One Fruit You Should Stop Putting in Your Smoothies, According to Doctor

Blending fruits and vegetables to make a smoothie has many benefits, but research has shown that one key ingredient isn’t as beneficial as we may think.

Dr. Pedi Mirdamadi, a naturopathic doctor and founder of Oasis Health and Medicine in Encinitas, California, went viral on TikTok for explaining why one shouldn’t add bananas into the mix. Reflecting on his own experience, he told Newsweek, “I was having a banana in my smoothie for years in the mornings and sometimes even after workouts. So when I saw the study showing that this may not be the best idea, I was surprised!”

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Racking up over 138,000 views, Mirdamadi, who goes by @drpedinaturalhealth on both TikTok and Instagram, refers to a 2023 study conducted by scientists at the University of California, Davis, in collaboration with the University of Reading in the U.K. They found that adding the popular fruit, often used to add natural sweetness and a creamy texture, to berries can significantly lower the absorption of important compounds called flavanols.

Smoothie advice
Two screenshots from the viral video where Dr. Pedi Mirdamadi can be seen explaining what fruit to avoid when making a berry smoothie.


Flavanols are natural substances found in foods like berries, tea, and apples, and they are known to support heart and brain health. According to the study, when participants drank a smoothie with both bananas and berries, their bodies absorbed 84 percent fewer flavanols compared to when they had a smoothie with just berries. This is because bananas contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which breaks down flavanols, making them less available for the body to use.

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Dr. Gunter Kuhnle, a nutrition expert at the University of Reading, said in the August 2023 study that flavanols are crucial for keeping our hearts and minds healthy. He said: “If you don’t consume enough flavanols, it can negatively affect cardiovascular health. In older adults, a deficiency of flavanols is also linked to cognitive decline.”

Mirdamadi, who lives in San Diego, emphasized the health benefits of a subgroup of flavonoids called flavan-3-ols, which are natural compounds found in various fruits, tea, and cocoa.

He told Newsweek: “The study shows how the levels of the flavan-3-ols in the plasma after ingestion were lower when they were taken with a banana compared to without it.”

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The doctor the health benefits of flavan-3-ols which include the following:

  1. Antioxidant: They help protect your cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. This can reduce the risk of various diseases and slow down the aging process.
  2. Anticarcinogen: They may help prevent cancer by stopping the growth of cancer cells and protecting DNA from damage that can lead to cancer.
  3. Cardiac preventive: They support heart health by improving blood vessel function, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol levels. This helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
  4. Antimicrobial: They can help fight off harmful bacteria and other microbes, reducing the risk of infections.
  5. Anti-viral: They can help protect against viruses, potentially reducing the severity and duration of viral infections.
  6. Neuro-protective: They help protect the brain and nervous system, which can improve brain function and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

In summary, flavan-3-ols are beneficial compounds that can help protect your body from various diseases and support overall health.

Despite these findings, Mirdamadi acknowledges that bananas are still a nutritious choice. However, smoothie drinkers are advised to replace bananas. Mirdamadi suggests adding an avocado as it is an excellent source of healthy fats and adds creaminess.

“The intention here is not to say bananas are bad, just to say that it may be better to have bananas with minimal other foods and ideally not with flavan-3-ol rich foods,” Mirdamadi said. “Bananas are great to eat. They are an excellent source of potassium and great before or after workouts.”

So, next time you make a smoothie, you might want to consider leaving out the banana if you’re including flavanol-rich fruits like berries. Enjoy bananas on their own or with other foods to get the most out of your smoothie ingredients.

However, TikTok users aren’t convinced and many people have commented to say they refuse to leave it out.

“I’m gonna pretend like I didn’t see this,” said one user. Another vowed: “I will ALWAYS add bananas to my smoothies!”

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