Can bananas cause heart palpitations?

Fact Checked

The occurrence of heart palpitations has various causes including stress, nutritional deficiencies, high blood pressure, heart disease and allergic reactions. Bananas are the ideal sources of potassium which is a major electrolyte in the body required for optimal heart contraction and rhythm.

An allergy to bananas is considered uncommon but capable of triggering symptoms that includes heart palpitations. A doctor should be consulted if the individual senses that the heartbeat is erratic.

Close look on heart palpitations

The heart palpitations are sensations as if the heart is racing, pounding, fluttering or skipping beats. The individual can also feel sensations in the neck, chest or throat. The normal resting heart rate tends to vary between 60-100 beats per minute, thus an individual can experience the sensation of heart palpitations if the heart rate is higher than 100.

The occasional palpitations are not usually serious and might be a short-term reaction to caffeine, stress or even cold water. The heart palpitations along with an erratic heart rhythm, chest pain, hypertension or pain in the left arm might indicate heart diseases.

Link with potassium

Potassium is a vital mineral obtained from dietary sources. It is the main electrolyte present in the body that conducts electricity once dissolved in the body fluids. The electrical conduction is essential for the communication between the brain and several muscles via the nerves.

Heart palpitations
The heart palpitations are sensations as if the heart is racing, pounding, fluttering or skipping beats.

The heart is comprised of smooth muscle and depends on potassium and other minerals for optimum contraction and function. If the level of potassium is low or hypokalemia, it can result to heart palpitations and erratic heart rhythm. Sodium and potassium work hand in hand in the body to form electrical gradients between the outside and interior of cells.

Essential nutrients in bananas

Bananas are good sources of potassium along with high levels of vitamin C, B6 and manganese. An average-sized banana can provide approximately 420 mg of potassium but it contains a high amount of vitamin B6 which is higher than the daily requirement. Other foods that are considered as better sources of potassium include a handful of raisins, baked potato with skin or a spinach salad.

Allergic reactions

Bananas contain an enzyme known as chitinase which is mainly protein that is capable of triggering an allergic reaction among sensitive individuals. The allergic reactions usually involve a swollen mouth or throat, difficulty breathing, hives, but heart palpitations can also occur.

Always bear in mind that bananas also include vaso-active amines specifically serotonin that can instigate inflammation in a similar manner as histamine. Overreaction to the vaso-active amines usually involves flushed skin, heart palpitations and headaches.

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