Bananas like most fruits are considered a healthy food. Bananas do differ from other fruits in that they contain higher amounts of sugar when ripe, but this can be a benefit in a number of ways including as a post-exercise supplement for increased energy and carbohydrate needs. The higher carbohydrate content of bananas is also beneficial before bedtime as a small amount of relatively simple carbohydrate can induce sleep through a mechanism that involves insulin release increasing the uptake of the amino acid L-tryptophan to the brain. In the brain the L-tryptophan is converted to serotonin and then melatonin, and this can help to induce sleep. Bananas are also high in the amino acid L-tryptophan, which makes their use as a pre-bedtime snack even more effective. Consuming a ripe banana with a glass of hot milk may be an effective way of inducing sleep and adding cacao to the hot milk can create a warming drink that is pleasant to drink and psychologically beneficial during the winter months when it is cold outside.
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