Going bananas again: Banana tea is the latest feelgood lockdown craze
First it was banana bread and now banana tea is the newest lockdown craze. Try it if sleep has been eluding you.
The new lockdown craze of banana tea is becoming quite the health trend. During the hard lockdown we were all baking banana bread and this time around we are revisiting those cheerful bunches of fruit to make soothing banana tea.
As with most trends, it all started on Twitter when comedian Gerry McBride shared that he used to drink banana tea (put sliced banana in boiled water, then let it cool) before bed and “it would knock you out like you owed it money”.
He added the tea includes peel and all, but you don’t eat the banana or peel after you drink the tea:
“Just down the tea and be sure to be somewhere it’s OK for you to pass out.”
So how does it work?
According to influencers and those in the know, banana tea is packed with good things like potassium and magnesium, and is a great remedy for anxiety and insomnia. Banana tea oracle McBride shared an article on his Twitter by Mommy Potamus, a popular parenting blog, explaining why banana tea was the go-to bedtime drink for the tired and wired.
Health experts say some of the minerals found in bananas, like potassium and magnesium, are natural muscle relaxants, helping to calm the nervous system and prepare the body for a night of deep sleep.
Forbes also reports that bananas “contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP, in turn, is converted to serotonin [a relaxing neurotransmitter] and melatonin”.
How to make banana tea
There are several ways to make banana tea. Mommy Potamus, for instance, advises cutting off the ends of the banana and slicing it into a few pieces – keeping the skin on as it has all the good minerals.
Place the pieces into a small pot and cover them with water. Boil for 10 minutes, strain the banana out using a colander and your tea is ready to drink. You can add vanilla extract, cinnamon or honey for extra sweetness.
Or you can simply boil a whole banana – skins and all – in water. Once boiled, remove the fruit, drink the liquid or add it to regular black tea or green tea.
Have banana tea in moderation
As with anything in life, moderation is key. According to dietitian Sophie Pratt, though there is no concrete evidence about the harmful effects of excessive banana tea consumption, overconsuming bananas has been found to increase levels of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia).
While you would have to consume a large number of bananas for this to happen, it’s good to keep in mind before you begin brewing copious pots of banana tea.
On the upside, she also says:
“Banana skins are a source of fibre, antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium, which may help improve sleep quality.”Dietitian Sophie Pratt
Another use for old bananas
If you have leftover, lousy looking bananas at home and are sick of banana tea, you can either put them in your compost heap or make a natural fertiliser for your plants from them. Here’s how Ariana from @growwithari does it: