Can You Live on Just Bananas? [HOW LONG}

can you live on just bananas

I think everyone would agree ripe bananas are sweet and delicious, and are a dessert all on their own.

And they’re also pretty cheap compared to other fruits.

However, after watching some strange food videoson YouTube I actually wondered how long you could live on just one type of food, especially bananas.

So after a little more digging around online I’ve found the answer as whether you (or I) could survive on a diet of bananas alone.  Let’s get to it.

So, can you live on just bananas?

Based on the recommendation of certified nutritionists you can be perfectly healthy eating only bananas for a maximum of one week.

Longer than this bring on health issues.

After one week you won’t get all of the nutrients that your body needs, which will first cause you to lose muscle mass, and them eventually you will succumb to organ failure.

That aside ! There are also many health benefits to eating only bananas, whether its part of your regular diet or by doing an intended a cleanse.

So, read on where I will explain the unique health benefits I’ve curated from the specialists on what would happen when eating only bananas for a week or less.

And more information about what nutrients you won’t get by eating only bananas.  BUT remember – I am not a doctor and I am not offering medial advice.

What Happens When You Eat Only Bananas And Drink Water?

A Youtuber by the name of Minus the Gym, did a video where he tracked all of his nutrients and how he felt eating only bananas and drinking water for a whole week, and recorded the results in a really cool video:

Can you expect the same results as Ryan in his video?

Although Ryan from Minus the Gym, didn’t suffer any negative effects from eating only bananas for a week.

I think he was already in excellent health. He has a strong physique, tracks everything he eats, and the macro-nutrients in all of his food.

I’m a bit different though and prefer a bit of a balance – I’m not necessary all about fitness – its more healthspan and longevity and whilst fitness is a part of that – I do like to balance wit the odd treat here and there.  And that means a sprinkling of soda, cookies, ice-cream, and chocolate.

Moderation is key people 

What Happens When You Eat Only Bananas And Drink Water

You might be the same, and eat takeout the weekend – and honestly that’s cool too.

Also, people have different body compositions based on their genetics.

For example, I’m tall-ish, but find it hard to put on extreme weight, no matter what I eat.  Alhough my metabolism is slowing as i age – but any added weight through over indulgence can be quickly corrected and especially when intermittent fasting.

Whereas, another person could eat my exact same diet and put on weight.

So, although, you will survive and won’t suffer any negative health effects if you eat just bananas for a week. You might not feel as good, and may put on weight or lose weight based on your unique body.

What The Top Nutritionists Say About Eating Only One Type Of Food For A Long Time

According to Susan Anderes, who is a nutritionist from the Stanford School of Medicine, if you eat only one type of fruit or vegetable for a long time, your organs will eventually fail.

This is because each type of fruit, vegetable or meat contains a certain percentage of nutrients that the body needs to function.

And she doesn’t recommend it as a diet you could do.

This wisdom is echoed by other top nutritionists based on my research. Although our parents and grandparents didn’t measure the exact amounts, they all lived to be quite old.

And average life expectancy in many places is around 75 years old.

They followed conventional wisdom, which is to eat a mix of foods.

Because each different type of food has different amounts of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.

Which means that if you follow the same balanced diet with enough fruit, greens, meat, potatoes and rice, and even dessert, you will live as long as them.

So, in my opinion you want to follow that diet for the most part.

And only eat just bananas for short periods of time.

Fasting And Eating Only Bananas

Fasting And Eating Only BananasBut, for short periods of time many people detoxify their body by fasting.

You can vary the length of your fast.

I started off fasting by only eating during the morning, and in the evening for a week. And found after a few days I got used to it and didn’t feel hungry.

I then experimented by fasting for 48 hours, because I had an irritable and sore stomach that based on my research thought could be related to intestinal parasites. 

Which are actually very common.

Many people will do an enema to cleanse their digestive system.

Although, it’s not surprising that I hadn’t heard of it. Because it is a ‘ahem’ private topic.

But, when you fast you starve the parasites, and they die. Especially, if you drink a small amount of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Or, eat whole cloves of garlic when you end your fast.

Bad breath anyone ?

Because at that point the parasites are starving for nutrients, and when you hit them with something they hate when they are weak, it kills them.

When you do this they detach from your intestines, and come out of your body “naturally”.

It’s no surprise that many ancient religions such as Islam – during Ramadan observe a fast.

In Hinduism they also have a practice of fasting, where people choose to fast once every 2 weeks or so, according to Alimentarium.org. 

So, fasting and doing a banana cleanse is a good idea, as long as you don’t do it for more than about a week, as your body will become deficient in the nutrients it needs for function.

Therefore, I think you can only live on bananas for a short period of time, before you will suffer adverse health effects, and you will potentially impact your lifespan.

But, if you are doing a cleanse,  then eating only bananas for a very short period is perfectly fine.

A good way to store bananas if you’re going on a banana fast

If you’re doing a banana fast for a week, then you will usually have to buy bananas in bulk.

Which means a lot of trips back and forward to the supermarket unless you want to risk some of your bananas getting overripe.

One way to make sure your bananas stay fresh is to freeze some of them to be used later.

I recently covered how to freeze bananas which you can use to make banana ice-cream, or in a banana only smoothie.

You can find the step by step instructions in this article I wrote here Do Bananas Turn Brown in the Freezer?

How Long Can You Live Only Eating Bananas?

How Long Can You Live Only Eating Bananas

Healthline.com reported that you can live without food and water for a week to two weeks depending on how healthy you are.

Healthier people can live longer, whereas obese people, and those that consume a lot of alcohol and/or processed food will suffer ill effects a lot sooner.

But, you can last much longer if you drink water during this time.

And researchers estimate that you can live for as long as a month on just water alone.

So, if you eat a few bananas a day, or eat only bananas then in my estimation you can survive for 30 to 60 days before you start to experience the effects of starvation.

And your body starts to break down to the point that your body won’t function properly.

Difference Between Eating Overripe (brown) Bananas And Unripe (green) Bananas?

Overripe Brown Bananas versus Unripe Green Bananas

In a recent article I wrote about Is Eating the Brown Part of a Banana Bad? on whether brown bananas are bad for you.

I showed the evidence that bananas that have a black or brown skin and the inside is brown and mushy are still very healthy for you.

Although some people find them too sweet.

In many countries around the world green bananas are boiled and are eaten in a meal instead of potatoes.

And in some countries in Africa they slice green bananas very thinly and fry them with sugar, until they are crispy and crunchy.

They are also very healthy for you, according to Healthline and can be eaten in place of yellow bananas we all know and love.

Conclusion

You can live on just bananas for about a week before, your body will start to break down, and you will start to lose muscle mass.

But, eating only bananas as part of a fast or a cleanse is healthy and can clean out your digestive system.

You shouldn’t eat only bananas though for an extended period of time, because they don’t contain all the nutrients the body needs to function properly.

The ideal diet should include a variety different foods to improve health span and longevity.

BUT again I am, NOT a doctor so please make sure you do take proper medical advice.

I’ve given some great resources including Healthline.  Enjoy!

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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