How Can Bananas Help Fight Depression?


There is a persistent myth on the internet that eating bananas will make a depressed person revived again and no longer depressed.

The reason, it is alleged, is that bananas are a great source of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the levels of which are said to be low in the brains of depressed people. Eating bananas therefore makes great sense because people can literally feed their brains the serotonin that it needs to beat their depression.

This is largely false.

How Bananas Can Fight Depression

Bananas do contain serotonin. Serotonin likely does help with one's mood as a neurotransmitter. But the serotonin in a banana can't reach the brain simply by eating the banana. In order for anything to reach the brain, it must cross the blood-brain barrier, and not everything can cross this barrier. Furthermore, that is not how our body provides our brains with serotonin.

Our bodies synthesize serotonin through a process that involves the use of vitamin B6. Bananas happen to be a very good source of vitamin B6. In fact, just one banana can provide the average adult with about one-fifth of the recommended daily allowance of that vitamin.

Therefore, eating bananas can fight depression, just not in the way it is sometimes alleged. Rather, by eating a banana a person is giving their body the tools to make the chemical that is needed to help maintain their mood and possibly avoid depression.

Additionally, eating fruits and vegetables is always a good idea, and doing so should make a person feel good about the dietary choices he or she is making, which itself might contribute to a better mood.


The information provided on the is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive mental health Information & Inspiration


PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?: