Plantains, the green-skinned cousins of bananas, are equally tasty and healthy. These tropical produces are used more as veggies than as fruits. One of the staple sources of carbohydrates, plantains are good sources of various minerals such as potassium and vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin A. Plus, they also contain dietary fiber in admirable quantities that render them these health benefits.
Read on to know more about the benefits of including plantains in your diet.
13 Benefits of Plantain You Should Know
1. Natural remedy for constipation and digestive troubles
100 grams of plantain contains nearly 2.3 grams dietary fiber, meeting 6% of the recommended daily allowance. Dietary fiber, as studies have proven, is essential for proper passage of food through the intestines. It helps in better digestion, absorption of nutrients, and elimination of toxic wastes from your intestines.
The fiber in plantains bind with the stools, make them soft enough to ease constipation. These tropical veggies are also known to help in easing and warding off other digestive issues, including indigestion.
2. Rich source of energy
As mentioned before, plantains are wonderful sources of carbohydrates. They also contain a good amount of various vitamins and minerals, making it a reliable energy source. Eating a ripe banana before or after working out is known to prevent fatigue and boost recovery.
3. Source of powerful antioxidants
Plantains are rich with vitamin C and vitamin A, two powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals. 100 grams of plantain yields about 37.5% of RDA of vitamin A and 31% vitamin C. These compounds prevent oxidative damages caused by the free oxygen molecules, shielding you from various health conditions, including cancer.
The antioxidants also help in delaying the onset of premature aging signs like wrinkles and graying, keeping your skin younger and glowing.
4. Takes care of your blood pressure levels
One cup cooked and mashed plantain yields about 913 mg potassium, meeting 20% of the recommended daily allowance. And, that is why it is one of the richest sources of potassium. Plus it contains sodium in very less quantities, in fact less than 1% of RDA. Studies suggest that snacking on these tropical plant produces help in lowering the levels of blood pressure, making it a perfect natural solution for hypertension.
5. Keeps your renal system healthy
According to assorted scientific studies, a diet rich in potassium helps in keeping the renal system healthy. The potassium works as a natural diuretic and promotes the elimination of toxins and wastes from the kidneys, thus shielding it from various conditions.
6. Could help in weight and diabetes management
The fiber in plantains help in keeping you fuller for a prolonged period, thus averting the chances of overindulges. Fiber also prevents fluctuations in the blood sugar levels, thus keeping your hunger pangs under control. These two properties make plantain a good solution for weight and diabetes management.
7. Beneficial for heart health
Plantains contain fiber and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Plus, it also contains vitamin B6. Studies reveal that these veggies could also help in lowering the levels of cholesterol and regulate the rhythm of your heart beat. In addition, it also helps with blood pressure management. All these factors work in a synchronizing way to lower cardiovascular risks and keep your heart healthy.
8. Boosts your immune system
Snacking on plantains could boost your immune system, says studies. Packed with about 37% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, plantains are rich sources of various minerals and other vitamins, all which contribute towards better functioning of immune system. A strong immune system keeps infections at bay.
9. Good for skin and eyes
Plantains, as mentioned above, are richly backed with vitamin A. Vitamin A is the antioxidant that helps in improving your vision and prevents age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A also prevents premature aging by warding off the free radicals. It also improves the skin complexion.
10. Rich source of vitamin B complex
Vitamin B6 present in plantains help in keeping your brain healthy. It lowers the levels of homocysteine, thus shielding you from various cardiovascular conditions like stroke and coronary artery disease. It also helps in preventing and curing conditions like neuritis. The present of folates, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin in this fruit makes it a powerful brain food.
11. Richly packed with magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that has a very prominent place in various functions of the human body. From keeping your blood pressure under control to averting the risk of diabetes Type 2, it is essential to keep you healthy. Magnesium is also essential for proper absorption of calcium, thus keeping your joints healthy and prevent osteoporosis. Magnesium is also essential to ward off headaches, migraine, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
12. Could lower the risk of ulcers
According to a study that appeared in the International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, plantains could help in preventing the formation of peptic ulcer cause by extensive use of aspirin. It also helps in faster recuperation from this condition by stimulating the growth of stomach lining.
13. Beneficial for women
Various studies suggest that plantains could help in easing menstrual discomfort. Being rich in potassium and vitamin B6, it helps in managing premenstrual symptoms like depression and bloating. Studies also suggest that the rich presence of vitamin B6 in plantains enable it to prevent or lower the chances of miscarriages in women.
Plantain Nutrition Facts
Plantain belongs to same botanical family as Banana. It is most likely that people who have banana allergy might also get reactions from it too. Some of the primary symptoms of the allergy include mouth or throat itching, wheezing, hives or swelling. The reactions might start just few minutes after eating it.
Now that you know about the various plantain benefits, when are you going to start using it?