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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Yep-- the world's perfect food (Re: Are bananas healthy?)
Date: 29 Mar 1999 11:30:53 GMT

In <> Alex
Brands <> writes:

>On Sun, 28 Mar 1999 wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Can anyone please help me with the following? I would like to know
>> whether bananas are healthy. I was told that they cause constipation
>> (blush). Is it true?
>To the contrary, some of my friends avoid eating one banana in a day,
>because any more have the opposite effect!


   Bananas, like most fiber, tend to help both diarrhea and
constipation.  I've used them with some success in patients who have
irritable bowel syndrome, who alternate between one GI problem, and the
other.   A lot of people cannot take fiber supplements every day for
more than a few weeks, but I've known people to eat several bananas a
day for decades with no problem.  It's in our genes.  It takes
generally at least two bananas a day (or one with every large meal) to
have the optimal GI effect (a slippery, soft stool with no mess).  What
you spend on bananas you'll save on toilet paper, I tell patients.
They laugh, and when they come back, they're not laughing.  And bananas
may well prevent your next stroke, too, due to their high potassium
content, low fat content, and cholesterol lowering fiber.  They are low
in calories and complement most good diets.  And, as noted,  most
people like bananas and can eat them indefinitely, we humans being
decended from climbing primates and all (bananas are the number one
selling fruit and vegetable produce-- I happen to think this not a
coincidence.  You want to see how non-monkeys view bananas?  Try
offering some banana to your cat. You'll find cats who'll eat carbs and
even cooked veggies, but you'll never find one that will eat a bite of

   So, to sum up, there's something in bananas for people fixated in
every Freudian life phase-- oral, anal, intellectual/mature (I left one
out, but this is a family forum).  And bananas will lengthen your life
and save you those hernias and arrhythmias from straining in the
bathroom, too.  Had Elvis Prestley the constipated narcotics addict
been a banana fiend instead of a peanut butter sandwich type, he'd
probably be alive today. (I'm at least half serious about that).  All
that money, and his lifestyle caused him to have one foot in the grave
and the other on a banana peel anyway, metaphorically.  What an irony.
Had he told me what he was eating and taking, as his doc I'd have told
him to eat bananas at every meal, but if he didn't, not to bother to
buy any green ones.

                               Steve Harris, M.D.

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