Are There Benefits of Banana Milkshakes?

Banana milkshakes seem like a sweet, indulgent treat, but when made with healthy ingredients, they provide essential nutrients. Use skim milk and frozen bananas to make an icy cold, thick milkshake in your blender without a lot of fat and calories. Add plain yogurt or fat-free frozen yogurt for extra thickness. Including other frozen fruits, such as strawberries or mango, adds more nutrients and enhances the flavor.

Banana milkshake (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Meals and Snacks

When you're in a hurry in the morning and tempted to skip breakfast, a banana milkshake is a quick solution. It's vital to have breakfast to provide the energy you need to start your day The Arthritis Foundation points out that people who skip breakfast tend to be less active for the rest of the day and are often more prone to overeating. If you need a snack later in the day, a banana milkshake is a good alternative to sugary or fat-laden snacks and will help you avoid an afternoon slump.

Nutrients

A milkshake made with just 1/2 cup of sliced bananas and 1 cup of skim milk is fat-free and contains 160 calories, making it a good addition to a weight-loss regimen. The milkshake is a good source of heart-healthy fiber and protein. The banana offers 9 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein, while the milk contains no fiber and 8 grams of protein. A serving of banana contains 17 grams of carbohydrates and 1 cup of milk contains 12 grams of carbohydrates and 118 milligrams of sodium.

Minerals

Milk is a good source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. A cup of skim milk contains 29 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium and 11 percent of the potassium you need daily. Bananas also contain potassium, coming in at 11 percent of your daily needs in each half-cup serving. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth and aids in the functioning of blood vessels, muscles and nerves. Potassium is vital for a healthy heart and plays an important role in the healthy functioning of muscles and the digestive system.

Vitamins

A cup of skim milk provides 54 percent of your recommended intake for vitamin B-12. Deficiency of the vitamin often leads to problems such as anemia, tiredness, constipation and depression. Milk also contains small amounts of vitamins A and C. Bananas offer 10 percent of your recommended daily needs for vitamin C, which is important to maintain a healthy immune system and may play a role in helping to lower blood pressure.

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