Experts recommend a banana before bed for better sleep

Bananas on a shelf in a supermarket
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Bananas, packed with a variety of essential nutrients, can enhance overall health and boost energy levels. Some studies even suggest that eating a banana before bed can improve sleep quality.

Bananas are among the most popular fruits globally. In the UK alone, over five billion bananas are purchased every year, accounting for approximately 7% of the global export market.

One study has delved into how bananas can affect sleep. The researchers discovered that adults with sleep issues who consumed bananas daily for two weeks experienced fewer sleep disturbances than those who didn't eat bananas.

Bananas contain specific nutrients known to promote better sleep. For example, tryptophan and vitamin B6 in bananas play a vital role in producing serotonin and melatonin, both crucial for a good night's sleep.

Serotonin is a body chemical that helps regulate sleep. It also precedes melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycles, reports Wales Online.

As evening falls, melatonin levels rise, inducing sleepiness. Moreover, bananas are renowned for their high potassium and magnesium content, which research suggests can enhance sleep quality.

The extra beneficial powers of bananas

Numerous studies have investigated the connection between high-fibre diets (from whole fruits and other sources) and long-term weight management. A review found that most research on fibre and weight management indicates that high-fibre diets almost always assist individuals in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight over time.

Consuming high-fibre diets can aid in reducing blood sugar levels. A medium banana provides 13% of your total dietary fibre and also offers an energy boost from its natural sugars simultaneously.

Diabetes UK asserts that even a large banana containing around 30g of carbohydrates is more beneficial for diabetics than a slice of cake with 25g carbohydrates. This is partly because bananas do not contain free sugar.

Bananas are among the most favoured pre-workout snacks. The yellow fruit provides easily digestible carbs and minerals that help alleviate muscle cramps and soreness post-exercise.

Studies have demonstrated that they are as effective, if not more so, than some sports drinks for workout energy.

Standard bananas are a relatively low-calorie option while being a nutritional powerhouse. They are packed with a high amount of fibre which can be beneficial for heart and gut health.

Some studies even suggest that individuals who follow a high-fibre diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those consuming little fibre. Consuming a banana daily could provide you with additional energy from the carbohydrates and vitamins that support your body's natural metabolism.

Replacing a regular sugary snack with a banana every day could also help you feel more satisfied. This could potentially improve your relationship with healthy eating, as bananas often feel like a 'treat'

Ideas to get more bananas into your diet

You don't have to simply munch on a raw banana to enjoy its benefits. After a while, this can become quite bland and monotonous, so it's advisable to mix things up occasionally and incorporate the fruit into your diet in new and enjoyable ways.

Blending it into a smoothie with other potent fruits, vegetables and extras works just as well. Bananas also make an excellent topping for pancakes or porridge.