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PCOS sufferers cant eat bananas – myth or reality

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

I received a question via Facebook this morning from a lovely lady who had been warned against eating banana’s. 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 pro’s and con’s! Let’s see where this statement comes from, and whether there is 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 fiber and composed of natural sugars which provides 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 amounts of fibre in bananas, and the natural relaxer Magnesium, are a natural remedy to 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 dis-ease. This fabulous fruit can do it all!  It is chock full of vitamins B12 and B6 which are noted agents that help reduce the effects of 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?

Banana’s are natural, and they 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 banana’s and eat them with some protein (like some nuts). 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 banana’s to your food plan regularly, and enjoy them. After all, they are delicious and oh, so good for you!
signature_dr_rebecca_harwin only

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

P.S. Do I see any cons in eating banana’s? 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

2 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.

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