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Plantains: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Plantains: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Learn about the nutrition facts and health benefits of plantains

Plantains are similar to bananas but are less sweet and starchier. They are a staple in many tropical countries and are almost always cooked before eating.

As a healthy source of complex carbs and other nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, plantains have many health benefits. Learn about the nutrition facts and health benefits of plantains.

What is the nutritional value of plantains?

Nutrition facts for 1 cup or 200 grams of plantain are as follows:

Basic components

  • Protein: 1.6 grams
  • Water: 135 grams

Calories

  • Total calories: 232
  • Calories from carbohydrates: 224
  • Calories from fat: 3.0
  • Calories from protein: 5.3

Carbohydrates

  • Total carbohydrates: 62.3 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 4.6 grams
  • Sugars: 28.0 grams

Fats and fatty acids

  • Total fat: 0.4 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 grams
  • Total omega-3 fatty acids: 24.0 mg
  • Total omega-6 fatty acids: 42.0 mg

Vitamins

Minerals

  • Calcium: 4.0 mg
  • Iron: 1.2 mg
  • Magnesium: 64.0 mg
  • Phosphorus: 56.0 mg
  • Potassium: 930 mg
  • Zinc: 0.3 mg
  • Copper: 0.1 mg
  • Selenium: 2.8 mcg

11 potential health benefits of plantains

1. Nutrient-dense

Plantains are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium
  • Iron

Plantains are also rich in antioxidants, which protect you against the free radical damage and oxidative stress that can lead to disease.

2. Improves digestive health

Plantains are rich in fiber, which promotes regular bowel movements and reduces the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticular disease.

Since they contain resistant starch, they are good for the gut because resistant starch is broken down and absorbed much more slowly in the digestive tract. The starch then feeds good gut bacteria, which are important for digestive health.

3. Promotes weight loss

Because plantains are low in fat, high in fiber, and an excellent source of complex carbs, they are great for weight loss. Since they are digested slowly, plantains can help you feel full for longer and prevent you from overeating or snacking throughout the day.

4. May prevent ulcers

Unripe plantains contain manganese, potassium, and leucocyanidin, which promote mucus secretion in the stomach. This can help reduce the risk of developing ulcers and promote ulcer healing.

5. Helps control blood sugar

When consumed in moderation, plantains may help you manage your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. This is because they are high in fiber and complex carbs, which means they help prevent blood sugar spikes.

6. Good for your heart

Plantain is a rich source of potassium, which is necessary for the maintenance of cells and body fluids that regulate your heart rate and blood pressure. The fiber in plantains is also good for lowering your cholesterol, which means that it can keep your heart healthy.

7. Helps strengthen bones

Plantain is high in calcium, which helps build strong teeth and bones and promotes the health of muscles. Studies have shown that plantains can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, which causes bone weakness.

8. Promotes healthy brain function

Plantain contains vitamin B6, which is important for brain health. It aids in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, which help regulate mood, as well as melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.

9. Good for kidneys and bladder

Studies have suggested that plantains may have diuretic properties that are good for treating kidney and bladder disorders.

10. Good for pregnancy

Pregnant women are recommended to increase their intake of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin A, and folate, which can be found in plantains.

11. Promotes skin health

Plantain is high in vitamin A, allantoin, apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid, sorbitol, and tannin, which promote wound healing, cell regeneration, and skin softening. Using plantain as a topical treatment may be beneficial for skin allergies, insect bites, dermatitis, and other skin issues.

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