Banana milkshake is one of those preparations that everyone loves, regardless of age or taste preferences. However, due to the general perception of “it’s sweet…must be unhealthy”, its fan following is relatively low.What all goes into a banana milkshake?Banana milkshake is basically banana blended in milk – two simple ingredients, neither of which is unhealthy on its own. Banana has negligible fat content, whereas milk being a dairy product helps in reducing the storage of belly fat and neither add unnecessary sugar to blood stream.In fact, banana milkshake – combined with whey protein – makes for an excellent post workout snack because it provides a balanced amount of carbohydrates and proteins that help strengthen muscles. Besides these benefits, combination of banana and milk provides protein, fibre, calcium, vitamins, and minerals, which certainly don’t make you fat. Proteins help in muscle growth; vitamins and minerals increase metabolic rate and help body in functioning more efficiently and fibre keeps you full for longer and helps clean out plaque from arteries. The fat from milk improves nutrient absorption.If you’re worried about calories in bananas and milk, then 1 banana is about 100 calories and 1 glass of low fat milk is about 60-80 calories. So, a plain banana milkshake would be about 160-180 calories. The total calorie from this preparation is lower than a bag of chips (about 600 calories).Additives like sugar, ice cream, unhealthy sweet syrups and all the extra flavourings are loaded with calories, and responsible for “unhealthy” and “fattening” tags on banana milkshake. Simple banana milkshake is loaded with benefits and doesn’t add any unnecessary fat to your body.Health benefits of bananaBananas are a healthy source of carbohydrates and help our body produce energy.They are a good source of potassium and magnesium and help in maintaining normal blood pressure while promoting bone health along with optimal electrolyte balance.They are rich in the soluble fibre, pectin – which aids healthy digestion and relieves constipation.Health benefits of milkMilk has rich calcium content, which helps in maintaining bone density.Phosphorus in milk helps generate energy in the body’s cells and strengthen bones.It contains potassium, which is essential for muscle activity and contractions.Vitamin A in milk regulates cell growth, integrity of the immune system and maintains normal vision and healthy skin.Here are some simple and healthy banana milkshake/smoothie recipes:Quick Banana MilkshakePreparation Time: 5 minutesServing: 1Ingredients:1 banana1 cup skim milk/1 cup plain yogurt3 ice cubes1 tsp ground cinnamon powder/green cardamomMethod:Put banana, milk/yogurt, ice and cinnamon in a blender; puree until smooth.Nutritional value (1 glass – 250 ml):Calories: 170 calsCarbohydrate: 33 gProtein: 9 gFat: 0.7 gPhosphorus: 170 mgCalcium: 200 mgHealthy Nut Banana SmoothiePreparation Time: 5 minutesServing: 1Ingredients:1 banana1 cup skim milk8-10 soaked almonds3 ice cubes1 tsp ground cinnamon powder/green cardamomMethod:Put banana, milk, soaked almonds, ice and cinnamon in a blender; puree until smooth.Nutritional value (1 glass – 250 ml):Calories: 230 calsCarbohydrate: 35 gProtein: 12 gFat: 6.7 gPhosphorus: 220 mgCalcium: 220 mgTry these recipes next time you’re craving a yummy banana milkshake.