Ripe plantains have sweet flavours, and can be cooked and eaten anytime of the day. Eating plantains in moderation can greatly contribute to a healthful diet as they contain essential minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, protein and fiber. As with many starchy foods, the problem with plantains isn’t the fruit it self- it’s the way it’s prepared. Ripe plantains are healthy and are best boiled. They’re a nutritionally rich food which makes them a nutrient power house, filled with fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, B-6, antioxidants, and the minerals, magnesium and potassium, with healthy dose of carbohydrates. This super food warrants a trip to your local market. “Plantains have more vitamins, minerals and more fiber as well” says Isabella Ferrari, L.D, MCN, R.D, clinical dietitian at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
½ cup of boiled ripe plantains has 108 cal, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, 2grams of fiber rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamins C & K.
Fried ripe plantains on the other hand tastes absolutely amazing, but aren’t exactly a healthy choice if fried in an unhealthy oil. Fried plantains are very greasy, because “plantains absorb a lot of the fat from the oil that you’re frying them with”, Isabella Ferrari says. Fried plantains should not be consumed frequently, says Michelle Schelske-san-tos, PhD, professor of the Nutrition and Dietetics program at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio piedra’s. “They add calories that may result in weight gain or obesity, and have metabolic effects that increase the risk of developing chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer”. Fried plantains are very high in fat.
A 1-cup serving of fried ripe plantains provides 14 grams of total fats, 5.1 grams of monounsaturated fats, 4.4 grams of saturated fats and 3.2 grams of polyunsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are “good fats” and may reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association, while saturated fat should be limited because it increases the risk of heart disease.
Potential Health Benefits Of Eating Boiled Ripe Plantain
(1) Helps boost the immune system
Boiled ripe plantains contain natural sugar and numerous essential vitamins, but three stands out from the others.
Vitamin supports eye health, aids in physical growth and development, boosts the immune system and prevents various skin diseases and cancers. Boiled ripe plantain contains vitamin A with 1-cup serving of 90 micrograms of vitamin A, more than 50% of the recommended intake of 2,333 international units for women and the 3,000 international units recommended for men.
Vitamin C plays an important role in several body processes, including slowing down aging process, maintenance and formation of teeth, bones, skin, blood vessels, tissues and prevents cancer and heart disease, reports Medline plus.
1 cup serving of boiled ripe plantains contains 21.6 milligrams of Vitamin C, which is 29% of the recommended daily intake of 75 milligrams for women and 24% 9f the recommended daily intake of 90 milligrams for men.
Eating 1 cup of boiled ripe plantain contributes 17% towards a person’s vitamin B6 requirement. A study indicates that (30mg daily) of vitamin B6 reduced depressive symptoms by 40% over an 8-week period in adults with anxiety and depression. Vitamin B6 performs a wide variety of functions in the body. It’s essential for the metabolism of healthy red blood cells, macronutrients and neurotransmitters.
According to the office of Dietary supplements, vitamin B6 may have the following health benefits:
- Reduces morning sickness in pregnant women.
- May reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women.
- It may support brain health and reduce cognitive decline.
- Reduces cardiovascular diseases by lowering homocysteine.
(2) Boiled ripe plantains contains alot of Fiber
Adequate fiber are good for your gut and help maintain your cholesterol and blood sugar, as well as prevent diseases such as certain types of cancer and heart diseases. Many people around the world today don’t eat enough fiber. Some only take in 15 grams per day, when the recommended intake is closer to 30, reports the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Eating 1-Cup serving of boiled ripe plantain will give you 4.6 grams of fiber or roughly 15% of your recommended daily intake.
(3) Boiled ripe plantain contains adequate amount of magnesium and potassium
Boiled ripe plantain contains adequate amount of magnesium and it helps to build strong bones and maintain your heart beat, according to the National institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. It also aids in nerve and muscle function. A study also indicates that (300 mg daily) of magnesium reduced depression symptoms by 40% over an 8-week period in adults with depression and anxiety.
The serving of 1-Cup of boiled ripe plantain contains 64 milligrams of magnesium, or close to 20% of the recommended daily intake of 310 -320 milligrams for women and over 15% of thee recommended 400-420 milligrams per day for men.
Boiled ripe plantain also contains potassium which is an essential mineral that plays several vital roles from controlling your heart’s electrical activity to building muscles in the body. Adults should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.
1-Cup serving of boiled ripe plantain delivers 924 milligrams of potassium or nealry 20% of the recommended intake.