Can bananas help relieve acid reflux symptoms?
Many people swear by the health benefits of bananas, for everything from lowering blood pressure and protecting against stroke to preventing depression and strengthening bones. Some people even claim that bananas make you smarter! But do they belong on the list of home remedies for GERD?
Learn more: An alternative treatment for GERD
How bananas support digestion
First, bananas greatly strengthen our digestive system. Acid reflux symptoms often result due to poor digestion. Simply put, poor digestion leads to indigestion. Poor digestion causes bloating, belching and gas, all of which can ultimately result in stomach contents backing up into the esophagus. All measures that strengthen the digestive system or promote intestinal health will aid against GERD symptoms.
Bananas Are High In Fiber
One-way that bananas strengthen digestion is through their high fiber content. Bananas contains pectin, a soluble fiber that promotes regularity by moving stomach contents along the digestive tract. When food lingers in your gut, your stomach will continue to generate acid, and you’re more likely to experience an episode of reflux.
Bananas Contain Prebiotics
Bananas also contain prebiotics. Prebiotics promote good stomach bacteria (probiotics) by serving as a kind of fertilizer for these beneficial groups of healthy stomach bacteria. Having the right balance of food bacteria in the stomach promotes an overall healthier and properly working stomach.
Learn more: Natural remedies for acid reflux: Probiotics
Bananas Are A Low-Acid Food
Some believe consuming a low acid diet can help relieve acid reflux symptoms. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, bananas have a pH range of 5-5.29. Eating a banana helps raise the pH level of the stomach contents and may act as a natural antacid.
Bananas May Protect Against Ulcers
Lastly, some researchers believe that bananas may protect against ulcers. The gastric mucosa is a thin mucus membrane that lines the stomach. Gastric mucosa helps move food through the stomach and protects the stomach from being digested by its own juices. Bananas contain compounds that are believed to strengthen the gastric mucosa by increasing its thickness.
Try adding bananas to your GERD diet
The fact of the matter is, bananas have a great many health benefits and adding a daily banana to your regular diet can strengthen your health in more ways than one. Bananas are a great aid in digestion, they provide a natural antacid and alkalizing effect, and they may help prevent ulcers. Although most often just peeled and eaten plain, bananas are great in cereals, desserts, smoothies, and salads. We encourage you to work bananas into your regular diet and to keep an eye out for acid reflux friendly recipes that include bananas (like Baked bananas or Banana date mousse – YUM!).