Plantains are one food that people do not know much about. They look just like banana, but are the less-sweet, starchier version of it. Plantains are an essential staple food for people living in tropical countries like Benin republic, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Unlike bananas that are eaten raw, plantains are almost always cooked before eating. As a matter of fact, plantains taste quite awful when eaten raw.
Apart from the physical difference between plantain and bananas, there are several vital nutritional differences between the ripe and unripe plantain. Also, there are many health benefits that you’ll get from eating unripe plantain.
Difference between ripe and unripe plantain
|Ripe plantain||Unripe plantain|
|Micronutrient loss happens as plantain ripen||Unripe plantain contains more Micronutrient|
|ripe plantain contains little or no probiotics||Unripe plantain Contains probiotics|
|High glycemic index (Bad for diabetics)||Low glycemic index (Good or diabetics) (Makes it take longer to digest)|
|Most of the starch has been converted to simple sugar has lower resistance starch||May cause bloating and gas due to high resistant starch|
|High sugar content||Low sugar content|
|So, Not good for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes||Good for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes|
|Higher levels of antioxidants ( levels of antioxidants increase with the age of the Plantain)||Low antioxidant|
Health benefits of unripe plantain
1. It promotes cardiovascular health
Unripe plantain has a reasonable amount of serotonin in it that dilates the arteries, improves the flow of blood and lessens homocystine ( homocystine is a condition that causes stroke and coronary artery disease).
You may suffer a shortage of serotonin if you have been moody, depressed, suffer from tiredness or low energy, feel tense, negative thoughts. It may also happen if you are irritable, crave sweets or other sugary things, and have a reduced interest in sex.
There are several other serotonin related disorders such as insomnia and depression. Serotonin is known to play an essential role in the regulation of mood, appetite and blood pressure.
Unripe plantain is rich in potassium, and that makes it friendly to the heart by preventing hypertension, heart attack and controlling heart rate as well as blood pressure. Also, the fibre content of unripe plantain is wonderful for reducing high cholesterols level which also lessens the risk of developing any heart condition.
2. Boost Nervous and immune systems
The content of vitamin B6 in unripe plantain is another wonderful advantage it has. In the human body, vitamin B6 is involved in the reaction of more than 150 enzyme. These enzymes are help your body to process the carbs, protein, and fat that you eat.
Vitamin B6 is also linked closely with the functioning of both your nervous and immune systems. More recently, it has been discovered that vitamin B6 has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
3. Unripe Plantain is great for weight loss and Diabetes
Unripe plantain has a relatively low carbohydrates and a high fibre content. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals. When you eat unripe plantain with lots of green vegetable and chicken, it is not only a great weight loss meal, but a healthy one for all ages.
One large finger of unripe plantain carries a total of 4 grams of dietary fiber, and that makes it a perfect fruit for people trying to lose weight. For people who want to try the low-glycemic (low-GI) diet, plantain is one food that will be a great addition to your menu.
Studies have revealed that the low-GI diet may lead to weight loss, lower the risks of heart disease, reduce blood sugar levels, and prevent or help manage type 2 diabetes. Unripe plantain has a very low sugar content when compared to the ripe or over ripe variety.
The low sugar content makes it a healthy choice for people who have diabetes, especially when it is eaten with other fibre and protein rich food such as meat and green vegetables.
4. Unripe Plantain Boost Vision and Skin Health
Unripe plantain is another great source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A plays an important role in vision by helping you maintain a clear cornea, which is the outside layer or covering of your eye.
Vitamin A is also a vital part of rhodopsin, which is a protein present in your eyes that lets you see in the dark or in low light conditions. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties and also plays a role in collagen synthesis, which makes it a vital molecule for skin health.
It is known that dietary and topical ascorbic acid are beneficial to skin cells, and a few studies have revealed that vitamin C may help with the prevention and treatment of ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage. One other major benefit of Plantain is that it had Allantoin, which is an effective skin soothing agent that encourages the growth of cell.
Plantain Extract is not as popular as it should be, because people are not aware it contains germicidal and antibacterial properties, and that makes it that makes it very useful in the prevention of acne.
5. It helps with bowel movement
Unripe plantain has so much richness in fibre, and that makes it suitable for the digestive system. Bowel movement becomes more comfortable, and the problem of constipation is solved. Any high-fiber diet is excellent for bowel movements.
Dietary fiber is known to increase the weight and size of a person’s stool and also softens it. Asides relieving constipation, If your stool is loose and watery, fiber may aid solidifying the stool, because it soaks up water and adds bulk to stool.
6. It helps builds and strengthens stronger bones
Osteoporosis is a condition of the bones that makes bones become fragile and break easily. Osteoporosis is not common in young people and is known to affect mostly older women.
Unripe Plantain has a high calcium content, which is the vital mineral required for muscles, stronger bones, nails, and teeth. Feeding on a healthy diet, inclusive of unripe plantain meals, will prevent diseases and conditions like osteoporosis.
7. It can help in the management of ulcer
Various researches conducted have revealed that unripe plantains have a flavonoid called leucocyanidin.
The leucocyanidin flavonoid increases the amount of mucus present in a person’s stomach. Plantain may also reduce acidity levels, which can help with the prevention of ulcers and even relieve its symptoms.
Studies on rats that developed ulcers as a result of daily aspirin use have revealed that eating unripe green plantain can not only prevent the formation of ulcers but also help to heal them. An ulcer is one of the common conditions that many Nigerians deal with.
8. Unripe plantains boost sexual performance
Healthy and exciting sex life is one thing that everyone craves. Once a person attains the age of puberty and older, good sex becomes a crucial part of life.
There is nothing out of the ordinary in having sexual feelings guards towards someone else. If anybody has no sexual interest, it may mean that something is going wrong.
Several studies have revealed that the nutrients present in plantain can help to improve sexual performance by increasing a person’s libido. In addition to that, eating plantain at least once a week can also enhance male fertility, and cause thicker sperm, and volume.
Frequently Asked Questions On Unripe Plantain
Is plantain good for patients with kidney issues?
Keeping your potassium level low or balanced all the time is one of the many things that healthy kidneys do for the human body.
Many foods contain potassium, but some such as plantain, avocados, potatoes, dried fruits (including raisins, apricots, and prunes), oranges, and salt substitutes contain very high potassium. People with kidney problems should consult a doctor before eating any of these foods.
What are the health benefits of plantain peels?
As mentioned earlier in this article, Plantain Peel contains so many internal and external health benefits, and here are some reasons why; They can be used for the treatment of skin disorders and issues, such as allergies, wrinkles, acne and the reduction of scarring.
These are just a few out of the numerous health benefits that can be derived from eating unripe plantain. We hope that you found them to be if help and we sincerely would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below if you have questions or contributions you’d like to make.