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.
What is the nutritional value of plantains?
Nutrition facts for 1 cup or 200 grams of plantain are as follows:
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Water: 135 grams
- Total calories: 232
- Calories from carbohydrates: 224
- Calories from fat: 3.0
- Calories from protein: 5.3
- 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
- Vitamin A: 1818 IU
- Vitamin C: 21.8 mg
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol): 0.3 mg
- Vitamin K: 1.4 mcg
- Niacin: 1.5 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg
- Folate: 52.0 mcg
- Pantothenic acid: 0.5 mg
- Choline: 25.4 mg
- 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
Plantains are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
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
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.