Is Eating a Banana After Dinner Beneficial? Here's What Science Says

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.13 - 2024 9:52 PM CET

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube
Is Eating a Banana After Dinner Beneficial?

Trending Now

Bananas are among the most consumed fruits worldwide, loved for their taste, convenience, and year-round availability. However, their nutritional properties stand out as the main reason they are a staple in many kitchens, particularly among athletes. The question arises: Why is the banana a star food in athletes' diets?

The Athlete's Choice

Bananas are favored for breakfast or as a post-workout snack. The key lies in their potassium content, a mineral crucial for recovery after exercise. Potassium benefits muscles under strain, regulates water levels lost through sweat, controls blood pressure, and aids in protein production.

Benefits of Eating a Banana Before Sleep

Beyond their physical recovery benefits, bananas are a source of carbohydrates and provide vitamin C and B6. Besides potassium, they contain essential minerals like iron and magnesium. A significant benefit not to be overlooked is their impact on sleep. Consuming a banana after dinner can positively affect sleep due to its content of tryptophan, an essential amino acid used medicinally to induce sleep in individuals facing sleep disorders, as per research from the University of Extremadura. Tryptophan decreases sleep latency, acting as a hypnotic agent discovered in the 1970s.

Tryptophan's Role in Sleep

Tryptophan's capability to improve sleep quality has been proven in various studies. Research led by Wyatt R.J. in the 70s concluded that L-tryptophan administered before bedtime increases sleep, especially non-REM sleep, in both healthy individuals and insomnia patients. Found also in milk, which is recommended before sleep to aid in slumber, tryptophan in bananas aids in melatonin production, the hormone essential for sleep. Melatonin's release during nighttime helps relax the body, but its production decreases with age. It also plays a crucial role in producing serotonin, which modulates mood and regulates sleep and digestion.

Although bananas are not the only food rich in tryptophan, nor do they contain the highest amount. Foods like turkey, chicken, tuna, salmon, eggs, whole rice, oats, and dark chocolate provide a greater quantity of this amino acid linked to restorative sleep.

In conclusion, incorporating a banana into your post-dinner routine can offer nutritional benefits and potentially improve your sleep quality, making it more than just a convenient snack but a strategic addition to your dietary habits.

Most Read