The reason why banana ranks as a top happy food is due to the great amount of tryptophan and tyrosine it contains. Both tryptophan and tyrosine are essential amino acids, i.e. we need acquire them from food intake because our body cannot produce it internally. They’re both precursors to “happy” neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine!
Naturally human beings like to be in a state of bliss and happiness, and it can be concluded from research that serotonin and dopamine levels correlates with a person’s feeling of happiness and well being. Low levels of serotonin are believed to cause mood disorders and depression. Therefore, serotonin is the chemical that is targeted by the new wave of antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc. The goal of these antidepressant drugs is to raise the levels of serotonin in the brain, and improve a person’s mood. Let’s take a look at how antidepressant drugs work, in raising the levels of serotonin in the brain. Since there are many different classes of antidepressants; we will focus on a newer class of antidepressant medication named Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).
For more wild facts about bananas, go to scq.ubc.ca.