Plantain Health Benefits and Nutritional Values
This is one of the sought after food crops in Nigeria, while some like it because of the nutritional benefits especially in the provision of iron, some do like it because of its sweet taste especially when ripe.
It is cultivated in many states in Nigeria as it grows well in the tropical regions, it is commonly seen in the Nigerian market and can sometimes be a little pricey. It is mostly used in food when ripe as it can be fried and use to eat rice, take pap, or cooked with beans. The unripe one can also be used for porridge or roasted, whether ripe or unripe can be used to make plantain chips.
Plantain contains minerals and vitamins, as well as other essential nutrients which include potassium, carbohydrates, vitamin c, iron, rich in fibre, magnesium, calcium, vitamins A and B6, and more.
It is also good to know that some of the nutritional values of nutrients in plantain varies as it contains more of these essential nutrients when unripe than when ripe.
· Plantain is a good source of carbohydrate especially when ripe, therefore it is an energy giving food. And the good news is that the carbohydrates it contains are considered as “complex carbohydrate” which includes starch, fibre and sugar.
The breaking down and absorption of such carbohydrates are slow which gives fullness thereby reducing appetite and making one lose weight.
· It contains the mineral iron (when unripe) and vitamin B6 which plays a major role in the adequate production of red blood cells in the body and as well prevent anaemia and neuritis which manifest when they are deficient in the body.
· It is rich in fibre which makes it good for consumption as it will help to prevent conditions that irritate the bowel and also preventing constipation, bloating and other related health condition associated with improper digestion and also reduces appetite by increasing fullness.
· Unripe plantain, when compared with the ripe one, has low sugar which makes it a good diet for diabetic patients because it cannot trigger or worsen their already high blood sugar level.
Plantain is one of the staple foods in Nigeria and some other West African countries, eating it especially when unripe is beneficial but notwithstanding, plantain generally is power packed with essential minerals, vitamins and phytochemical components which makes it good for consumption and medicinal as well.