Making sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet will go a long way in supporting your mental health. But did you know that there are some foods that can boost your mood and help you feel happier?
The food that ranks number one as nature’s best ‘happy snack’ is the banana - and for a good reason!
One of the most compelling components of bananas is their serotonin content, yet interestingly enough, its the amino acid, tryptophan, that they contain that is responsible for the serotonin boost your brain receives after snacking on a banana.
Your body converts tryptophan into serotonin, but to do this, it needs two other key components; B6 and carbohydrates. Fortunately bananas contain both of these in abundance! Which is why together, these three components, alongside all the other nutritional benefits, make bananas a serotonin-producing superfood!
So, what is serotonin, and why do we need it?
Serotonin is a chemical, or neurotransmitter, produced in the brain that plays an important role in regulating sleep and generating feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Since the discovery that tryptophan has the ability to raise serotonin levels, it has been used in the treatments of numerous mood-based conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Need more reasons to reach for a banana for your snack?
Bananas are incredibly rich in potassium and are also a great source of calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, niacin, folate, riboflavin, and as mentioned before, B6! All of these nutrients play important roles in maintaining the proper function of your body and keeping you healthy and happy.
It isn’t just its mood-boosting potentials that make bananas a healthy and popular snack choice. They are also rich in numerous essential nutrients, are excellent for satisfying sweet cravings, AND they taste amazing!