When talking about fruits, it is commonly easy to interpret precisely which fruit is it in particular, by simply using our eyes. It is an exercise of comparing an exercise of comparing apples to oranges –literally. Nonetheless, that is not always the case though. For example, plantains. At the first glance, it is just as easy to puzzle out that the plantain is a banana. And that is for a good reason. Not only that these plantains are closely related to bananas, the nutrition of it has a lot of the same qualities as the nutritional values of banana. If you want to know more about the nutrition and health benefits of plantain, give this article a read!
Plantains: What are these?
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Aforementioned, plantains are closely related to banana and be likely to be wrong for them. Nonetheless, in some of the countries that grow the fruit for the world consumption, like Cameroon, Colombia, and Uganda, they surely know what are the distinctions or differences between the two. That is mainly for the reason that plantains are much starchier, has lesser sugar content, and are more versatile when used in cooking. Furthermore, unlike the bananas, plantains are usually cooked before consuming them.
Moreover, the plantain trees grow best in the tropical, moisture-rich climates. The flowers of the tree develop into a bunch that holds approximately 5-10 fruits. The plantain doesn’t really have its own growing season and is, hence, available all year-round. This is what makes them very valuable and reliable food source for the developing countries.
Only about 15% of the global production of the plantain is used in trading. The rest is used up domestically in the countries where they are grown. Mind you, they are grown all over the world. As a matter of fact, the plantain is the tenth most significant staple foods that feed the world today.
In spite of their popularity in various countries, the plantains are not that common in the United States. Nevertheless, they are available in most of the large markets or grocery stores. Moreover, plantain is rich in essential nutrients, which help provide a lot of vitamins and mineral. It may also be a great substitute for potatoes and rice.
Nutritional Values of Plantain
A cup of raw plantain has about:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin C||27.2 milligrams||45%|
|Vitamin A||1668 International Unit||33%|
|Vitamin B6||0.4 milligrams||22%|
The plantains are usually eaten when cooked. This may change the nutritional value of the fruit. A cup of cooked plantain has about:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin C||21.8 milligrams||36%|
|Vitamin A||1818 International Unit||36%|
|Vitamin B6||0.5 milligrams||24%|
Point of Ripeness of Plantains
The plantains are available in most of the major grocery stores or markets all year-round, and you may also purchase it at any of its point of ripeness. There are three main points of ripening, which can make the plantains a versatile fruit to prepare.
- Black plantain. Despite its black color, the black plantain is good to eat. Among the three, it is the sweetest as well as the softest. Moreover, they are typically baked and consumed as a dessert.
- Yellow plantain. This is slightly sweet. The yellow plantain is mature and most often turned into fried plantains, but it can also be grilled, boiled, or cooked.
- Green plantain. When the plantain is green the pulp of it is hard and the sometimes the peel must be removed with the use of a knife. On this particular stage, the plantain is starchy and is not so sweet. It is somewhat similar to potatoes.
Health Benefits of Plantain
Here are some of the most remarkable health benefits of plantain:
- Helps in preventing aspirin-induced ulcers. A study suggests that the dried plantain powder has an effect in treating an ulcer that is induced by aspirin.
- A great source of magnesium. Having the capacity of providing about 16% of the daily needs of magnesium, plantain is essential in regulating the blood pressure levels in the body. This is also beneficial in the prevention of osteoporosis.
- Helps in promoting healthy brain function. The vitamin B6 in the plantain is essential in generating various important neurotransmitter, which carries the information from a cell to another.
- Helps in boosting the immunity. There is about 36% of the daily value need of vitamin A in plantain. This is a powerful antioxidant, which provides a lot of health benefits in the body.
- Helps in reducing free radicals. The free radicals that the body produces when it breaks down the foods we eat have a part in the process of aging, as well as the onset of various conditions, like cancer. Good thing, the plantain is oozing with so much vitamin C, which is an antioxidant essential for the reduction of free radicals in the body.
- Helps in regulating the digestive system. The fiber in the plantain is essential in keeping the digestive system regulated. The consumption of this fruit is also essential in relieving constipation and providing relief for hemorrhoids.