Bananas and L-Tryptophan
The soothing effects of bananas may be explained by the presence of L-tryptophan in the fruit, an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin. Tryptophan has been amply studied and its benefits for health are popularly known. A recent study showed that a diet rich in tryptophan, combined with an adequate supply of vitamin B6, favored serotonin production and reduced depression symptoms.
Bananas are high in L-tryptophan but also high in calories
Bananas are surprisingly high in L-tryptophan, rich in magnesium and potassium, Although potassium isn’t directly related to mood it’s needed to regulate fluid levels and keep muscles working properly which is important for feeling energized a key factor for a sunny outlook. Bananas are great for mental health, when you eat a banana you’ll notice a rapid boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and the ensuing decline in energy and mood. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of L-tryptophan in the brain and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into serotonin.
Bananas are also high in calories compared to other fruit at around 89 Calories Per 100 grams. <fn>https://fdc.nal.usda.gov</fn>
Nutrition facts for 100 grams of bananas
- Calories: 89
- Water: 75%
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Carbs: 22.8 grams
- Sugar: 12.2 grams
- Fiber: 2.6 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
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