Plantains – When a Banana is Not a Banana

by Nutrition

Plantains – When a Banana is Not a Banana

Though similar to a banana, plantains are not as sweet and should be cooked before consumption. Grown in tropical regions, plantains (Musa paradisiaca) are ranked as the 10th most important staple food in the world.

What is in Plantain?

Plantains are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. They also have vitamins A, C, and B6, and contain the minerals magnesium and potassium. Potassium is an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy blood pressure, kidneys, and bones. They are also a great way to get more antioxidants into your diet. Due to fiber content, plantains are also supportive of optimal digestion. Fiber helps support the gut microbiome, encourages regular bowel movements, and can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Specifically due to the presence of resistant starches in unripe plantains, it has anti-obesity qualities. Research shows plantain can help maintain healthy insulin levels and support sugar-fat metabolism.

Where to Find, and How to Cook, Plantains

Generally, you can find these at your local grocery store. If not, Asian or Hispanic markets may have them on the shelf. There are many different ways you can cook plantains. It’s generally steamed, boiled, or fried though it can also be baked. One simple way to prepare it is to cut off the peel and then slice them. Next, fry it in a frying pan with coconut oil and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on it. It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone snack or dessert.

References

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