7 Reasons to Start Eating Plantains

Plantains, often referred to as “cooking bananas,” are a staple food in many tropical countries. They are versatile, nutritious, and offer numerous health benefits. Plantains look very similar to bananas. It is easy to mistake one for the other. However, there are several key differences between the two.

Plantains have a higher starch content and are typically much larger than bananas. And plantains are mostly eaten cooked. This article takes a detailed look at seven reasons why you should start eating plantains.

1. Rich in Essential Nutrients

Plantains are a great source of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in maintaining optimal health. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), they are particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium.

Vitamin C supports immune function and healthy skin, while vitamin A is vital for good vision and cellular growth. Vitamin B6 is important for brain development and function, and potassium is necessary for maintaining proper muscle function and regulating blood pressure.

2. High in Fiber

Plantains are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is vital for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber aids in digestion, preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. It also helps to lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight.

3. Good Source of Complex Carbohydrates

Plantains are a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates, providing long-lasting energy for the body. Complex carbohydrates are more slowly digested than simple carbohydrates, leading to a gradual release of energy throughout the day. This helps to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, making plantains a suitable food for those with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

4. Low in Fat and Calories

Plantains are low in fat and calories, making them a healthy food choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight. In fact, 100 grams of cooked plantains contains only about 116 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. Therefore, eating plantains can help you feel full and satisfied without consuming excessive calories.

5. Beneficial for Heart Health

Eating plantains can have a positive impact on your heart health. The potassium in plantains helps to regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension and stroke. The fiber in plantains helps to lower cholesterol levels, which in turn can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Additionally, plantains are a good source of vitamin B6, which plays a role in reducing homocysteine levels, a compound associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

6. Supports Immune System

Another reason to eat plantains is that they help support a healthy immune system. The high vitamin C content in plantains aids in the production of white blood cells, which are essential for combating infections and illnesses.

Vitamin A, also found in plantains, is important for maintaining the integrity of mucous membranes, which act as a barrier against pathogens.

7. Versatility in Cooking

Plantains are incredibly versatile in the kitchen, making them a great ingredient to have on hand. They can be prepared in numerous ways, such as boiled, fried, grilled, or baked. Depending on their ripeness, they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Unripe plantains have a starchy texture, making them perfect for savory dishes, while ripe plantains are sweeter and can be used in desserts.


Plantains are a nutritious and versatile food, offering essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and potassium. They are high in fiber, low in fat and calories, and provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. Including plantains in your diet can support heart health and immune function and promote a healthy digestive system.

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