. Then why do bananas make my stomach hurt after eating them, you might wonder.
Well, we’ve been there, and most people are too. Eating bananas can hurt your stomach, which may be quite discomforting. But bananas don’t affect everyone; they also don’t cause stomach pains or aches in everyone.
So, suppose your stomach is hurting after eating bananas. In that case, chances are you ate unripe bananas (since the amount of starch depends on their ripeness), or you have an allergy, an infection, or a digestive disorder.
Below, we highlight some reasons your stomach might hurt after eating bananas. This might help you assess the issue you might be experiencing.
Banana ripeness and stomach pain
The ripeness of bananas affects the amount of starch present in the fruit. It has been shown that unripe bananas contain as much as 12 times more starch than ripe bananas.
Foods that are very high in starch can be more challenging to digest, and those foods often produce gas in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). This then leads to pain, such as that of a sore stomach.
Avoiding green, unripe bananas and eating ripe ones might help with this condition.
A condition known as pollen-food allergy syndrome could trigger allergy symptoms when you eat bananas, though few people are allergic to it. To know if you’re allergic to bananas, you should check if you’re allergic to hay fever and ragweed pollen.
This is because hay fever and ragweed pollen allergies exert almost the same allergic response as that of banana allergy. Symptoms of banana allergy are wheezing problems or sore stomach.
Also, people allergic to latex or birch can experience banana allergies.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in different fruits, such as bananas. Although bananas contain relatively low amounts of fructose compared to honey, juicer, high fructose corn syrup, and sweetener fruits, according to USDA Nutrient Database, each banana contains about 5% of fructose.
An individual with fructose intolerance will struggle to digest fructose. People with this condition should limit or restrict fructose in their diet because they can only tolerate small amounts of fructose found in fruits like bananas.
Some people react badly to fructose since they can’t break it down in the gut. It thereby causes bloating gas and abdominal discomfort. This condition is called hereditary fructose intolerance and is usually diagnosed at birth.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) triggers
People with IBS experience symptoms from sharp cramps to diarrhoea because bananas are a typical trigger food for them. When bananas break down in the gut, it usually causes excess gas.
For those with normal digestion, this doesn’t pose any problem, but if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may get a sore stomach from bloating and gas after consuming a banana.
Also, you must avoid eating overripe bananas as they can trigger many of the same side effects of undigested lactose (milk sugar).