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Banana Common Cold

Is it true that, if you eat banana in the night you can have cold?
(December 20, 2010)

Does banana cause cold?

Bananas are both nutritious and flavorful and what’s even better is that they come prepackaged! When you’re sitting at your desk mulling over your work, peel a banana, enjoy the fruit, and toss the peel – you don’t even need to get up to wash your hands when you’re done with your snack! So we know that bananas have many health benefits but could they have any negative effects… are there any “banana side effects”? A common old wives’ tale is that eating bananas at night causes a cold, so let’s see if there is any merit to this claim.

A cold is a contagious viral infection, so obviously eating bananas cannot cause a cold. You might start wonder at this point whether bananas can increase the risk of getting a cold.

Well, bananas do increase mucus and phlegm buildup and this may cause additional respiratory distress. A 2010 study conducted by American scientists revealed that eating a slightly unripe Cavendish banana can actually reduce your chances of catching a common cold. A certain enzyme present in these bananas inhibits the cold-causing bacteria.

Does banana cause common cold in infants, kids and toddlers?

Bananas are nutritious and easy to digest and in fact they are among the first foods that we give our babies. There are many myths and half-truths surrounding bananas for kids or toddlers and it is important to understand the basis for these myths. One of the most common old wives’ tales is that bananas cause common cold in infants. We know that a virus causes the common cold so obviously it is not caused by eating bananas; so how did this myth originate. Bananas increase mucus and phlegm production so if a child with a common cold has a banana for breakfast, it can increase fluid buildup within his/her respiratory system. In order to minimize the stress on your child’s immature system, it would be best if he/she avoided bananas until the symptoms have subsided. You can read more on diet for cold in infants.

Bananas are rich in potassium, fiber and several other vitamins and minerals. Researchers at the University of California suggested that a regular consumption of fruits like bananas during the first two years can reduce the child’s risk of leukemia. Toddlers lose energy faster than adults as they are constantly running around curiously exploring their surroundings. Feeding fiber rich foods like bananas for toddlers is therefore important. Bananas are a quick source of carbohydrate that digest quickly and provide instant energy.

Are bananas good or bad for asthma patients?

In people suffering from asthma, the airways of the lungs are swollen, narrow and filled with mucous. Certain kinds of foods and environmental bacteria can easily irritate the sensitive airways and trigger an asthmatic attack. Asthma patients, however, can eat bananas safely at breakfast, after meals or as a snack. Bananas contain Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) which is known to relax bronchial smooth muscle tissue. Foods that contain vitamin B6 therefore, must be an intrinsic part of the anti-asthma diet along with foods high in magnesium, carotenoids, vitamin C and E. Banana for asthma is in fact a good option.

Studies have indicated that eating fresh fruits can actually improve lung function and thereby reduce wheezing in asthma. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study on the effect of bananas on asthmatic teenagers, and observed that anti-oxidant properties in bananas aid lung function in children and adolescents. Yet another population survey conducted by the Imperial College of London of children between 5 – 10 years suggested that bananas protect against breathing problems in children.

However, there are various sources that also suggest that banana creates phlegm and mucous. It is therefore advisable to consult the doctor about banana consumption for asthma patients.

Can I get allergic to banana?

Allergies generally set in when we are quite young and they can be very persistent. It is not likely that you will suddenly develop an allergy to bananas. Of course, it is also possible that you are allergic to bananas but that you do not realize it yet. Allergies can have a genetic link, so if any member of your family has suffered from a banana allergy, it would be wise to exert a little caution.

Banana allergies are of two types: allergy to the pollen and latex-fruit syndrome. Banana allergies symptoms depend on the type of allergy that you are suffering from.

  • Pollen ((Birch) Allergy Symptoms: These include minimal symptoms such as reactions on the insides of the mouth coupled with inflammation and itching.
  • Banana-latex allergy: The allergens in bananas are similar to that found in natural latex and therefore those with a banana allergy would be allergic to natural rubber and other latex products and vice- versa. Some of these symptoms include; vomiting, pain in the abdomen, hives (urticaria), inflammation, and other symptoms that can even be life-threatening. Make sure that you visit an allergy expert for a definite diagnosis and treatment.

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Submitted by A V on December 20, 2010 at 11:25


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