Strawberry banana smoothies are a cold, sweet beverage typically made by blending together strawberries, bananas, plain or vanilla-flavored low-fat yogurt and ice cubes. Recipes for this treat vary, however, and sometimes include milk or heavy cream and other ingredients. Using other ingredients may increase fat and calories, as well as impact the degree of creaminess and thickness.
A 12-ounce serving of strawberry banana smoothie contains 188 to 210 calories, putting it into the range of an ideal snack. The Diet Channel suggests limiting snack calories to 100 to 200 -- this amount gives you enough of a boost to take the edge off hunger pangs until your next meal but doesn't use up too many calories in those allotted for your meal plan. This portion of smoothie is low in fat, containing no more than 1 gram of fat, although this can vary depending on how your smoothie is made. The ingredients also influence the number of carbohydrates and protein. A 12-ounce serving of smoothie can provide 2 to 44 grams of carbohydrates and 2 to 16 grams of protein. These macronutrients serve as sources of energy for your body, so it is vital to eat enough of them to meet your nutritional goals -- the Institute of Medicine recommends 130 grams of carbs and 46 to 56 grams of protein each day. Monitor carbohydrate consumption, however; including too many carbohydrates in your meal plan can contribute to excess weight gain.
The sugar content of a strawberry banana smoothie can vary, depending on whether your recipe calls for added sugars, such as granulated sugar, honey or artificial sweeteners. Bananas and strawberries have a high level of natural sugars; however, foods with naturally occurring sugars generally enhance your diet because of their nutritional value. A 12-ounce serving of strawberry banana smoothie can contain up to 44 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sugar consumption to 6 to 9 teaspoons per day, the equivalent of 25.2 to 37.8 grams. A diet high in added sugars can increase your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamin C content in a serving of strawberry banana smoothie is excellent, thanks to the strawberries -- each 12 ounce serving of smoothie contains up to 70 percent of the recommended daily intake. The reputation vitamin C holds as a common cold fighter has more to do with its cell repair benefits than any effectiveness against viruses. This vitamin, an antioxidant, helps ward off damage from free radicals and plays a critical role in healing wounds. A strawberry banana smoothie also boosts your calcium consumption; a 12-ounce portion of smoothie provides 8 to 10 percent of the calcium you need daily. The amount of calcium you ingest influences the strength of your bones and teeth, your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Women, in particular, should consider drinking strawberry banana smoothies to increase their calcium intake -- as women age, they need more calcium to keep their bones strong.
The fruit in a strawberry banana smoothie provides a range of nutritional benefits. Bananas supply fiber, which protects bowel health and helps regulate digestion. The amount of potassium in bananas also make them a good fruit to eat to decrease your risk of kidney stones. Strawberries promote good eyesight and decrease symptoms of arthritis, thanks to the high volume of antioxidants. This fruit also contains folate -- this makes strawberry banana smoothies a must for pregnant women, as folate helps ward off birth defects of the spine.
- Recipe.com: Strawberry-Banana Smoothies
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Homemade Strawberry/Banana Smoothie
- MyFitnessPal:McDonald's -- Strawberry Banana Smoothie (Small)
- The Diet Channel: Calories: What's an Ideal Daily Intake?
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: the Importance of Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Calcium