For some time now, the benefits of unripe plantain has been rife all over the world. Like every other food item, we have in this part of world, we know how good they are because we can see the effect, they have on our health but we have been unable to pinpoint how they do what they do.
Plantains are in every way similar to banana except in their nutritional qualities. They are easily grown in the tropics, which is why you can find them almost everywhere in Nigeria and other African countries. Plantain is a tropical tree with succulent stem that bears fruits in bunches. Its fruit, also called plantain, contains very important nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that help in boosting bodily functions. It also contains complex carbohydrates, making it a good food for weight management and a host of other things.
In a couple of minutes, you will have understood the importance of unripe plantain through the benefits it promises on so many health levels as each nutrient it contains promise.
Benefits of Unripe Plantain
Weight loss and management
Plantains are a good food choice for individuals who are interested and invested in reducing their weight or maintaining the weight they have attained. It is rich in fiber, which makes you feel full faster, and helps to curb the dire for food. It is also low in fats and has no cholesterol.
Sodium, which when high in foods cause water retention and increased weight is low in plantain. All of these nutrients it has helps to make weight loss and management one of the benefits of unripe plantain.
Gluten-free food substitute
Another benefit of unripe plantain is its suitability as a substitute for food that contain gluten – a type of protein that is present in some grains such as wheat and barley and is harmful to people with celiac disease.
For individuals with this disease, celiac disease, they have a food item that has no gluten and also provides other health benefits.
Low Glycemic Index
Glycemic index is a term that should be understood by every individual with blood sugar issues or weight management issues. It is the value of starch or how much a certain food will increase the blood sugar level.
Foods with high glycemic index have enormous simple carbs that can be easily digested and its glucose content transferred to the blood. On the other hand, foods with low glycemic index, like unripe plantain, digest slowly and provide consistent amount of glucose to the blood over a period of time.
Low glycemic index foods, like unripe plantain, helps to control blood sugar level, and curb hunger which I sthe bane of anyone who is looking to lose weight.
Iron, a constituent nutrient of unripe plantain is an important mineral in the production of blood. Anemia is the shortage of red blood cells in the body and with the aid of iron, the number of red blood cells produced can be increased. Unripe plantain offers the benefit of anemia treatment to those who suffer from it and consume unripe plantain consistently.
Although it is hard for the human body to absorb iron from plants, vitamin c, another nutrient constituent in unripe plantain, helps to aid the absorption of iron.
Prevents toxicity build-up
When our body metabolises (process of energy production), it produces wastes which are known as toxins. These toxins are available in the body as free radicals that must be rid of the body. antioxidants scavenge on these free radicals and help the body remain clean to perform its biological functions without disruptions. Such antioxidants are available in unripe plantain, and they have been proven to improve the health of experimental animals.
One of the benefits of unripe plantain is its ability to remove these toxins from the body as some fruits do.
The breaking down of food substances in the small intestine is sometimes a difficult task to accomplish by the body, and this difficulty is what gives rise to constipation. The benefit of unripe plantain in this regard is to help make the digestion process easier.
Unripe plantain contains fiber, an important nutrient that helps in the moving of food material in the small intestine by instigating the production of mucus to increase viscosity of the food.
Improves mental health
The brain is the seat of power for every human. It controls the activity of every other part of the body and as such, needs constant nutrition. To give the brain the best nutrition, it needs to be fed with complex carbohydrates, fatty acids, and lean proteins.
While unripe plantain might be low in fats and proteins, it is rich in complex carbohydrates which provides the needed nutrient to the brain. Minerals such as magnesium and potassium that are beneficial to the workings of the brain are also abundant in unripe plantain.
It can be said that the benefits of unripe plantain transcend just helping the brain maintain its shape, it might be able to help in treating some mental disorders.
Strengthens cardiovascular muscles
The cardiovascular muscles are susceptible to damage when they have been consistently worked under high pressure. One of the benefits of unripe plantain is its ability to lower blood pressure.
Potassium is an important element that helps to reduce blood pressure. An adult need about 2600 – 3400 milligrams of potassium per day to lower blood pressure. Unripe plantain provides 1040 milligrams of potassium in just one medium-sized serving.
It is also low in sodium, a requirement to improve cardiovascular health.
Suitable for diabetic patients
The suitability of unripe plantain for diabetic patients cannot be lost. Apart from its low glycemic index index and high fiber content, one of the benefits of unripe plantain to diabetic patients is its abundance in resistant starch which makes breaking it down slow.
With a slow-paced release of glucose to the blood, the blood sugar level is kept constant over a long time. that is why it is one of the best foods for diabetic patients
Beneficial to ulcer patients
Another benefit of unripe plantain is its ability to treat ulcer. It is one of the best food options for individuals suffering from ulcer because it promotes the growth of gut bacteria that helps to protect the lining of the small intestine against the action of the digestive acid.
It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the level of irritation at the site where H. pylori has caused sores in the small intestine.
The benefits of unripe plantain is numerous as there are even many unproven claims that it can be used to treat sexual dysfunction in men. It has all the qualities needed for a healthy food, especially for individuals struggling with the control of their blood sugar and weight loss.
Unripe plantain is available in virtually every market in Nigeria and it comes at cheap prices considering the benefits they provide. To enjoy these benefits more, make sure you eat unripe plantain at least once a day. It can be boiled and eaten with palm oil or any sauce of your choice. You can also peel the plantains, sundry them, and grind them into flour, to be made into swallow.