You might think that it’s easy to differentiate between fruits, right? Comparing apples to oranges doesn’t make sense as you can tell the difference between the two. But this doesn’t apply to plantains and bananas. You can easily confuse one with the other.
The truth is that plantains offer the same nutrition as bananas. But there’s more to plantains than meets the eye. So in this article, I’m going to talk about the top 20 health benefits of plantains. Some you might be aware of, but the others can surprise you!
The banana doppelganger also does an excellent job at boosting the immune system. It improves digestion as well. But did you know that it enhances brain function and reduces hypertension as well?
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So let’s find out what we can about plantains!
20 Health Benefits of Plantains
#1 Regulate Digestive System
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Do you know what fiber does? It helps in maintaining the normal function of the digestive system. A cup of plantains offers 25 to 30 grams of fiber, which is one-fifth of the daily consumption.
You already know that plantains are an excellent choice for treating digestive problems. These include constipation and even diverticulitis. The fruit keeps you full for a longer time. So here’s your answer to the question, is plantain good for weight loss?
#2 Excellent Source of Potassium
As little as a cup of plantains provides your body with 20 percent of the daily consumption. In fact, plantains are considered to be one of the richest sources of potassium in the fruit family. When our body doesn’t receive enough of this mineral, it can have adverse effects on the organs.
The electrolyte that is potassium keeps the blood pressure in check. And it does so by negating the ill-effects of sodium. It even has the ability to improve skeletal and muscle contraction. And this goes a long way in enhancing muscular and digestive functions.
#3 Prevent Magnesium Deficiency
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Another chemical element present in plantains is magnesium. This particular component regulates your blood pressure levels to prevent conditions like osteoporosis. And it does so by affecting calcium absorption in the body.
8 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
The banana lookalike also controls blood glucose. So now we know how a ripe plantain and diabetes are connected to one another. What it does is improve carbohydrate metabolism while regulating insulin. And this cuts down the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
#4 Destroy Harmful Free Radicals
We’ve only reached the fourth point out of the 20 health benefits of plantains. And you know so much about them already. But there’s lot more, trust me. So let’s keep going!
Free radicals in the body as a result of tobacco, radiation, etc., right? So the one natural element that helps in getting rid of free radicals that cause life-threatening diseases like cancer is Vitamin C. It is an excellent antioxidant. And plantains have tons of Vitamin C to offer.
#5 Promote Brain Function
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What does ripe plantain give to the body that benefits the brain? It’s called Vitamin B6. This particular compound encourages the production of norepinephrine and serotonin. And these chemical messengers help in keeping the mind stable.
In fact, plantains also contain homocysteine. It’s an amino acid that keeps the nervous system and blood vessels healthy.
#6 Boost Immune System
Very few people are aware of most of the 20 health benefits of plantains. But everybody knows that this banana duplicate improves the immune system. Plantains come with Vitamin A, which is another excellent antioxidant.
Our body relies on this particular compound to keep the immune system in good condition. Vitamin A even has the capacity to encourage cell growth and improve skin health. And we all know how important these two functions are when it comes to wound healing.
#7 Prevent Gastric Ulcers
The dry form of plantain offers high ulcer healing properties. These reduce the risk of developing gastric ulcers. Medication for treating conditions such as chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis cause stomach ulcers.
So at such times, what dried plantain does is encourage the healthy growth of the stomach’s inner lining.
#8 Powerful Antioxidant Properties
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Now you already know that plantains contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A in plenty. And these two compounds are considered to be the most powerful antioxidants in the body. They do a phenomenal job at eliminating free radicals. These increase the risk of developing cancer, so you’re better off without them.
Antioxidants also play a significant role in slowing down the process of aging. So you can expect improvement in the skin as well when you consume plantains on a regular basis.
What do Antioxidants do?
#9 Excellent Source of Carbohydrates
If you make it a point to eat plantains daily, you provide your body with enough energy. The thing about this fruit is that it’s packed with an optimal level of carbohydrates. Even banana is a valuable source in this regard, isn’t it?
Many of us love to devour a banana right before the workout session. So just like that, you can consume a ripe plantain as well. It prevents fatigue while also speeding up muscle and tissue recovery.
#10 Improve Heart Health
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There’s no fruit or vegetable that doesn’t benefit the heart in some way. Every 20 health benefits of plantains or any other natural food talk about the health of the heart. And that is why it’s so important to incorporate fresh veggies and fruits into our daily diet.
Now let’s discuss plantains. This particular fruit offers minerals and fiber such as magnesium and potassium. It even contains Vitamin B6. All these natural elements contribute to reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels in the body. They also keep a check on the heartbeat.
And do you know what all this leads to? The prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
#11 Maintain Proper Functioning of Urinary System
When your urinary system receives enough potassium daily, it remains healthy.
Here’s another surprising benefit of plantains. They have excellent diuretic properties. Now this means that plantains support the removal of toxins and wastes from your kidneys. And when that happens, the chances of developing various kidney diseases get eliminated.
#12 Keep Blood Pressure in Check
A cup of plantains offers 913 mg of potassium. This amounts to 20 percent of the daily consumption. And to make things even better, plantains don’t contain a lot of sodium. In fact, the quantity is lower than 1%.
Such a high level of potassium and low level of sodium go a long way in keeping your blood pressure in check. Now you know how ripe plantain health benefits extend to treating hypertension.
#13 Help with Weight Loss and Diabetes Treatment
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Plantains have fiber, and fiber helps in keeping the stomach full for longer. And when you feel full for an extended period of time, you don’t end up consuming a lot of food.
What fiber also does is restrict blood sugar fluctuations, thus preventing hunger pangs. And it’s these properties that make the fruit ideal for weight management and diabetes.
#14 Improve Eyesight and Skin Health
Plantains come with Vitamin A, right? And Vitamin A has potent antioxidant properties, right again? So what Vitamin A does is improve vision. It can even control the cell degeneration of the eye (macular degeneration).
As for the skin, you cannot halt the aging process, but you can keep it under control. This is also where Vitamin A comes into the picture.
#15 Ease Menstrual Discomfort and Prevent Miscarriages
If you’re wondering what are the benefits of ripe plantain during pregnancy, you’re in the right place. Since plantain has a rich content of Vitamin B6, it lowers the risk of miscarriages.
Even when it comes to dealing with menstrual discomfort, plantains offer significant advantages. The fruit’s Vitamin B6 and potassium levels relieve premenstrual symptoms. These include bloating and depression.
#16 Valuable Anti-inflammatory Properties
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Most of the 20 health benefits of plantains lists discuss the fruit’s anti-inflammatory characteristics. And why not when it has apigenin and allantoin!
These two natural compounds combine to act as potent anti-inflammatory agents. Very few people are aware of this particular fact when it comes to plantains, and bananas as a matter of fact.
#17 Restrict Growth of Cancer Cells
Plantain extract has the ability to limit the growth of cancer cells in the body. A study suggests that the fruit works best when combined with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. It also highlights the fact that plantains prevent DNA damage. This is often accompanied by the multiplication of cancer cells.
How do Cancer Cells Behave Differently from Healthy Ones? - George Zaidan
#18 Help to Quit Smoking
Plantain herb health benefits extend to kicking the butt as well. But how is this possible? When you use dried form of plantain, you can add it to your tea. But don’t forget to steep it for 10 minutes before consuming it.
What plantain does is reduce nicotine cravings. This way you don’t end up smoking an entire cigarette. So plantain quit smoking sprays and tinctures are more useful than you can imagine. They create the best natural aversion when it comes to cigarettes.
#19 Boost Respiratory System
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Plantain is one of those fruits that maintain a healthy respiratory system. It helps in reducing lung inflammation and irritation. And it also contributes to treating laryngitis and bronchial congestion.
Plantain does an excellent job at curing something as mild as a cough in the most natural manner. In fact, it heals bronchitis and upper respiratory issues as well.
#20 Restore Injured or Damaged Nerves
This is the last and most surprising one out of the 20 health benefits of plantains. Did you know that plantains contain aucubin? This is nothing but a strong nerve healing bioactive compound. It contributes to healing injured or damaged nerves in the body. So now it should come as no surprise to find out that you can consume plantains to keep your nerves in good shape.
There’s nothing more you need to know about plantains. Nothing except one crucial fact. Plantains do offer the same nutritional value as bananas. And that’s because both the fruits belong to the same family. But what you should know is that you cannot consume plantains without cooking them.
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So you can look up as many plantain recipes as you like to incorporate the fruit into your daily diet. Once you do that, you will be keeping your heart, immune system, eyes, skin, and digestive tract in good shape. So tell me one reason why you wouldn’t want to do that!
Were you aware of all the 20 plantain health benefits discussed in the article? Which one was the most surprising to you?
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