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Plantain| Benefits, Useful tips on plantain selection and preparation suggestions.

Plantain is one of the staple foods in tropical countries.

Plantains are the bigger version of banana fruits although they contain more starch.They have thicker skin than banana and are often called cooking bananas. Plantains are thick and dense while bananas are soft. The major variety of plantains are French plantain and Horn plantain

Other names for Plantain
* Scientific name- Musa paradisiaca
* English- Cooking bananas
* Yoruba- Ogede àgbagbà
* Hausa- Àgàdè
* Igbo- Oji-oko
* Efik- Ukom

Nutritional Profile for unripe Plantain

Nutritional profile (copied) for a large-sized raw, unripe plantain (267g) according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) –

Energy: 406 Kcal
• Fats: 0.2 g
• Protein: 3 g
• Carbohydrates: 98 g
• Dietary fiber: 6 g
• Sugars: 6 g
• Potassium: 1150 mg(milligram)
• Magnesium: 109 mg
• Phosphorus: 82 mg
• Iron: 2 mg
• Sodium: 5 mg
• Vitamin C: 54 mg 
• Folate: 74 micrograms

Health Benefits of Plantains

* Unripe plantains are a good source of resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber that gives one a feeling of fullness helping in weight loss, promotes bowel movement, helps to soften stools and reduce one’s risk to diverticular disease.
* The fiber in plantain also helps to regulate blood sugar, hence manage diabetes.
* The fiber further helps to lower cholesterol level hence improving the heart function.
* Plantains have high antioxidants such as vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system.
* They contain potassium  which help to improve blood pressure.
* They feed the good bacteria that keep the gut healthy.
* Plantains are rich in iron, and vitamin C, a good combination which aids iron absorption and hence reduce Iron Deficiency Anaemia.
* Plantains contain folic acid which help to prevent fetal abnormalities like Spina bifida during pregnancy.
* Regular consumption of unripe plantains energizes men sexually and boosts fertility.

Points to note while selecting plantains

*A diabetic patient should be careful when selecting plantain as there is true plantain (ògèdè àgbagbà) and cavendish banana (Bello). Watch the difference using this link

* Self-ripened plantain should be preferably selected as carbide-ripened plantain is harmful to human health.

* Stay away from untrusted plantain chips because some producers add colouring during processing and some reuse frying oil for a long time.
* Boiled or roasted plantain is better than fried
* Boil plantain with peels so as to get the flavonoids and other nutrients concentrated in the peel.

Plantain meal  suggestions
* Boiled plantain and fried eggs
* Boiled plantain and efo riro
* Plantain with beans pottage
* Plantain pottage
* Plantain flour for amala and baking
* Roasted plantain and groundnut
* Roasted plantain and roasted fish

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10 thoughts on “Plantain| Benefits, Useful tips on plantain selection and preparation suggestions.”

  1. Dada Oluwafemi Ebunoluwa aka Army General C. Ronaldo

    This is fantastic.

    There is never a time I did not learn a new thing. What a good teacher you are! Plus, you write beautifully well, I mean, come on!

    I look forward to the next article. Make it soon.

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