Can you overdose on bananas?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “can you overdose on bananas?” with an in-depth analysis of the reason why we should or should not overdose on bananas? Moreover, we will also discuss the nutritional composition and nutritional value of bananas along with their health benefits. In addition to these, what effects overdosing on bananas can have on the body will also be addressed.

Can you overdose on bananas?

Yes, a person can overdose on bananas. But it depends on what amount of banana intake is considered an overdose?

What is an overdose?

An overdose of something is an amount taken in excess or more than the recommended amount. This excess amount can have a deleterious impact on the health of a person. 

Food overdose is the amount of food that results in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and food-borne illnesses in an individual.

Amount of bananas considered an overdose:

Particularly, the number of bananas consumed by a person can be tagged as an overdose only depending upon his health state.

For a normal, healthy individual, eating 400 bananas per day is considered an overdose. This quantity of bananas is capable of raising the blood potassium levels within the body to that point which can be fatal. 

Diabetic patients:

Patients having diabetes are mostly strictly forbidden to eat bananas by doctors. This is because bananas have a high glycemic index and glycemic load which means that eating bananas can cause an instant spike in their blood glucose levels.

 Diabetic patients are allowed to eat one small to medium sized banana once a week or once in two weeks depending upon the blood glucose levels.

Now, if a diabetic patient eats two or more bananas, greater than is recommended for them, then they will suffer from elevated blood glucose levels along with all the side effects. This extra amount of bananas will be considered an overdose for diabetic patients.

Kidney patients:

Kidney patients suffer from a decrease in blood filtration of toxic substances. As a result, their body ends up accumulating extra amounts of micronutrients and minerals causing adverse effects. Bananas are a rich source of potassium. If a kidney patient takes more bananas than recommended by the physician, then he will be overdosing on bananas.

Heart patients:

Bananas are a rich source of potassium. Potassium helps normalize the heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose levels. But a hefty amount of potassium can cause tachycardia, irregular blood pressure etc. 

If a heart patient consumes more than 6 bananas, he will be considered overdosing. Because after consumption of half a dozen bananas he will definitely suffer from their adverse side effects. 

Other FAQs about Bananas which you may be interested in.

Are wild bananas edible?

How brown can bananas be for banana bread?

Nutritional profile of bananas:

Bananas contain:

  • 12 to 25 grams carbohydrates
  • 2 to 3 grams fiber
  • 70 to 75% water
  • 60 to 90 calories (depending upon the size)
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium 
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C 
  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients

Health benefits of bananas:

Probiotic food: 

Bananas are considered as one of the best probiotic foods. Probiotics are foods that help maintain gut health by providing food to the healthy bacteria residing in the gut.

Relieves constipation: 

Unripe bananas are a rich source of fiber. Eating these bananas can provide sufficient amounts of fiber, adequate for relieving constipation.

Maintain blood pressure: 

Potassium is the key micronutrient present in bananas. Potassium stimulates the movement of sodium and chloride ions through the cell barriers, maintaining normal blood pressure.

Improves mood and releases stress: 

Bananas are considered as happy food. This is because they contain dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with inducing a happy mood and reducing stress. Taking bananas increases the blood dopamine levels.

Maintains heart health: 

Potassium present in bananas maintains normal blood glucose levels and blood pressure both being key factors for maintaining good heart health.

You can read how to make a banana smoothie here.

Side effects of overdosing on bananas:

  • Although bananas are considered a superfood, overdosing on them can bring unwanted results regarding health.
  • Normal daily recommended intake of potassium is 3500mg. One banana provides almost 450 to 500mg potassium.If a person eats 6 to 7 bananas he has an optimum intake of potassium reaching almost the desired daily intake of the mineral.
  •  Eating more than 7 to 8 bananas will start generating harmful effects. These harmful effects are not apparent in normal people without any health complications.
  • Real overdosing side effects are presented in those suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or heart diseases.
  • If people with renal dysfunction consume more than 6 bananas they can end up in total renal failure. Their kidneys are not capable of removing accumulating potassium, thus elevation in potassium levels can clog the kidney completely.
  • Increased potassium accumulation will also be responsible for increased blood pressure, irregular heart beat and cardiac arrest.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide we answered the question “ can we you overdose on bananas?” with in depth analysis of  how overdosing of bananas can be done and what beneficial or harmful effects it has on the consumer.

Citations:

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34225517
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/bananas#plant-compounds
https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/can-bananas-kill-you/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.