Banana Milk Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Banana Milk

With rising rates of food allergies—including dairy—many people are seeking a solution that can provide the creaminess of milk without the potential for allergy. At your local grocery store or coffee shop, you’ve probably noticed the influx of milk derived from non-traditional ingredients like nuts, oats, soy, and even peas. Now, there’s a new type of milk made from another surprising source: bananas.

Like its alt-milk forebears, banana milk offers a non-allergenic option for those who can’t tolerate dairy. And—unlike some nut options—banana milk isn’t burdened with sustainability issues like excessive water usage in its production. Banana milk does, of course, taste like bananas, which some people may find a turnoff. But even if you don’t always crave banana flavor on your morning cereal, you may enjoy its smooth texture in other preparations, like smoothies or in baked goods.

You won’t get the same protein content or probiotics from banana milk that you’d get in cow’s milk, but for a healthy, unique, plant-based alternative, it may be worth a try.

Nutrition Facts

As of January 2020, the USDA does not provide nutrition information for banana milk. Nutrition may vary from brand to brand, so for the most accurate information, check the label on banana milk you’ve purchased. The following nutrition facts are for 1 cup (8 oz.) of Mooala brand banana milk

Banana Milk Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 3g
  • Sodium: 15mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein: 1g

Carbs

The carbohydrates in banana milk come from the naturally occurring sugar, fiber, and starches in bananas, as well a small amount of carbs from sunflower seeds. These types of carbohydrates are natural, not processed, or added. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate and can help to regulate appetite and blood sugar. If you’re watching your carb intake, banana milk may make a better choice than cow’s milk, since it contains nine grams per cup, compared to dairy milk’s 12.

Fats 

Because its two primary ingredients—water and bananas—are fat-free, banana milk is relatively low in fat. The small amount of fat it does contain is supplied by sunflower seeds, and is mostly the healthier, unsaturated variety. One cup of banana milk has no detectable saturated fat, and no trans fats, which are associated with cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. 

Protein

Banana milk doesn’t contain a lot of protein, at just one gram per cup, so don’t expect it to add much to your daily requirement. Compared to the eight grams of protein in cow or soy milk, this is especially low.

Vitamins and Minerals

When you think of nutrients in bananas, you probably think of potassium. Like the fruit, banana milk does supply a significant amount of this mineral. A one-cup serving of banana milk provides 360mg of potassium, or 10% of your daily requirement. But the nutrients don’t stop there. Bananas are naturally rich in vitamin B6, which helps the immune and nervous systems function properly. Banana milk is also often fortified with calcium. A single serving of Mooala’s original flavor knocks out 30% of your daily value. 

Health Benefits 

In addition to its rich potassium content, banana milk provides numerous benefits.

Allergy-Friendly Alternative

For many people, banana milk is a welcome alternative when dairy and nut allergies limit milk options. Bananas are not among the “top eight” foods that account for 90% of food allergies in the United States, so they’re not likely to cause allergic symptoms. However, if you are allergic to sunflower seeds, you must also avoid banana milk.

Low Calorie for Weight Loss

Those looking to cut calories for weight loss will find a friend in banana milk. At 60 calories per cup, it contains half the calories of cow’s milk. Substituting banana milk for dairy milk is a simple way to reduce calories in baked goods, smoothies, and at mealtimes as part of a weight-loss plan.

Supports Bone Health

The calcium in banana milk may be added through fortification, but that doesn’t change its health benefits. Calcium helps your body build bones, as well as maintain a steady heart rate and transport blood.  

Compatible With Vegan Diet

If you’re vegan, you’re in luck. In its most basic form, banana milk is made from just bananas and water—but even commercial preparations are generally free of animal products. (Always read labels to be sure.)

Non-Allergenic

It is, of course, possible to be allergic to bananas (and, therefore, banana milk), though this is rare. People with a known banana allergy should not drink banana milk.

May Reduce Blood Pressure

The body needs potassium to perform many essential functions, and getting enough each day can help reduce blood pressure, prevent kidney stones, and support bone health. Banana milk may only provide 10% of your daily value, but every little bit counts.

Adverse Effects

For most people, bananas and their milk made a healthy addition to the diet. But if you require a low-potassium diet for health reasons, such as kidney disease, you may need to limit your consumption of banana milk.

Additionally, bananas contain an amino acid called tyramine, which has been linked to migraines in some people. If you know tyramine triggers migraines, you’ll want to stay away from large quantities of banana milk. Similarly, people who take medications called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), may also need to limit foods with tyramine.

Varieties 

Because banana milk suppliers are relatively few, there’s no great diversity of options for this drink. Any variations will mostly be in added flavor, such as chocolate or strawberry.

Storage and Food Safety

Banana milk is perishable, so keep it in the fridge and use it within seven to 10 days of opening. It’s also best to give the bottle a good shake before opening and drinking, since its contents may settle.

How to Prepare 

When you buy a bottle of pre-made banana milk, there’s no preparation required. Just open and pour. You may also choose to make your own banana milk. Most recipes simply involve blitzing a banana, water, and flavorings of your choice in a blender. 

You can substitute banana milk for dairy or nut milk on cereal, as a solo beverage, or in recipes. Just be aware that its signature banana taste may not complement every recipe.

Recipes

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Article Sources
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  • National Institutes of Health: Calcium. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/#h1

    National Institutes of Health: Potassium. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/#h7