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What Is Banana Tea, and Should You Try It?

Health + Wellness
What Is Banana Tea, and Should You Try It?
Alena Gamm / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN

Bananas are one of the world's most popular fruits.


They're highly nutritious, have a wonderful sweet taste, and serve as the main ingredient in many recipes.

Bananas are even used to make a relaxing tea.

This article reviews banana tea, including its nutrition, health benefits, and how to make it.

What is Banana Tea?

Banana tea is made by boiling a whole banana in hot water, then removing it, and drinking the remaining liquid.

It can be made with or without the peel, depending on your preferences. If it's made with the peel, it's usually referred to as banana peel tea.

Because banana peel tea takes longer to make due to its high fiber content, many people choose to omit the peel.

Most people drink this banana-infused tea with a dash of cinnamon or honey to improve its flavor. Finally, it's most commonly enjoyed at night to aid sleep.

Summary

Banana tea is a banana-infused beverage made with whole bananas, hot water, and sometimes cinnamon or honey. You can make it with or without the peel, though it will take longer to prepare if you choose to leave the peel on.

Banana Tea Nutrition

Detailed nutrition information for banana tea is unavailable.

Still, as it uses whole bananas and water, it likely contains some water-soluble nutrients found in bananas, such as vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper (1).

Since most people discard the banana after brewing, banana tea is not a substantial source of calories.

Though steeping bananas releases some nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium, you won't get as much of them as you would from eating the whole fruit. Longer steeping times can increase the concentration of nutrients in the tea.

Nevertheless, banana tea may be a great source of potassium and magnesium, which are important minerals for heart health and sleep quality (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

Furthermore, it contains some vitamin B6, which helps support a healthy immune system and red blood cell development (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Summary

Banana tea may be a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper. Yet, each batch may contain varying amounts of nutrients due to differences in preparation method and brewing time.

Health Benefits of Banana Tea

Drinking banana tea may offer various health benefits.

May Contain Antioxidants

Bananas are naturally high in water-soluble antioxidants, including dopamine and gallocatechin, which may help fight free radicals and prevent chronic conditions like heart disease (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

However, the peel has much higher antioxidant levels than the flesh. Therefore, adding the peel to your tea during brewing may increase your intake of these molecules (7Trusted Source, 9).

Though bananas are naturally high in vitamin C, banana tea is not a good source of this antioxidant, as it's heat sensitive and will likely be destroyed during brewing (10Trusted Source).

May Prevent Bloating

Banana tea is high in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte that's important for regulating fluid balance, healthy blood pressure, and muscle contractions (11, 12Trusted Source).

Potassium works closely with sodium, another mineral and electrolyte, to regulate fluid balance in your cells. Yet, when they contain more sodium than potassium, you may experience water retention and bloating (11).

The potassium and water content of banana tea can help counterbalance bloating due to a high-salt diet by signaling your kidneys to excrete more sodium into your urine (11).

May Promote Sleep

Banana tea has become a popular sleep aid.

It contains three main nutrients that many people claim to help improve sleep — potassium, magnesium, and tryptophan (1).

Bananas are a good source of magnesium and potassium, two minerals that have been linked to better sleep quality and length due to their muscle-relaxing properties (3Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

They also provide some tryptophan, an amino acid that's important for producing the sleep-inducing hormones serotonin and melatonin (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

Nevertheless, no studies have examined the effectiveness of banana tea as a sleep aid.

Furthermore, it's unknown to what extent these nutrients leach into the tea during brewing, making it hard to know whether drinking the tea would have the same potential sleep-promoting effects as eating a banana.

Low in Sugar

Banana tea may be a good replacement for sugary beverages.

Only a small amount of the sugar in bananas is released into the water during brewing, acting as a natural sweetener for your tea.

Most people consume too much sugar from beverages, which is associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes (17Trusted Source).

Therefore, opting for drinks with no added sugars, such as banana tea, can be an easy way to decrease your sugar intake.

May Support Heart Health

The nutrients in banana tea may support heart health.

Banana tea contains potassium and magnesium, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke (2Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).

In fact, a study in 90,137 women found that a potassium-rich diet was linked to a 27% decreased risk of stroke (21Trusted Source).

Moreover, a diet rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant in banana tea, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Still, no studies have directly reviewed the antioxidants in banana tea or their effects on heart disease risk (8Trusted Source).

Summary

Banana tea is high in nutrients and antioxidants that may lower your risk of heart disease and prevent bloating. Also, it's naturally low in sugar and a great replacement for sugary beverages.

How to Make Banana Tea

Banana tea is very easy to prepare and can be made with or without the peel.

Banana Tea Without the Peel

  1. Fill a pot with 2–3 cups (500–750 ml) of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Peel one banana and slice off both ends.
  3. Add the banana to the boiling water.
  4. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 5–10 minutes.
  5. Add cinnamon or honey (optional).
  6. Remove the banana and divide the remaining liquid into 2–3 cups.

Banana Peel Tea

  1. Fill a pot with 2–3 cups (500–750 ml) of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Gently rinse a whole banana under running water to remove dirt and debris.
  3. Leaving the peel on, slice off both ends.
  4. Add the banana to the boiling water.
  5. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  6. Add cinnamon or honey (optional).
  7. Remove the banana and divide the remaining liquid into 2–3 cups.

If you're enjoying the tea by yourself, store any leftovers in your refrigerator and drink them within 1–2 days, cold or reheated.

To avoid waste, use the leftover banana in other recipes, such as for smoothies, oatmeal, or banana bread.

Summary

To make banana tea, simmer a whole, peeled banana in hot water for 5–10 minutes. If you prefer to leave the peel on, simmer it for 15–20 minutes. Add cinnamon or honey for extra flavor.

The Bottom Line

Banana tea is made from bananas, hot water, and sometimes cinnamon or honey.

It provides antioxidants, potassium, and magnesium, which may support heart health, aid sleep, and prevent bloating.

If you want to switch things up and try a new tea, banana tea is delicious and easy to make.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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