HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLANTAIN
At first glance, it looks like a banana. But when you pick it up, you realize it’s bigger, firmer and has a thick skin. It’s not a banana—it’s a plantain.
Most people are confused because it looks so much like a banana but it doesn’t peel like a banana, tastes (much) like a banana, and it isn’t eaten like a banana. The plantain is a starchy cousin of the banana, and all that added starch means it almost always needs to be cooked before it can be eaten.
Plantain. Plantain is a major food staple in Africa, and West Africa is one of the major plantain-producing regions of the world, accounting for approximately 32% of worldwide production. Plantains are the fruit of the Musa Paradisiaca, a type of banana
The resistant starches and micronutrients in plantains offer several health benefits, especially when plantains are consumed with minimal processing. Here’s what some of the research says.
Aids Pregnancy Nutrition: Plantains are a crucial source of vitamin A for people living in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. For women of childbearing age, plantain consumption contributes to the prevention of vitamin A deficiency (which increases the risk of preterm delivery). Furthermore, plantains provide folate and iron, which play key roles in maintaining a healthy pregnancy as well.
Controls Blood Sugar: Plantains are high in resistant starch. Just like other types of fiber, resistant starch doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. By slowing down digestion, promoting satiety, and enhancing “good” gut bacteria, the resistant starch in plantains promotes glycemic control.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Plantains are a wonderful source of potassium, an important mineral and electrolyte that reduces hypertension.One medium-sized boiled plantain has 1,040 milligrams of potassium. Since most adults need between 2600–3400 milligrams per day, plantains can help you meet your requirements. Because they are a naturally low sodium food, plantains support a dietary plan for treating hypertension (as long as you don’t add salt in preparation).
Reduces Constipation: The fiber in plantains helps promote regularity. Plantains have both soluble and insoluble fiber (along with resistant starch) which all work together to move matter through the digestive tract. If looking to increase your daily fiber intake, give your body some time to adjust to eating more fiber by increasing slowly over time and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Prevents Iron-Deficiency Anemia: Plantains provide iron and vitamin C, two micronutrients that work together to optimize absorption. Although iron from plant sources is not usually as easily absorbed, vitamin C increases its bioavailability. Iron-deficiency anemia causes fatigue, difficulty concentrating, impaired immunity, and poor regulation of body temperature. Plantains can help you avoid this common condition.