Wait, you say, banana juice recipes? How are you supposed to juice a banana?! Well, juicing bananas is generally not a great idea since your juicer won’t be able to extract much from this mushy fruit. You can, however “juice” a banana with a blender.
Bananas are without a doubt one of the most popularly blended foods of all time. And is it any surprise why? Their delicious sweetness adds a hint of sugary goodness to any smoothie recipe. The natural creaminess of bananas instantly give smoothies a lovely texture. And to top it all off: bananas are pretty much the easiest fruit to “prepare.” There’s no chopping, no dicing – just peel and toss in the blender.
But it’s not just sweet, creamy and easy to blend – bananas are darn good for you as well. Here’s why everyone should be making more banana “juice!”
8 Banana Juice Benefits to Drink Up
They’re beautifully bright yellow. They’re creamy and buttery. And they taste so good. But wait – there’s even more reasons to love the ever-popular banana…
Boosts your immune system
Unlike what most people think, citrus fruits aren’t the only superb sources of vitamin C. Just 100 grams of bananas already contain enough vitamin C to supply 15 percent of the body’s daily recommended allowance. Apart from staving off inflammations, vitamin C also boosts the body’s ability to get rid of disease-causing free radicals and toxins.
But it’s not just the vitamin C – researchers found a super protein called lectin in bananas, which has promising virus inhibition qualities and is currently being studied as a potential inhibitor of the HIV virus.
Did you know that banana flesh contains small amounts of phytochemicals that display antihistamine properties? These phytochemicals not only help ease the effects of allergic reactions like itchiness and redness, but also improve the body’s hardiness against the same in case of a recurrence.
Wards off depression
Bananas are loaded with the essential amino acid called tryptophan. When ingested by the body, tryptophan is transformed into serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for the release of hormones that improves the mood.
This is especially true for banana peels – a study at the University of Taiwan found that people who ate two banana peels a day showed a net increase of 15% in their serotonin levels after three days.
*Quick Note About Banana Peels: Ever wonder why places like Jamba Juice blend the whole banana, peels and all? It’s because banana peels are richer sources of the polyphenolic antioxidant molecules than are found in the flesh. In fact – the total phenolic value for a regular-sized banana peel is actually higher than for a full cup of blueberries.
Most of the banana peel’s rich antioxidant value comes from a molecule called dopamine, which you’ve probably been hearing tons about lately. Apart from the antioxidant value, banana peels are also crazy nutritious, containing 2.3x the fiber, 2.4x the beta-carotene, and 8.4x the calcium of banana flesh. Makes you wonder if you’ve been eating the right part of the fruit, huh? 🙂
That being said – banana peels are not the yummiest, ‘though not bad. Try adding just 1/3 of a banana peel into your blender with the banana and work up from there if you like it. And remember – if you plan on blending the peels – buy organic bananas.
Promotes heart health
Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium in nature. A single banana contains more than 400 milligrams of this essential mineral, which is a key factor in the prevention of heart problems and sailing blood pressure levels. Moreover, potassium also helps inhibit the formation of plaque along the arterial walls that can eventually develop into arteriosclerotic vascular disease or atherosclerosis.
Helpful for anemia
Not getting enough iron? Bananas a a rich source of the prebiotic fiber, inulin, which has been shown to boost iron absorption by 28%.
Keep ulcers away
There are flavonoids found in bananas that help regulate the amount of gastric acid produced in the stomach. Apart from causing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), excessive levels of gastric acid can also lead to painful ulcers. These flavonoids basically stimulate the stomach lining to release a thicker barrier of mucus to deter irritation that can lead to ulcers.
Full of electrolytes
Besides keeping the heart healthy, potassium also aids in maintaining the body’s electrolyte count ideal, especially during bouts of diarrhea and repeated vomiting. Or just after a good, intense and sweaty workout.
Fun fact: Bananas are also traditionally used as a natural hangover cure in some parts of Asia for this electrolyte-rich attribute.
Helps regular blood sugar
Bananas contain high amounts of vitamin B6, a key factor in regulating normal blood sugar levels and helping the pancreas metabolize the glucose in the bloodstream more efficiently. Vitamin B6 is also found to help improve the body’s immune system.
5 Brilliant Banana Juice Recipes
The wonderful thing about banana juice is that they can be extremely nourishing. Because you’ll be using a blender to whip this up, you’re able to add so much goodness to these recipes, including a variety of supplements and foods that will help you meet all your macronutrient needs – and more.
This makes it a really smart way to get all the nutrition you need during liquid diets and juice fasts. Plus, all the experimentation ensures you’ll never have a dull recipe 🙂
Here’s a few brilliant banana juice recipes to get you started!
Tropical Basil Green Smoothie
This is one of my favorite-est smoothie recipes of all time. Taste it once and you’ll be totally hooked:
- 1 banana
- a handful of basil
- 1/2 cup mango (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup coconut milk
It’s a great beginner greens recipe since the basil adds just a touch of welcome green-ness without overwhelming it. Perfect for those who need a little convincing that green smoothies can taste amazing.
Peanut Butter Protein Green Smoothie
If you’re looking for a simple way to boost your protein intake – without any protein powder – here’s an all-natural protein booster banana juice recipe:
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 banana sliced
- 1/2 cup 2% milk (feel free to substitute for any milk alternative nut milks)
- 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon honey
This recipe is such a delicious way to get a load of protein-loaded peanut butter, a heap of chlorophyll-rich greens as well as probiotic-rich yogurt. Oh, and you can totally add a whole banana instead of half and skip the honey – the banana is more than enough for sweetness.
Fill Me Up Banana Juice
Want a banana juice recipe that keeps you feeling full and satiated for hours while also helping to boost your metabolism? Here you go:
- 2 bananas
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup green tea (chilled)
Avocado, as you already know, is one of the healthiest foods in the world, chock full of monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids that have been found to be able to spot reduce abdominal fat by down-regulating the expression of certain fat genes.
And the EGCG stimulates thermogenesis, helping to burn calories and boost weight loss efforts. Top that off with nutrition-rich, very filling chia seeds and you’ve got yourself the perfect weight loss smoothie.
Berry Banana Cherry Smoothie
Here’s a delicious banana juice recipe that tastes every bit as good as gelato – without the processed sugar:
- 1 large banana, peeled
- 1 cup cherries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup organic strawberries
- 8 ounces of filtered water
If you want to make the recipe even better, replace the filtered water with coconut water or even some kombucha – the kombucha adds a slightly sour, vinegar-y taste that blends beautifully with the berries!
Java Lovers Banana Juice
And finally, we’re going to leave you with a little recipe for a drink many of us can’t live without: coffee…
- 1 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 shot of espresso
…Except this time, you’re mixing in a whole lot of goodness with the coffee. The banana provides sweetness without having to use a sweetener and the oats and chia seed add a heap of nutrition to the mix. A perfect way to start your morning!
Fun Banana Facts
Want some fun banana facts to amuse yourself with while sipping on those delicious banana juice recipes?
- Akin to watermelons and apples, bananas have the unique attribute of being able to float on water.
- The stringy fibers that often stick to the banana’s flesh when you peel one are called phloem.
- A single banana is called a “finger.” A whole bunch of them is called a “hand.”
- You can delay the ripening of bananas by separating the fingers individually from their respective hands.
- There is an African belief that a headache can be cured by vigorously rubbing the peel of a banana on the forehead for a few seconds.