Banana Tea: Health Benefits, How to Make & Side Effects
Some of the notable benefits of banana tea include treating sleep disorders, improving mood, protecting heart health, healing skin irritation, aiding in weight loss, boosting vision health, speeding the healing process and eliminating inflammation. The common side effects of drinking banana tea include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset and hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the body). These negative effects are generally experienced only when people consume too much of banana tea or if the bananas used to brew the tea are not organically grown.
Bananas are native to Australia and areas in the South Pacific but were introduced to other parts of the world more than 2,000 years ago. The most common species are Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata, and these are produced around the globe, most notably in the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. Banana tea is also widely known as banana peel tea because, when brewing this unique drink, you leave the peel on the banana. In much of the western world, banana peels are typically discarded as trash, but they actually contain a dense concentration of nutrients including potassium and dietary fiber. While it seems unlikely that people will begin eating whole bananas, banana peel tea is beginning to gain popularity. Most of the health benefits are due to the pectin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and magnesium, among others.
Benefits of Banana Tea
Drinking banana tea is highly recommended for people suffering from insomnia, depression, chronic anxiety, low immunity, poor metabolic function, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, digestive issues, obesity, inflammatory conditions and skin irritation, as well as those recovering from extended illness, surgery or an injury.
Blood Pressure: Banana tea is perhaps most well known for its potassium content, which helps keep your heart healthy and lower your blood pressure. As a vasodilator, potassium not only regulates fluid balance in the body but also reduces strain on the cardiovascular system by easing tension in arteries and blood vessels.
Sleep Aid: The high levels of tryptophan, serotonin, and dopamine have been linked to improved sleep levels, a reduced occurrence of insomnia, and generally more restful and uninterrupted sleep.
Depression and Anxiety: The dopamine and serotonin found in banana tea also help regulate stress hormone levels and boost mood, since they are the “good feeling” neurotransmitters. If you regularly suffer from anxiety or depression, adding banana tea to your daily diet might be exactly what you need.
Bone Density: There is a good variety of minerals in banana tea including manganese and magnesium, both of which contribute to bone mineral density and can help to slow or completely prevent osteoporosis as we age.
Digestion: Potassium and magnesium are both known to optimize smooth muscle function, which is important in the digestive tracts. This can help stimulate peristaltic motion, which regulates bowel movements, thereby preventing constipation, bloating and cramping, while also improving nutrient uptake.
Immune System: The vitamin C and vitamin A in bananas help boost the immune system. Both of these vitamins act as antioxidants, while ascorbic acid stimulates the production of white blood cells, and vitamin A, directly linked to preventing oxidative stress in the retina, preventing macular degeneration and the development of cataracts.
Weight Loss: A range of B vitamins, as well as various antioxidants and potassium, make banana tea excellent for weight loss efforts. They also promote faster fat-burning and increasing feelings of fullness, which eventually cut down on calorie intake.
Banana Tea for Weight Loss
You can use banana tea for weight loss as it contains vitamin A, vitamin B, potassium, lutein and other antioxidants. Many of these nutrients contribute to stronger metabolic activity, as well as feelings of fullness. In other words, it is possible to increase passive fat-burning through higher metabolic function, and eliminate the urge to snack between meals or overeat. In combination, these peripheral effects can help with weight-loss efforts.
Banana tea offers weight-loss benefits, and eating the peel itself is even more effective. The peel is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, most of which doesn’t get transferred to the tea while steeping the banana. These two types of fiber are both known to slow digestion, suppress appetite, boost metabolism and keep you feeling “satisfied”, thanks to the tryptophan, dopamine, and serotonin they contain!
How Do You Make Banana Tea?
You can make banana tea at home in a matter of minutes, and all you need is an organic banana, hot water, and a sweetener like honey or cinnamon to improve the taste. You always want to use organic bananas, as there won’t be pesticide residue on the peel. While this pesticide isn’t deadly, it can result in some toxicity within the body, so it is best if you avoid that possibility. Green bananas are a better choice than fully ripened ones, as these green peels possess higher levels of probiotics, as well as resistant starch that can’t be quickly digested by the body, further stimulating fat-burning activity and weight loss benefits. To brew this tea, you can cut the unpeeled banana into slices or steep it whole, provided both ends have been removed.
- 1 organic banana (ends sliced off)
- 6 cups of water (filtered)
- Cinnamon or honey, to taste
Step 1 – Bring the water up to a boil in a stainless steel pot.
Step 2 – Add the banana to the boiling water.
Step 3 – Allow the banana to steep for 10 minutes.
Step 4 – Remove from heat and strain the tea.
Step 5 – Add the cinnamon or honey, and then enjoy!
Is Banana Tea Good for Sleep?
Banana tea can be very effective for sleep disorders due to the surprisingly high levels of dopamine, serotonin, and tryptophan. The latter is particularly well known for its sedative and soothing effects, although dopamine and serotonin are also praised for their soothing qualities.
These chemicals are not found in high concentrations within the fruit itself, but they are definitely present in the peel. The longer you steep the banana, the more of these chemicals will be infused into the drink. By altering your neurotransmitter levels with a cup of banana peel tea before going to bed, you can lower your stress hormones and induce healthy, restful and undisturbed sleep.
Side Effects of Banana Tea
There are limited side effects to banana tea, but stomach upset, nausea, vomiting and hyperkalemia symptoms have been reported when this tea is consumed in unusually high amounts.
- Potassium Overload- People occasionally complain of nausea, vomiting or stomach upset after drinking banana tea but this usually is the result of consuming too much potassium, which results in hyperkalemia. This condition can be deadly if it is severe enough, but in most cases, it can result in muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat, and digestive tract spasms. A moderate intake of banana tea should not cause these side effects.
- Non-Organic Bananas – Always make banana tea using organic bananas, as the pesticides and other chemicals used in normal bananas can be dangerous to your health. If you aren’t sure whether you are brewing a regular or an organic one, wash the banana peel thoroughly before steeping it for a cup of this tea!