Bananas: the most consumed fruit in America.
This fruit’s low fat, high potassium content, and yearlong availability are all reasons that contribute to it being America’s number one choice. The on-the-go snack is enjoyed by people of all ages and can be prepared in many delicious ways. Over oatmeal or ice cream, bananas give our snacks a nutritious splash of tropical fruit. Its sunshine-yellow color might not be the only reason we feel a little energy kick after enjoying the fruit. Bananas might be a healthy alternative to improving our moods.
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What we feed our bodies is important. Some foods can slow us down and make us feel tired and sluggish. Fortunately, there are other foods that naturally give our body an extra boost that we just might need to make it through the last few hours of work. The website Nourishing the Soul, a forum on body image, explains that the connection between the foods we are eating and our mood “comes down to neurotransmitters,” which are chemicals in our brain that are responsible for our frame of mind. Nourishing the Soul explains further by stating that “when our level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked closely with depression drops, we are prone to lowered moods and increased anxiety”; therefore, in order to keep our moods high, we have to keep our neurotransmitters in check. The food we eat affects our minds more than we realize, which is why it is important to keep a well-balanced diet.
Bananas contain many essential nutrients for our bodies. According to the MSN website, “Bananas offer serious mood-lifting power” because they contain “vitamins B6, A, and C, fiber, tryptophan, potassium, phosphorous, iron, protein, and healthy carbohydrates.” The combinations of these nutrients give our body a boost physically and, perhaps, mentally. MSN explains that bananas give us “a quick boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber, which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and ensuing drop in energy and mood,” but that is not all bananas do for us.
The website Nourishing the Soul points out that bananas “produce dopamine quinine, which is a form of dopamine that occurs naturally in the environment,” which, when consumed, will improve our moods. It is also recommended, for those “people whose dopamine levels regularly drop in the evening,” to eat a banana at night in order to give them a boost. Furthermore, bananas’ high potassium level can contribute to keeping our “fluid levels and keep[ing] muscles working properly, which is important for feeling energized,” MSN points out. In other words, it’s benefits should definitely also be put into effect directly after exercise!
Verdict: Truth. A banana a day might be the mood boost we have been looking for. Interestingly, Nourishing the Soul points out that the areas on bananas that contain the most dopamine quinine are “those unsightly brown spots,” so don’t cut them off next time! Pick up a bunch of bananas at the store and eat one for a snack or bake them into banana bread. Either way, you are sure to reap the benefits of this mood-enhancing snack!
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