7 Reasons to Add Plantains to Your Diet

7 Reasons to Add Plantains to Your Diet .

When it comes to fruit, it’s usually easy to decipher exactly which fruit is which simply by sight.

But that’s not always the case. Take, for instance, plantains. At first glance, it’s just as easy to confuse a plantain with a banana, and for good reason. Not only are plantains a close relative of bananas, but the nutrition of this tropical fruit has many of the same qualities as banana nutrition.

Plantains are a close relative of the banana and tend to be mistaken for them. But in one of the 120 countries that grow much of the world’s supply of plantains — like Uganda, Colombia and Cameroon — people know the distinction between the two. That’s because plantains are starchier, contain less sugar than bananas and are much more versatile as a cooking ingredient. Also, unlike bananas, plantains are typically cooked before eating. Well, studies show both bananas and plantains help boost the immune system, regulate digestion and are potassium-rich foods. But the benefits of plantains don’t stop there, which is why you can’t go wrong with this banana doppelgänger.Plus, if you haven’t eaten cooked plantains yet, you’re in for a major treat.

Nutritional Facts About Plantains

One cup raw plantain has roughly (in recommended daily values):

181 calories

47 grams carbohydrates

1.9 grams protein

0.5 grams fat

3.4 grams fiber

27.2 milligrams vitamin C (45 percent DV)

1,668 IU vitamin A (33 percent)

0.4 milligram vitamin B6 (22 percent)

739 milligrams potassium (21 percent)

55 milligrams magnesium (14 percent)

0.9 milligrams iron (5 percent)

Plantains are typically eaten when cooked, which changes the fruit’s nutritional value. One cup of cooked, mashed plantains has:

232 calories

62.3 grams carbohydrates

1.6 grams protein

0.4 gram fat

4.6 grams fiber

1,818 IU vitamin A (36 percent)

21.8 milligrams vitamin C (36 percent)

930 milligrams potassium (27 percent)

0.5 milligram vitamin B6 (24 percent)

64 milligrams magnesium (16 percent)

1.2 milligrams iron (6 percent)

Health Benefits of Plantains

Plantains are a solid source of carbohydrates with a low fat content, but they also provide a number of other health benefits as well. Plus, they don’t contain any significant levels of toxins

1. Great Source of Potassium

There are 913 milligrams of potassium in one cup of cooked, mashed plantains. That accounts for about 20 percent of your recommended daily amount of potassium, making plantains one of the most potassium-rich foods on the planet. Potassium is the third-most abundant mineral in the body, but when depleted, low potassium can affect the function of a number of organs and processes. Potassium is an electrolyte and is affected greatly by the amount of sodium in the body. Potassium plays a major role in regulating blood pressure because it combats the effects of sodium. Many Western diets include too much sodium, which means we could all use more sources of potassium. Snacking on plantains or adding them as a side dish are delicious ways to reach your daily potassium goals and help naturally remedy high blood pressure.Potassium levels also affect skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, which allows for regular digestive and muscular function. It also helps regulate heart rhythm, and studies show that people who consume diets with high potassium levels tend to be at a lower risk of stroke, osteoporosis and renal disease. )

2. Help Regulate the Digestive System

Fiber has a profound effect on the digestive system and plays a significant role in keeping it regular. One cup of plantains provides almost a fifth of the fiber recommended daily, which is roughly 25–30 grams. As a high-fiber food, plantains add bulk to food intake, which aids digestion. That means, according to research from the University of Kentucky’s Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program, consuming plantains is a great way to relieve constipation and provide relief from hemorrhoids and digestive conditions like diverticulitis. Fiber also make you feel full, which can help with weight control. Thus, increasing intake of dietary fiber can also help enhance weight loss in obese individuals. Soluble fiber is also known to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which prevents heart disease. Fiber can also help stabilize blood sugar.

3. Reduce the Number of Harmful Free Radicals

Free radicals, which are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to other harmful elements like tobacco smoke or radiation, play a part in aging, diseases and cancer. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage.A serving of plantains can provide over 35 percent of the vitamin C needed per day, making it one of the best vitamin C foods around. The body can’t store vitamin C (excess is released in urine) or produce it independently, so getting the daily recommended amount is very important.Vitamin C is one of the most powerful vitamins, as it has a hand in growing and repairing tissues all over the body. It’s involved in forming a protein used in making skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels, as well as maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth.

4. Boost the Immune System

Looking to boost your immune system? Then plantains are the perfect snack. They pack 36 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. As another powerful antioxidant, vitamin A provides a number of benefits to the body. Along with vitamin C, it helps control your immune response, which keeps illness at bay, and a number of important immune system responses rely on vitamin A to perform correctly.Vitamin A also has a large part in skin health and cell growth, and is a necessary element for wound healing. Cells that overreact to certain foods are the root of food allergies and ultimately cause inflammation. Vitamin A’s antioxidant properties can neutralize free radicals and help prevent inflammation caused by overreacting cells. It also helps with eye health and vision, especially in low light.

5. Promote Healthy Brain Function

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, generates several important neurotransmitters that carry information from one cell to another. A serving of plantains can provide up to 24 percent of your daily amount needed of vitamin B6.Vitamin B6 benefits healthy brain function and, according to research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, helps make hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine, which keep moods stable, and melatonin, which regulates the body’s clock.Homocysteine levels (an amino acid linked to heart disease and nervous system damage) are also controlled by vitamin B6. The vitamin keeps levels low to help prevent damage and maintain the health of blood vessels.This vitamin in plantains is one of the eight B vitamins that aid in processing food into energy and metabolizing fats. Similar to vitamin A, B6 also helps slow the onset of eye diseases like macular degeneration. It works with B12 to produce red blood cells and cells in the immune system. Boosted levels of vitamin B6 are also linked to prevention or decrease of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

6. Great Source of Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is a very common problem thanks to Western diets and depleted soil due to overfarming. Plantains offer about 16 percent of your daily need for magnesium, which is especially important because magnesium affects over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.From helping to regulate blood pressure to preventing osteoporosis, there are many ways magnesium keeps the body healthy. Magnesium directly affects calcium absorption, which can avert or reverse osteoporosis. It also lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by controlling blood glucose levels via carbohydrate metabolism and insulin regulation. Magnesium has also long been used to help with migraine headaches, insomnia and depression.

7. Prevent Aspirin-Induced Ulcers

In a study from the International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, dried plantain powder showed a significant ulcer-healing effect on an aspirin-induced gastric ulcer. Individuals who use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain are at high risk for developing ulcers in the membrane layer of the stomach. According to the study, dried plantain is able to stimulate the growth of the inner lining of the stomach.

28 Replies

  • Cut paste article . Who may eat this Fruit.

    This has 1 cup (?)

    Carbs 47 GMs Is this good . High in carb.

    Fats 0.5 GMs Is too low

    K 930 (913) which is correct?

  • copy paste is essential to inform nutritional value obtained naturally .If it offends anybody's idea of their own diet ,they do not have to eat this and go for supplements instead..

  • Original source of the information must be posted.

  • thanks for this

  • At least mention it is Copy Paste. Plus source is required.

  • Why?What is the need?

  • information is wealth . What difference does it make , WHETHER IT IS Copy paste or original. In fact copy pate means it is double verified matter .

  • Irrelevant details are not required.It only confuses.

    I bet nobody has read all words.

    This fruit defeats the purpose of LCHF. Do you realise this is

    High in Carbs & very low in fat.

    It would be appreciated if a summary was given.

    K levels were mentioned twice but one different from the other.

    My ldea of Diet is no different. It the LCHF.

    Plantains are very HIGH in Carbs and very very low in Fats.

    Avocados are best for fats.

    Yes Supplements give balanced and controlled minerals.

    There are some highly Informed and experienced members amongst


  • which part was irrelevent and confusing? 47 gram being less than 100 grams is definitely good and can be substituted as a part of overall 100 grams intake of carb diet.

  • The long write up and history of Plantain could be avoided..

    A person may consume 2 plantains or say so he is done for the day?

    K no.is misleading.

    You are right but it defies a LCHF diet. Hardly any fat ?


    Find out a person if he eats goat 100 gms at one time will it hurt .Trigly of the person being 100 and HDL 52


  • what is misleading?What is K you are talking about?Eating one plaintain or two is not mentioned in the post.It does not offend your diet.you can still eat fat to further satisfy your diet of 20:20:60 inspite of eating .plaintain. All confusion is in your mind as you have not read the post completely.There is no confusion in the post but in your understanding.


  • K is Potassium

    Cut & Paste is easy.

    Sorry don't waste your time time


  • same applies to you.

    cut an paste does not reduce the information potential/value

    potasium percentage is a fact of the fruit.There is no mislead. you are cofused and confounded and comletely mixed up between your diet and plaintain as a fruit. good bye

  • You have given 2 different values of Potassium.

    That is the confusion caused by you.

    Plantains are best avoided by diabetics.

    pl.try to solve individual queries.


  • one value for raw fruit. The other for cooked one.There is difference because of cooking.

  • what is posted is not irrelevent.It is to clarify difference between plantain and banana fruits.

  • It is nothing but prejudice .

  • high fat defenders only can talk like this .Raoji it is very informative post .

  • well sAID

  • thanks.I had to reluctantly say this as there was never ending confusion created..

  • Ki-An 264266

    from the post you will see two varieties.banana ripe one can be eaten just like any other fruit.However raw bananas which are in green colour have to be cut to pieces and steamed and eaten as any type of vegetable.

    in case of plaintain even ripe are hard.They can be steamed and made soft and eaten.straight as a fruit.In case of diabetics they can eat one fruit in substitution of other carb diet. It does not spike sugar level.


  • you appear to have joined this forum recently with lot of positive attitude and good approach to blogged info.Good to see you here.

  • God to see you experimenting with plaintain as a food.. Ifeel dogma is making good food a villain by some who appear to be highly dogmatic.

  • your suggestion to search google is okay.I believe a complete infn will help as they do not have to search.and waste further time.

  • my posts are not for people of headstrong nature but for information of others who are interested to know particularly of diabetic india community.

  • Spare ur time and help the sick.

    New Diabetics need guidance.

    No body will benefit from a banana /Plantain micronutrients details.


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