At first glance, you might think that you are staring at bananas. However, looking closer will let you notice that something isn’t right — they are much larger than bananas, and their skin looks thicker and has more prominent edges. Well, they’re not bananas, but close relatives. They’re called plantains.
Here’s one more difference between the two: bananas are commonly consumed as desserts, while plantains are usually eaten as vegetables — they have to be cooked before they can be eaten.
Unripe plantains are prepared just like you would potatoes and other starchy vegetables. Ripe ones can be included in the diet raw, but that is rarely done — they are not as fun to eat as bananas because they’re starchier and not as sweet. Besides, nutrition experts say that unripe plantains are healthier.
If you have never tried serving plantains on the table before, it’s about time that you do so. Here are some of the reasons why plantains should be added to your diet as regularly as you do bananas:
They Increase Resistance
One of the many, many nutrients present in plantains is vitamin C which, as everybody knows, is a strengthener of one’s immune system. So in other words, consuming plantains more often can help make your body more resistant to bacteria and viruses that can leave your upper respiratory tract infected.
They Boost Energy
Because they are loaded with B vitamins, plantains are phenomenal energy boosters. Especially in this fast-moving world of ours, having lots of energy can help you keep up with everybody else.
They Lower Birth Defect Risk
Pregnant women can benefit tremendously from the regular consumption of plantains. That’s because one of the B vitamins they contain is folate. According to medical experts, folate is crucial for the prevention of neural tube defects in babies, thus helping to ensure that their brains and spinal cords will develop properly.
They Strengthen Bones
Magnesium in plantains is helpful in the fight against osteoporosis because it encourages the bones to absorb calcium. And by the way, magnesium is also very good at fighting off depression and migraine headaches!
They Control Blood Pressure
Just like their relatives, plantains are also phenomenal sources of potassium. This only means that you should have them added to your regular diet most especially if you are battling hypertension. Potassium in plantains helps to lower the blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to become wider.
They Optimize RBC Count
Another mineral supplied by plantains is iron, which is so important for the production of red blood cells or RBCs. It’s for this reason why consuming plantains as regularly as you can helps in preventing iron-deficiency anemia.
They Help Increase Urine Output
Experts say that plantains have mild diuretic properties. In layman’s terms, it means that these fruits that are consumed as veggies are capable of increasing the amount of urine produced. This is a good thing most especially for people who are suffering from urinary tract infection or UTI, as well as kidney or bladder stones.
Certainly, it’s plain to see why plantains are good for you. Make sure that your family and friends also get to know the many benefits offered by these banana look-alikes by sharing this article!