Do bananas cause diarrhea?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “do bananas cause diarrhea?”, the major causes of diarrhea, food to treat it, and other queries related to this topic.

Do bananas cause diarrhea? 

Bananas can cause either diarrhea or constipation depending on the person eating them and if the banana is ripe or not. Generally, ripe bananas contain insoluble fiber that helps in relieving constipation whereas unripe bananas lead to constipation and worsen the situation for some health conditions.

However, bananas are a major component of the BRAT diet. BRAT means bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. All this food helps with gastrointestinal distress.

How do you prevent gastrointestinal symptoms from bananas?

Consider limiting your portion size to half a banana per day in case you feel bloated after eating one whole banana.

However, if you have fructose intolerance you need to remove high fructose foods temporarily from your diet. Slowly add the food that contains fructose back into your diet once you begin to feel better.

How to treat diarrhea?

Diarrhea leads to dehydration. In case of diarrhea, your body loses water through watery stools, however, drinking plenty of water prevents dehydration.

The amount of water a person needs through a normal day varies based on sex, age, and activity level but generally, drinking at least 8 cups of water per day is recommended.

If you have diarrhea, there are specific diets to follow to avoid symptoms exacerbation. Here are some:

  • BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
  • A Bland diet includes soft and low fiber foods such as low-fat dairy, white rice, pasta, and lean protein.
  • Low fiber diet consists of white bread, pasta, rice, eggs, lean meat, and boiled vegetables.

Bananas are a good food in case of diarrhea. Bananas are rich in potassium which helps in absorbing water and electrolytes that you might lose through watery stool.

Herbal teas, free of caffeine like ginger and peppermint are recommended to relieve abdominal cramps and calm your bowel.

However, taking probiotics or food rich in probiotics like kefir, yogurt, and kefir are for your gut microbiota and might help treat diarrhea.

Why do some foods cause diarrhea?

Some food can cause diarrhea for people and it might have no effect on others, but here is a list of food that causes diarrhea for some people:

  • Spicy food: Spicy foods are one of the most common causes of diarrhea. Chili peppers contain capsaicin. This compound can irritate the stomach lining during digestion leading to some symptoms like nausea vomiting, abdominal pain, and burning diarrhea.
  • Sugar substitutes: can be artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose or sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. These sugars have a laxative effect leading to diarrhea and flatulence. The sugar substitutes are found in diet coke, sugar-free desserts, and gums.
  • Milk and other dairy products: people who experience diarrhea after drinking milk may have lactose intolerance, which means that their body can not digest lactose, a sugar present in the milk due to the absence of a specific enzyme, the lactase. You can find milk substitutes like lactose-free milk or plant-based milk such as oat or almond milk.
  • Coffee: caffeine in it stimulates your central nervous system and your digestive tract. Many people have a bowel movement very soon after a cup of coffee. However, people add milk, sugar substitutes, or creamers to their coffee which increases its laxative effect. Some people may have diarrhea after drinking decaffeinated coffee.
  • Fructose: a sugar found naturally in fruit. Excess fructose can have a laxative effect.
  • Garlic and onions the digestion of garlic and onions is difficult because they contain fructans, a type of carbohydrate that is difficult to digest by the body and can release gasses and irritate your bowels.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower: are cruciferous vegetables and high in fiber. Eating a large quantity can lead to abdominal cramps, discomfort, gas production, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Fast food: like fried fries, fried chicken or nuggets can cause diarrhea.
  • Alcohol: it irritates the lining of your digestive tract leading to diarrhea the next day.

What is the relation between bananas and IBS?

Bananas are a common trigger food for people with IBS. When bananas are digested, they can cause excess gas. However, overripe bananas are high in fructose and are considered high FODMAP foods. People suffering from IBS should avoid high FODMAP food.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder with signs and symptoms that may include: bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does banana cause diarrhea?”, the major causes of diarrhea, food to treat it, and other queries related to this topic.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.