Why you should eat a banana before you go to bed, especially if you’re having a hard time sleeping
Your body needs minerals like potassium to function well. Specifically, this nutrient participates in important activities such as the transmission of nerve impulses or muscle contraction. Specifically, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends ingesting at least 3,510 mg of potassium per day.
When you think of potassium, what foods come to mind? Surely legumes, mango, kiwi, green melon, pistachios, almonds, chard, kale… and, yes, the great king of potassium: the banana.
If you are one of those who eat a banana in the morning to start the day with strength, you may be interested in transferring this habit to the night. Especially if you’re having trouble sleeping.
According to the Live Strong portal, the cells in your body responsible for creating electronic connections throughout the cell membrane need potassium. With this mineral, they can transmit commands that help the heart and muscles function properly. The relaxation of these 2 important elements of your body is key to a good rest.
Specifically, potassium helps cells induce the muscle relaxation necessary for you to sleep soundly and enter the most advanced sleep phases, those in which your body takes advantage to restore and renew itself.
“If potassium channels have problems or don’t even exist, the slow brain waves that help form deep sleep are not produced,” Explains Live Strong.
The banana as an ally for good rest
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Not only do you have another good excuse to keep your potassium at a good level. Banana in particular contains 2 elements known for their sedative effects: tryptophan and magnesium.
“Magnesium has a positive impact on neurotransmitters with an important role in deep sleep,” explains dietitian Alison Stowell for Ladders. “Meanwhile the absence of magnesium increases the chances of suffering from sleep disturbances or rest interruptions.”
As for the amino acid known as tryptophan, your body processes it to convert it into niacin, which is part of vitamin B. Niacin is an essential component for the development of serotonin and the natural regulation of melatonin, which is the hormone that controls natural sleep cycles.
If you get a thing to eat a banana before going to sleep in case its digestion alters your rest, the dietitian explains that it is one of the best-digested foods. Precisely its starches reduce the possible inflammation of your stomach and improve the health of the intestines.
Other foods you can combine with bananas
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Are you convinced to use bananas in your dinners to encourage good rest, but do you fear that it is a somewhat bland dessert? You can combine this fruit perfectly with other foods known to help induce quality sleep.
This is the case with peanut butter. Its large amount of tryptophan indicates that it combines very well with bananas, as recommended by nutritionist Tracy Lockwood for Well and Good. The expert also recommends other foods that you can take before bed such as cheese, yogurt, eggs, chicken, or turkey.
In case you only want fruit for dinner because you’ve eaten too much at noon, kiwi’s high level of antioxidants helps regulate serotonin. A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition divided its participants into 2 groups. Those who took kiwi routinely ostensibly improved their sleep duration and quality.
Specifically, participants who regularly ate 2 pieces of kiwi an hour before bed fell asleep 42% faster than the others. They rested 13% longer, with very few interruptions during the night.
While experimenting with bananas, other foods with potassium, and food with tryptophan, remember to avoid eating or drinking that with high levels of sugar and caffeine, because these 2 elements are what will make it difficult for you to sleep well and in peace.