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Banana is a very affordable fruit packed with energy and vital nutrients. Its sweet taste is favored by many people.
While there are few reported mild side effects to eating this fruit, some people claim it increases the risk of respiratory disorders including asthma.
Is This Claim True?
Not at all! Bananas do not cause nor increase the risk of asthma.
Where Does This Claim Come From?
According to traditional medicinal concepts including Ayurveda, foods are either hot or cold in nature. Banana is considered a cold fruit, and eating it may aggravate cold and cough in people who are prone to getting colds or have allergies. (1)
Though this claim is not backed by science, many people believe it and avoid consuming bananas at the risk of developing a cough, chest congestion, and symptoms of respiratory disorders.
Banana and Asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition that can affect a person’s day-to-day activities. Asthma often develops in childhood and can last for a lifetime.
Studies have found diet to play a role in asthma and its symptoms (such as wheezing). Fruits and vegetables, including bananas, have been found to have a positive impact on asthma control. (2)
In a population-based study that included children, eating at least 1 banana each day helped control wheezing by at least 34%, which often occurs due to an accumulation of phlegm in the lungs. (3)
This positive effect is attributed to the rich potassium content of bananas. One medium banana has 422 mg of potassium, (4) and since studies have identified people with asthma to have low potassium levels, its supplementation is thought to improve asthma symptoms. (5)
Why Do I Sneeze and Cough After Eating a Banana?
Some people may be allergic to bananas. This allergy may manifest as sneezing and coughing. In such a case, you may avoid eating the fruit.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is said to improve the symptoms of asthma. Banana is one such fruit that has been found to reduce wheezing in children. Therefore, eating a banana will not lead to asthma.