Does eating banana improve your mood?

banana & mood

Banana contains compounds that promote the synthesis of serotonin which is known as the “mood hormone”. Serotonin regulates mood, and keeps us happy and calm. On the contrary, too little serotonin may lead to depression!

Serotonin improves your mood

Serotonin is the key hormone that regulates our mood, happiness, and anxiety. Moreover, serotonin helps us feel more focused, happier, and calmer.

Most noteworthy, low levels of serotonin may lead to depression.[1]

Moreover, vitamin D is also important for good mood and for fighting depression.

Additionally, serotonin regulates appetite, body temperature, sexual behavior, and sleep! So, serotonin can help us lose weight faster. 

Banana increases serotonin levels

Consuming bananas regularly helps us to have a good mood, as it contains many necessary compounds for the synthesis of serotonin.

Above all, banana is an excellent source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is key for the synthesis of serotonin. But, consuming foods rich in tryptophan isn’t enough.

Tryptophan competes with other amino acids to reach the brain cells. Therefore, we should consume foods with a high tryptophan percentage. Bananas, turkey, whole milk, chocolate, peanuts, oats, and wheat bread are particularly high in tryptophan.[2] So, these foods could improve your mood.

But, you shouldn’t worry about your tryptophan intake. Most people consume more than enough.

Most noteworthy, we should take adequate amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron.[3,4] Banana helps the body to synthesize serotonin, as it’s a great source of both vitamin B6 and folic acid.

Above all, you may need to take vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 deficiency is pretty common, actually.

See the whole list of foods that promote serotonin synthesis here.

What’s the best time to eat a banana?

Regular consumption of a banana might improve your mood, as it promotes the synthesis of serotonin. It’s a good source of tryptophan, vitamin B6, and folic acid.

But, the serotonin synthesis demands high amounts of carbs, as well. The body can synthesize high amounts of serotonin after a meal high in carbs.

Eating carbs releases insulin which transfers amino acids away from the cells of the brain. But, insulin doesn’t affect tryptophan. So, more tryptophan is available to the brain cells, producing more serotonin.

Practically, we should eat a banana, along with other starchy foods at breakfast or after an intense workout, in order, to boost serotonin synthesis.

Bananas are mainly carbs. For instance, a medium banana contains about 14g of sugars and 6g of starch. So, an oatmeal, with a banana and marmalade for breakfast could increase the synthesis of serotonin, improving our mood! Moreover, oatmeal is packted with nutrients which burn fat and provide energy. It’s an excellent food choice for breakfast.