Do Bananas Help with Brain Fog?
Brain fog can be one of the most difficult experiences you might be experiencing daily. This post talks about several ways you can do to get rid of brain fog. We will start with superfoods you can consume to kickstart your mental health and take good care of your overall well-being.
But do bananas help with brain fog? For real? We’ll answer that question and more, so keep on reading.
Let’s get started.
What is Brain Fog and How Does It Feel Exactly?
Neuropsychiatrists explain that brain fog is a mental condition wherein you might find yourself struggling to perform daily cognitive tasks and find it difficult to remember specific situations or events in the past or retain new memories.
Brain fog often manifests due to the following reasons:
- Structural damage to the brain (this is a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention).
- Lack of nutrition
- Lack of sleep
- Chronic stress
Feeling “foggy” in your mind is the primary indication of brain fog, as well as being disorganized and unfocused where it seems too difficult to think or hold a thought, or you may struggle to put your ideas into words.
What is the Relationship Between Food and the Brain?
The majority of your brainpower is fueled by food. According to nutritionists, maintaining a healthy diet will help you reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, prevent dementia, and improve your overall brain health.
Also, studies revealed that being deficient in carbs, minerals, and vitamins, especially vitamin B12, leads to poor brain health and, ultimately, lesser brain function.
Another study shows that having low levels of carbohydrates puts you at higher risk of experiencing the adverse symptoms of brain fog. This is because carbs are necessary for your body’s glucose, which your brain uses directly for energy.
Carbs also play a vital role for your brains, such as producing serotonin – an essential brain chemical that helps regulate your mood, appetite, and sleep cycle.
Also, nutritionists strongly recommend the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, namely ALA, EPA, and DHA. These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in your brain, thereby helping mitigate inflammation-related brain fog.
And since your body cannot produce these fatty acids sufficiently, you need to obtain omega-3 from dietary sources, such as walnuts, fatty fish, and blueberries.
Omega-3 fatty acids, especially the DHA component, play a crucial role in several functions of your brain, and lacking DHA will result in brain fog.
Banana Benefits for the Brain
Bananas are often regarded as one of the superfoods for the brain because they are rich in potassium and magnesium, which allow your muscles and brain to have more energy that helps you sharpen your focus and increase your capacity to learn and pay attention, thereby helping you prevent brain fog symptoms.
Bananas are also packed with several vitamins and minerals that help regulate your mood and improve your overall brain health.
Are Bananas Really a Health Food?
The short answer is YES. Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber and several other antioxidants that help improve your overall well-being. In fact, one medium-sized banana, about 118 grams, approximately contain the following nutrients:
- Potassium (9% of the Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI)
- Vitamin B6 (33% of the RDI)
- Vitamin C (11% of the RDI)
- Magnesium (8% of the RDI)
- Copper (10% of the RDI)
- Manganese (14% of the RDI)
- Net carbs (24 grams)
- Fiber (3.1 grams)
- Protein (1.3 grams)
- Fat (0.4 grams)
Also, one piece of banana primarily consists of carbs and water but only has about 105 calories, a tiny amount of protein, and little to no fat.
Other Health Benefits of Bananas
Several studies suggest that bananas have a plethora of health benefits for both mind and body – we listed the most common ones below:
Bananas may help you moderate your blood sugar levels
The fiber nutrients in bananas, called pectin, are seen to be efficient in moderating blood sugar levels, especially after meals. This also helps in reducing your appetite by slowing down the process of emptying your stomach.
Moreover, bananas take the lead in having low to medium glycemic index (GI), which is typically measured from 0 to 100 of how quickly certain types of food can increase sugar levels in the blood.
However, while bananas may not cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels in healthy individuals, it may not be the same with people with type 2 diabetes who are highly advised to avoid eating too many ripe bananas.
Unripe bananas may improve your sensitivity to insulin
Resistance to insulin is one of the huge risk factors of severe illnesses nowadays, especially for people with type 2 diabetes.
Multiple studies suggest that consuming 15 to 30 grams of resistant starch per day can improve your insulin sensitivity by 33 to 50% in just four weeks.
Fortunately, unripe bananas are such an excellent source of resistant starch. Therefore, eating unripe bananas may help you improve your insulin sensitivity, but further research is still needed to prove this theory.
Bananas may help you improve your digestive health
Since bananas are rich in fiber, they are linked to improving digestive health. One medium-sized banana contains approximately 3 grams of fiber, making the fruit a relatively good source of essential digestive nutrients.
Basically, bananas have two main types of fiber that are effective in lowering blood sugar levels and improving digestive health:
- Resistant starch, primarily found in unripe bananas.
- Pectin, commonly found in ripe bananas and decreases as the fruit ripens.
Resistant starch is commonly not digested as it ends up in your large intestine, where it becomes food for the good bacteria in your gut.
Bananas may help in your weight loss journey.
While there are not enough studies that prove the efficiency of bananas in aiding weight loss, the fruit does have multiple elements that allow them to be considered one of the best foods for weight loss.
One of the main reasons why bananas could help you healthily lose some pounds is that the fruit has relatively lower calories – an average banana only contains over 100 calories yet is also filling and nutritious.
Also, another study suggests that eating more fiber from veggies and fruits like bananas can enhance weight loss. And since unripe bananas are rich in resistant starch, they tend to be more filling when eaten, thereby are highly likely to reduce your appetite.
Bananas may support your heart health.
Bananas are rich in potassium, an essential mineral for cardiovascular health, especially in controlling your blood pressure.
Surprisingly, a lot of people are deficient in this vital nutrient because they do not get enough potassium in their diet.
The good news is that bananas are an excellent source of potassium – a medium-sized banana of 118 grams contains approximately 9% of the recommended dietary intake of potassium.
Also, studies show that a potassium-rich diet can effectively help in lowering blood pressure, and individuals who have plenty of potassium in their diet reduce their chances of having cardiovascular diseases up to 27%.
Lastly, bananas are also rich in magnesium, one of the vital minerals for heart health.
Bananas are packed with powerful antioxidants.
Vegetables and fruits like bananas are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants, including the potent ones – catechins and dopamine.
Such antioxidants offer plenty of health benefits, such as reduced risks of degenerative illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that may start manifesting in brain fog symptoms. Moreover, these antioxidants help in reducing risks for heart diseases.
Now, it’s important to note that dopamine found in bananas does NOT act as the mood-regulating chemicals that they normally are, but dopamine in bananas only acts as a powerful antioxidant because they do not cross the blood-brain barrier when consumed.
Bananas may help you improve your kidney health.
Potassium, a mineral abundant in bananas, is essential for blood pressure control and kidney function. And since bananas are such an excellent source of this mineral, they are promising in helping keep healthy kidneys.
One study that lasted 13 years with women as participants revealed that those who ate bananas two to three times a week were 33% less likely to have kidney problems.
Other Common Types of Food That Can Help You Fight Brain Fog
Your diet plays a critical role in your brain health. So, it’s only fitting to also take note of other types of food that help reduce brain fog, such as the following list:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Dark chocolates
- Nutritional yeast
- Whole eggs
- Brussel sprouts
- Collard greens
- Fish (wild salmon)
- Black beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Juniper berries
- Red apples
- Red onions
Food fuels your brainpower and significantly affects your overall brain health. So, it is vital to consume healthy foods that help with brain fog, such as bananas, whether ripe or unripe, along with other superfoods listed in this post.
Bookmark this post in your browser so that you can come back to it anytime you need. Also, share this article with anyone you care about, especially those who might be suffering from brain fog due to chronic stress.
If you think what you’re experiencing might be more than just a foggy brain, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone who can help.