Banana a Natural Beta Blocker for Anxiety

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Natural Way to Treat Anxiety with a Banana

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.

Have you tried this all natural beta blocker? Have you seen any improvements from eating bananas?


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  1. says

    Thank you for sharing this because I had no idea. I will definitely get some more bananas!! I’ve also suffered with anxiety and depression over the years. Have you ever tried EFT? It worked wonders for me. Thought I’d pass the tip on…

  2. says

    Bananas contain both tryptophan and serotonin. However, the serotonin molecule can not cross the blood brain barrier into the brain. But tryptophan can, although not easily because it competes with other amnio acids for passage through the blood brain barrier. But wait, bananas also contain starchy carbohydrates. This stimulates production of insulin which primarily drive all the amino acids into the muscle cells — except for the tryptophan amino acid. Now without competition, tryptophan get through blood-brain barrier and is used to build serotonin in the brain. So yes, I can see how bananas can boost mood and reduce anxiety.

  3. says

    I have used exercise and diet b complex vitimins, omega 3 etc. I knew about bananas but was unaware how important timing was for success. Great post thx for sharing.

  4. Fernando says

    Be sure to eat Bananas when they are getting brown spots, is when you can make the most of their benefits, also be aware that the darker the banana the more sugar it will contain

  5. says

    My friend told me that eating a banana before going to bed helps to keep the bowel moving, I tried it and it works. Blake the Jamaican 100m runner eats bananas before his races, he believes it helps with his running.

  6. says

    I didn’t know that bananas are good for reducing anxiety. I usually get stressed and anxious when it comes to work or with the kids and it seems like no matter what i do, it won’t work to reduce my stress and anxiety. I’ll give bananas a chance to help me deal with my anxiety and stress. Thanks for the information.

  7. Muhammed Levine, M.D. says

    Bananas are also the third-leading cause of fun in the wild. The only downside I’ve read about from some of my colleagues published material does prove a correlation with rheumatoid arthritis and I.B.S. (irritable bowel syndrome). Con cuidado hermanos!! Bananas down the hatch!

  8. widia says

    I just recently found out that banana can reduce anxiety. Yesterday I give it a try by eating four banana just few minutes after my lecturer informed me that my final comprehensive exam was tomorrow. (I was so nervous)
    And I think it works! Banana makes me relax. Lol

  9. Blaze says

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been struggling with panic disorder and have had a daily need for prescription medication for relief, but becoming dependent on a drug for lifelong functionality terrifies me more than the anxiety! I ate a banana this morning after reading your article at the time I would normally take my medication and felt no need to take one yet (it’s been 6 hours!). Thank you for showing me a natural way to beat my problems =)

  10. isaac says

    im only 16 and have constant heart pounding issuses with my anxitey , and ive wondered if eating bananas can permenatly reduce brain and heart issues ? please reply back need advice on this :(

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Isaac, I’ve noticed an improvement in my anxiety from eating a banana before presentations.

  11. says

    I have struggled with clinical anxiety/depression and obviously at times it is worse than at other times :) . I’ve heard/read as a quick mention that bananas were good for anxiety b/c of the tryptophan/ Serotonin. However, I’ve never heard about the beta-blockers, neither have I read such a detailed and easy-to-understand article like yours. 😀 Thank you!! I HAVE noticed, simply through my long journey with this stuff (:() that I literally do CRAVE bananas (and almond butter and dark chocolate!) when my anxiety/depression dips to a stressful low, though! One plus one equals two!!! 😀

  12. mb says

    Great article, thank you for writing this! My questions is though, how “potent” are bananas compared to any type of medication? I have been researching Beta Blockers because of a recent mindset I have fallen into.
    My situation: I have recently been asked by a friend to play in an organized adult basketball league. As a guy who has played ball my whole life I was shocked to realize that I am overcome with panic and anxiety when I take the court on game day! You name it, I get it: cotton mouth, deer in headlight look, etc etc….I have NEVER dealt with this before and it is very frustrating. My attacks usually being to set in before game time when I feel my body racing at what seems like 1,000 mph! But the funny thing is, any other day and I feel and play like I can conquer the court, it’s only on game days this panic sets in.
    As a result of this I have been researching blockers, I would love to opt for natural beta blockers if I knew they were strong enough to help me in my situation.
    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Bananas have worked really well for me when I have to do presentations. I see the most benefit from using a combination of things though, the bananas with supplementing with magnesium, and I’ve also been using Natural Calm and Rescue Pearls. They are natural herbal supplements, that I notice a calming affect from within the hour. I would test out trying the bananas for other situations prior to the big day to see how it will work for you.

  13. Teesh says

    I have suffered from anxiety off and on since I was a tween. The last bout has lasted 6 weeks or so and the morning anxiety in particular has been crippling. Anxiety = unable to eat, which overtime makes the anxiety worse, and the cycle gets worse. Yesterday I tried eating a banana before getting out of bed, just because I have been trying all different ways to get some good in me without throwing it up. To my surprise it eased the stomach cramps, allowed a welcomed bowel movement and took the edge off the anxiety for sure… Which is what prompted me to this article!! Thanks for the info

  14. Albert chambers says

    I am taking my bus driving test this week, to calm my nerves ,my test is at 1pm how soon before the test should I eat bananas

    • Lori says

      Good luck on the test! You’ll do great! :) Most eat a banana 1 hour or 30 minutes before to get the most benefit.

  15. Shirley says

    My grandson gets so anxious when taking his drivers test, he has failed several times.The more tests he takes, the worse the anxiety.:My question is, Should the Natural Calm and Rescue Pearls be used together, plus the bananas or, just one of the supplements plus the bananas?

    • Lori says

      Hope he passes on his next try! My (much) younger brother was nervous for taking his too. I’ve never tried the natural calm before. But I use the rescue pearls and bananas together all the time.

  16. G says

    Amazing! I take beta blockers all the time for situations thanks SO much for posting this. I have eaten lots of bananas at once before and i did feel noticeably calm. But I didn’t know they were as effective as a beta blocker, I will attempt switching to bananas instead of beta blockers, defiantly.
    I also found cherries to be calming when eaten in bulk :)

    • Lori says

      It definitely helps me feel more calm! I’ve had anxiety my whole life and I’m always trying to find natural ways to deal with it. I’ve never taken a prescription beta blocker before, but I’m sure they are more powerful though than the properties in bananas.

      • Andrew says

        Every time I have to talk in public or just talk to people I don’t know very well I get this terrible blush on my cheeks and red spots on my neck.It’s not that I’m anxious.I just become red in a moment and then I get nervous about it.Just thinking about how people are going to react makes me even more nervous and more red.Do you think bananas could also help with this?I didn’t try it yet but I will since I wouldn’t use any medication.Thanks for Posting this!

        • Lori says

          The same thing happens to me, especially when I’m in larger group social settings. Eating a banana noticeably helps me. I always have one before any meetings/interviews/presentations. I’ve also been doing a lot of additional things to target my anxiety meditation, yoga, and exercise.

    • Lori says

      I’m so glad it worked for you!! I usually have one or two a day, if I know I’ll be in a high anxiety situation.


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