Can Bananas Put You In A Better Mood?

True or false: Bananas actually are berries. If you guessed true, you're right. According to Healthline, bananas as well as tomatoes, grapes, kiwis, avocados, peppers, eggplants, and guavas are all botanical berries — meaning they have a fleshy middle, contain at least one seed, and come from flowers with one ovary.

Now that you know how bananas are classified, did you also know all the health benefits of this amazing fruit? Once you do, you just might be convinced to eat one every day. For one, bananas are a great source of fiber, which helps maintain proper digestion and cuts bad cholesterol (per Web MD). Not only that, but they are loaded with antioxidants, electrolytes, and amino acids that can help manage your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease (via Livestrong).

According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the nutritious banana may carry the title of the first "superfood," endorsed by the American Medical Association as a health food for children. A study by the European Respiratory Journal showed that the antioxidants and potassium from bananas help to protect asthmatic children from wheezing. Another study on children by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that vitamin C in bananas can help reduce the possibility of developing leukemia.

Eat bananas to put a smile on your face

Guess what? It might not only be the sweet taste of a banana that puts a smile on your face. It turns out that bananas are a rich source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps with the production of serotonin, which is linked to mood regulation and cognitive function (per Brain Blogger). Since tryptophan can't be produced by our body, it has to come through food products like amino-acid-rich bananas. So the more bananas you eat, the better you might feel — in body, mind, and mood.

2015 study looking at mood changes in 25 healthy adults after consuming either a high tryptophan diet or a low tryptophan diet found that participants with more tryptophan present in their diet had less depression, irritability, and anxiety, and overall better mood states (via Archives of Psychiatric Nursing). 

Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry confirms that bananas contain up to 10mg of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that WebMD says helps us experience pleasure. Besides bad mood, issues such as sleep disorders, attention difficulties, and reduced sex drive are all linked to a deficiency in dopamine (pre Very Well Mind). 

So there you have it. The serotonin and dopamine boost bananas provide make it worth your while to include at least one banana a day in your diet.