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PCOS sufferers cant eat bananas – myth or reality

Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are often told not to eat bananas. But is this sound advice?

I received a question via Facebook this morning from a lovely lady who had been warned against eating bananas. After all, “they’re full of sugar” (well, that’s what many women with PCOS are told). This is an important issue, so I thought it would be the perfect topic for today’s blog post.

Let’s delve into the pros and cons! Let’s see where this statement comes from, and whether there are any real and valid concerns about those banana eating women out there (like myself!)

Bananas are perhaps the most well-liked fun fruit in the world.  They are oddly shaped, brightly coloured, and remarkably tasty! They are high in fibre and composed of natural sugars which provide important energy for life. But, what else?

Blood Pressure Regulator

It is not uncommon for women with PCOS to have high blood pressure. Bananas are great for this. They contain low amounts of sodium, or salt, and are also high in potassium and magnesium.

Great for Digestion

The high fibre content of bananas and the natural mineral relaxer, magnesium, are a natural remedy to ease and prevent constipation. Better digestive function is also important for weight loss, hormonal balance (especially oestrogen), insulin sensitivity, and optimal digestion and absorption of the nutrients in our foods and drinks.

Note – If you suffer from constipation, there are two things you should know. Women with PCOS have been found to have lower blood levels of magnesium. This is important to address, through foods such as bananas. Poor thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is also more common in PCOS and can cause constipation. To find out more about hypothyroidism, click here now.

Quit Smoking with Bananas

If you have PCOS, stop smoking! You already have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.

And…

This fabulous fruit can do it all!  It is chock full of vitamins B12 and B6 which are noted agents that help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.  Smokers who are trying to quit may be told by their healthcare providers to eat lots of bananas!


Other Important Benefits Of The Magnesium Found In Bananas

This critical nutrient is also important for helping other common PCOS signs and symptoms. Think depression and muscle cramps and pain.

What Other Great Benefits Does The Humble Banana Offer For Women With PCOS?

Bananas are natural and come ‘pre-packed’ in a much safer wrapping than many other snacks. They are quick and easy to take with you.

They are importantly low glycaemic load. The sugar contained within them does not wreck havoc on your blood sugar levels. If you are still concerned about the sugar, choose less ripe bananas and eat them with some protein (like some nuts) as protein helps to moderate blood sugar fluctuations.

They are yummy, versatile and even feel a little naughty. We all need that occasionally 🙂

Oh, and just so you know, I lost 10kg in 10weeks while eating a banana a day.

Add bananas to your food plan and enjoy them regularly. After all, they are delicious and oh, so good for you!

(I think bananas are one of the best fruits for PCOS… but I may be a little biased)

Dr. Rebecca Harwin
The PCOS Expert
Nutritionist, Author, Chiropractor

P.S. Do I see any cons in eating bananas? Absolutely not. Like any foods, don’t gorge yourself as food has calories and calories add up. Are they great for you? Absolutely, so enjoy x

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7 Responses to PCOS sufferers cant eat bananas – myth or reality

  1. Ally D June 30, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Hi! great post, Dr Harwin! I’m a 26 year old female, who has been suffering from PCOS for the past 12 years. Been to some 6 nutritionists and 3 different gynaecologists over the span of this period. Each one of them has banned fruits such as banana and mangoes for life. They say that women who have PCOS need fruits with less sugar such as apples and berries. I really love both mangoes and bananas, as mangoes are part of my tropical Indian heritage and kind of like home food for us. But wonder if I should sacrifice them to reduce my PCOS symptoms. Would love to know your thoughts.

    • Dr Rebecca Harwin September 13, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Ally,

      Do a search on the homepage of this website for apples and bananas. There are articles on these. I don’t believe in eliminating fruit. Yes, we may need to be careful, but one banana has important nutrients like magnesium and potassium, plus fibre. Add some cinnamon to it, and you’ll help to moderate the blood sugar response. Also, you can eat it with some protein, say some nuts, and you’ll also blunt the blood sugar response.

      I hope this helps,

      Dr Rebecca Harwin.

  2. Tania November 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    Hello Dr. Harwin,

    My daughter can have 7 bananas a day either in smoothie or by itself. She also eats a lot of dates with nuts on the same day. She has PCOS. I am concerned about the amounts of even good sugar in her diet as her face is covered in acne. Not any acne but it looks like pizza face. Can you please let me know if there should be any limitation on the sugar in fruits on daily basis?

    She is vegan and doesn’t believe in restricting the portions of any foods as long as they are vegan.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Nuzhat September 9, 2017 at 5:07 am #

    Hi Rebecca,

    I came across this article while searching for PCOS and banana combination. I read a similar post of lately by some other, but well know nutritionist where she promotes eating Banana. I incorporated banana in my diet on daily basis for two week now. But yesterday i was surprised to see my blood sugar 125 on fasting and 215 post meal. I was never this high before, this made me think is this the banana effect? I am a PCOS sufferer with insulin resistance. I am not on any medication. However i am taking inositol 4g a day

    • Dr Rebecca Harwin October 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

      Hi there,

      On occasion, someone can be very reactive. What is your gut like?

      Try again. And small-medium, not super ripe. Also, if you add protein (say a handful of nuts) is will help moderate and blunt the blood sugar response.

      What else did you eat with that meal?

  4. Chetana December 5, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    Hi Rebecca,

    I have PCOS, HYPOTHYROIDISM, VATA TYPE BODY and back ache.i usually have white bleeding problem also.
    Please recommend me some solutions, should I eat banana or not, and what else can I eat , keep all above problem in mind.

    Cheers,
    C

    • Dr Rebecca Harwin May 26, 2018 at 2:37 am #

      Hi Chetana,

      I am about to release a free DVD that will really help. Plus there are many resources on this site that will answer your questions re: PCOS and hypothyroidism.

      re: banana’s. I eat them regularly and feel they are a wonderful food to include for women with PCOS. They contain magnesium which women with PCOS have been commonly shown to be low in. This mineral also can help with pain.

      I am not an expert in Ayurvedic medicine, so I can’t give you my opinion on that.

      Warm regards.

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