Anxiety is an extremely common issue for many, whether it’s minor, severe, or just limited to certain situations.
Luckily, there are many natural ways to reduce anxiety and reduce the stress it causes on the body.
Being a long time sufferer of anxiety, I thought I had tried just about every natural treatment, but it wasn’t until last month that I found out how beneficial bananas can be for anxiety! Just a few weeks ago, a childhood friend turned musician mentioned that before every show he eats a banana to reduce stage fright.
After doing some research on using bananas to treat anxiety and giving it a try myself before stressful situations, such as large meetings or presentations, it really did work! However, the timing of when you eat the banana is key!
Bananas Are A Natural Beta Blocker
Wondering why bananas work? Bananas have similar affects to a (pharmaceutical)
drug class called beta-adrenergic blockers. Beta blockers are prescribed to treat anxiety, reduce blood pressure, or heart conditions. Beta blockers prevent adrenaline from binding to beta receptors which results in lower blood pressure and pulse rate, which normally skyrocket when experiencing anxiety and under stress.
Bananas have been shown to result similarly, acting as an all natural beta blocker in your body. Bananas are high in potassium, an essential mineral which enables the body to boost the excretion of sodium resulting in decreased blood volume and reduced blood pressure. A boost in your potassium level is beneficial for those with anxiety because when we are under stress our metabolic rate rises and causes a drop in potassium levels.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, a protein which can be converted into serotonin. They also contain a high amount of B vitamins which can aid in calming the nervous system.
Timing Is Key!
To get optimal results from eating bananas to treat anxiety, make sure to eat it at the right time!
Musicians have been using bananas for years to combat stage fright, by making sure to eat one before a show. If you are able to plan for a specific event or know when an anxiety inducing situation will occur, this will be very helpful so you’ll know when to eat it.
It is suggested to eat one or two bananas about ½ an hour before the event/anxiety situation. Many have also found it helpful to eat an additional banana half-way through, such as musicians who take a break in between performing and sneak a banana.
Other Benefits Of Bananas
Because bananas act as a natural beta blocker, not only are they beneficial for treating anxiety, but can also be helpful for depression, stress, and blood pressure.
Check Your Magnesium Levels
The tryptophan contained in bananas also results in an increase in your body’s magnesium level, which aids in reducing anxiety. Low magnesium levels have been found by many studies to cause anxiety. It is estimated that 90% of Americans are deficient in magnesium and not only that, but when anxiety occurs, it causes magnesium depletion, creating an endless cycle. To read more on this check out my post on magnesium deficiency causing anxiety.