Plantains are green counterparts of the yellow bananas, which are more popular. However, many people don’t know that plantains are actually nutritious just like their cousins. In other tropical regions, they are even considered a staple, particularly as a source of starch. Aside from starch, it has many health benefits, which is why they are best described as super foods.
Among the nutrients found in plantains are the following:
- Fiber: One of the healthiest nutrients known to man, fiber has many health benefits, including keeping bowel movements regular. It provides help as well when it comes to reducing constipation. For those who are on a diet, eating plantains can keep you feeling full for hours, so you don’t crave for other foods.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin has long been recognized as essential to the eyes. When you have enough vitamin A regularly, you can protect yourself against eye disease, vision blurriness, and even macular degeneration. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that can help improve your skin.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is also an antioxidant like vitamin A that plays a role in building up the immune system. This way, you can protect yourself against colds and infections. Vitamin C is also helpful in getting rid of free radicals that could lead to several diseases, including serious ones, such as heart disease and stroke.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6, which is also known as pyridoxine, has many health benefits, including as a treatment for neuritis. B6 is also useful as a treatment for anemia, which is common in adults. This vitamin can also help in treating homocysteine problems by maintaining its homocysteine levels to prevent episodes of stroke as well as coronary heart disease.
- Potassium: Plantains, just like bananas, are also rich in potassium. This is a mineral that the body needs in order for it to help control heart rate and avoid a spike in blood pressure.
Plantains have more calories than bananas. A hundred grams of plantains can give you 122 calories, while 100 grams of bananas only have 89 calories. However, this means that plantains have more starch and a better source for energy than the other yellow fruit. Additionally, plantains have more vitamin A than bananas and they also beat their cousins when it comes to potassium content. So after a heavy meal full of sodium, you can add plantains to your diet to counter the harmful effects of excessive salt.