Researchers came to this conclusion by measuring the flavan-3-ol plasma levels of a small group of healthy men after they’d fasted for 12 hours. Unfortunately, the size of the study was quite small and no women were included, so these findings will need to be confirmed in future, inclusive studies.
The findings are still worth noting, not because banana-based smoothies are worthless, but more so as a reminder that a diversity of plant-based foods, fruits included, are beneficial for your health.
In the world of smoothie making, you may consider adding mixed berries (i.e. strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries) to your recipe if possible.
You don’t need to discount bananas entirely, either. In fact, bananas are rich in potassium, which is important for heart health as well.
Other dietary sources of flavan-3-ols include teas, cocoa-based products, and a variety of other fruits including apples, pears, peaches, and grapes—so if berries just aren’t your thing, know you have other options to increase your flavan-3-ol levels.