Bananas are so common (and so cheap), that it’s almost unbelievable how healthy for you they are. Here are some of their health benefits broken up by category.

Bananas are Mood Boosting

Bananas contain high levels of tryptophan (like turkey), which is turned into serotonin the body and used to boost the mood. They can also make you feel more alert thanks to their high potassium levels, which in itself can help to boost some moods.

They Can Improve Your Workout

Eating a banana before your workout can give you the perfect energy stabilizing boost that you need. Bananas stabilize the blood sugar so that you can use your energy wisely and avoid any sudden blood sugar crashes. Bananas also prevent muscle cramps from occurring both during workouts and also those super annoying ones that occur during the night.

They Can Help You Lose Weight

While bananas are a sugary fruit, it’s a natural sugar and they can still help to control the blood sugar levels. Eating a banana as a snack between meals can stabilize your blood sugar to prevent crashes that leave you starving and searching for anything to bring your blood sugar back up again. Without that crash, you have more time to choose your next snack or meal wisely.

They Aid the Digestive System

Bananas are high in pectin which can actually help to clear toxins like heavy metals out of the body. They are also a prebiotic, which means that they encourage healthy bacteria to flourish in the digestive track which can balance things out by getting rid of bad bacteria in there. Also bananas are high in fiber which can help regulate your bowl movements in general which of course can help with getting anything unnecessary out of the body. (And help regulate both constipation and the runs.)

If you get heartburn or suffer from GERD, bananas have been shown to sooth the digestive track like a natural antacid. In fact they are the only raw fruit that not only doesn’t exacerbate the symptoms of ulcers and can instead soothe some of the pain by coating the stomach and protecting it from the acid.

They Make You Healthier

Bananas have a lot of vitamins that can just plain help your general health. They are a great source of potassium, and may be able to help reduce the blood pressure and lower the risks of heart attacks and strokes. They also strengthen the nervous system and help to produce more white blood cells thanks to the levels of vitamin B-6. The iron in bananas helps to relive anemia and strengthen the blood in general, which makes them a great snack for the very active. Eating bananas can also help you counteract the loss of calcium by helping the body to absorb more of it.

Anyone who is trying to quit smoking should consider adding bananas to their diet as well, because thanks to their magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins they can help to cut down on some of the symptoms of withdrawal.