British-born, Bali-based nutrition coach Yulia Tarbath attempted to subsist on an unorthodox diet consisting entirely of bananas as a 12-day detox diet that she credits with transforming her body and mind.
While writing and vlogging about the “Banana Island” diet, which involves eating only bananas for a given period of time, Tarbath claimed that her digestion, energy levels, and skin smoothness all dramatically improved.
In addition to these physical changes, Tarbath claimed in a YouTube video that the results were due to her body detoxifying, and that she experienced “tremendous mental clarity and focus,” enabling her to achieve all of her daily tasks.
What was more, Tarbath said that she continued her normal fitness routine, including long runs and cycling trips. “I actually achieved my personal best,” she shared.
Since the Banana Island diet went viral in 2015, Tarbath and her husband, Paul, who also participated in the challenge with her, have continued promoting raw, plant-based diets and detoxes as a solution to the many negative impacts that modern, processed foods have on the system.
The idea behind the mono-fruit diet is the amazing nutritional density of bananas, which are cheap, available year-round, and in every country. On her website Rawsomehealthy, Tarbath writes that in addition to being “great for natural weight loss, bananas are rich in B vitamins and magnesium and they contain zero cholesterol.” She adds, “When ripe they are also packed full of simple sugars and a great way to give your body an energy boost.”
According to Tarbath, the banana cleanse works first by improving your digestion due to them being high in fiber, which helps regulate the speed of digestion and allows for regular bowel movements. She cites a study from the journal Aaenerobe, which analyzed the effects of a banana-rich diet on women’s gut health. The authors found that “[a]nalysis of the gastrointestinal symptoms records revealed significantly lower bloating levels in the banana group, compared to controls.”
While Tarbath recommends adding some supplementary ingredients, like greens or coconut juice, for dieters who wish to have additional nutritional input, she insists that the vast majority of nutrition should come from “the world’s most popular fruit,” per National Geographic.
Tarbath prescribes using the “Banana Island” detox diet only once or twice a year to purge any toxins that have accumulated over time. This isn’t the only diet she prescribes, however. In terms of an everyday diet, Tarbath discovered nearly 10 years ago the power of plant-based foods at a time when she “had extra pounds, crippling adrenal fatigue, hormone and fertility issues, Candida and digestive problems,” as explained in a Facebook post.
According to Tarbath, after eight “raw, mostly plant-powered years,” she looks and feels completely different. She even maintained her plant-based diet during her pregnancy, claiming in an interview with The Daily Mail that it allowed her to get back to her original weight of 112 pounds (approx. 51 kg) just two weeks after giving birth.
Tarbath explained, “As the pregnancy developed I continued to work out twice a day and eat a vegan diet. Even five months into the pregnancy you couldn’t tell.” A 2019 study in the journal Nutrients supports Tarbath’s claims noting that “updated evidence highlights that well-balanced vegetarian and vegan diets should be considered safe for the mother’s health and for offspring during pregnancy and lactation.”
These days, Tarbath is still eating a lot of bananas as part of her raw, plant-based diet and promoting the amazing gains she has made thanks to them and all the other fruits and vegetables she consumes.
From time to time, she returns to “Banana Island” to reset her system and recommends it for anyone else who needs some detox.