Research has shown that plantains are rich in vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health. It is famed to be diuretic and also can help to prevent kidney and bladder problems. TUNDE OGUNTOLA writes.
Plantain also known as ‘’Musa Paradisiaca’’ has been used throughout the world as food and medicine. It has been tested scientifically for the treatment of diarrhea, diabetes, dysentery, injuries, malaria, and ulcer.
Plantain is cooked and served in many dishes as the chief carbohydrate source in most parts of the world. The fruit can be roasted or fried as food. In Nigerian it is called ‘’bole’’ when roasted and ‘’dodo’’ when fried in some Nigerian languages, the ripe fruit can also be eaten raw as fast food.
Experts assert that when cooked plantains retain its nutrient which is very similar to a potato calorie-wise, but contain more of some vitamins and minerals.
Research has shown that plantains are great for your immune system. A serving of plantain gives you almost 40 per cent of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin A.
This plant known as ogede or ogede agbagba in Yoruba, Oghede in Benin, Ayaba in Hausa, while it is known as abereka, ojioko and ogbadejieko in Igbo, is rich in vital vitamins and minerals, it has soft trunk with lots of fluid.
Plantains are rich in certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health. Plantains are available at most local markets, large grocery stores and can add new flavours and recipes to your healthy-eating plan.
A Nutritionist, Hajiya Jummai Abdul said that eating unripe plantain could remedy bladder and kidney problems. Abdul revealed that unripe plantain contains potassium, an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control blood pressure.
She also added that unripe plantain contains a high amount of dietary fibre, which is helpful for healthy bowels and reduces constipation
The nutritionist said eating unripe plantain could also ease the discomfort of menstrual period.
According her, plantain is a reliable source of minerals such as iron, phosphorous and magnesium essential for bone strengthening as well as a cardiac-protective agent.
However, research shows that, plantain relatively has more calories weight for weight than that in the fruit bananas. 100 g plantain holds of 122 calories, while dessert banana has only 89 calories. Indeed, they are very reliable sources of starch and energy; ensuring food security for millions of inhabitants worldwide.
It has more vitamin C than bananas. 100 g provide 18.4 mg or 31 per cent of daily required levels of this vitamin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Plantains have more vitamin A than bananas. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A plays a vital role in the visual cycle, maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion.
Experts asserts that plantain has vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), in which pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anaemia, and to decrease homocystine (one of the causative factors for coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels in the body.
For healthy living, men need between 30 and 38 grams of fiber a day and women need between 21 and 25. Getting these adequate amounts of fiber promote an efficient digestive system, which can prevent constipation, haemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Eating plenty of fiber can lower your cholesterol level, which might reduce your risk of heart disease.
Plantains also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.
Here are some other health benefits of plantains:
• Plantain relatively has more calories weight for weight than that in the table bananas. 100 g plantain holds about 122 calories, while dessert banana has only 89 calories. Indeed, they are very reliable sources of starch and energy; ensuring food security for millions of inhabitants worldwide.
• It contains 2.3 g of dietary fiber per 100 g (6% of DRA per 100 g). The adequate amount of dietary fiber in the food helps regular bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation problems.
• Fresh plantains have more vitamin-C than bananas. 100 g provide 18.4 mg or 31% of daily required levels of this vitamin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. However, boiling and cooking destroy much of this vitamin in plantains.
• Plantains carry more vitamin A than bananas. 100 g fresh ripe plantains contain 1127 IU or 37.5% of daily required levels of this vitamin. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin-A plays a vital role in the visual cycle, maintaining healthy mucosa, and enhancing skin complexion.
• As in bananas, they too are rich sources of B-complex vitamins, particularly high in vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine). Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anemia, and to decrease homocysteine (one of the causative factors for coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels in the body. Also, the fruit contains moderate levels of folates, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
• They also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.
• Fresh plantains have more potassium than bananas. 100 g fruit provides 499 mg of potassium (358 mg per 100 g for bananas). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering adverse effects of sodium.
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