Posted on Aug 22, 2019, 8 p.m.
It’s no secret that bananas are one of the most popular fruits, they are highly nutritious, have an appealing taste, and make a great addition or main ingredient in many recipes. But did you know that bananas can even be used to make a nice and relaxing antioxidant sweet tea?
Banana tea is made by boiling a whole banana in hot water, then removing it and drinking the remaining liquid, depending on your preference, this can be done with or without the peel, but due to its higher fibre content the banana peel takes longer to make.
Most choose to add a dash of cinnamon or honey with their banana infused tea to slightly improve the flavor. Banana tea is commonly consumed at night to help promote sleep.
Exact detailed nutritional information of banana tea in not available, but as it uses whole bananas it is likely to contain water soluble nutrients such as vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese; most often the banana is discarded after brewing, meaning it is not a substantial source of calories.
Steeping a banana will release some nutrients such as potassium and vitamin B6 but it will not provide as much as one would get from consuming the whole fruit, longer steeping times may help to increase the nutrient concentration of the banana tea. Even still banana tea may by a great source for magnesium and potassium which help to support heart health and sleep quality, while the vitamin B6 will help to support the immune system and red blood cell development.
Bananas are high in water soluble antioxidants such as gallocatechin and dopamine that may help to combat free radicals and prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease. The peel has a higher antioxidant level, so using the peel to brew the tea can increase intake of these important molecules. Although the fruit is high in vitamin C, it is heat sensitive and will likely be destroyed during brewing.
The potassium content is a mineral and electrolyte important to regulating fluid balance, blood pressure, and muscle contractions, that will work with sodium to regulate fluid balance in the cells which may help to counterbalance bloating by signaling the kidneys to excrete more sodium into urine.
Bananas contain nutrients that may help to improve sleep: tryptophan, potassium, and agensium which have been linked to better sleep quality and length due to muscle relaxing properties, while tryptophan promotes producing serotonin and melatonin hormones that induce sleep.
Banana tea may make a good replacement for sugary beverages as only a small amount of the natural sugars are released into the water during brewing, and too much sugar is associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Bananas contain nutrients that support heart health such as magnesium and potassium which have been shown to help lower blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It’s fairly easy to make banana tea: Fill a pot with 2-4 cups of water and bring to a boil; rinse off the banana to remove dirt/debris then slice off both ends of the banana and add it to the boiling water; reduce heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes without peel or 15-20 with peel; add a dash of optional honey or cinnamon; remove banana and put liquid into 2 cups. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days at maximum. Feel free to use the banana in other recipes such as a smoothie to avoid waste.
If you are looking for something new or just want to switch things up, banana tea is easy, delicious, and provides antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which may help to support heart health, prevent bloating, and promote sleep.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.