7 Health Benefits of Green Plantains
Thanks to their high levels of potassium, green plantains are excellent for your heart health. Learn more in this article!
Green plantains are used throughout Latin America and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Boiled, baked, or fried, they’re an excellent complement to many dishes. On a nutritional level, green plantains are a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, along with other vitamins like B6 and minerals like iron. Today, we’re going to tell you all about the health benefits of green plantains.
1. The benefits of green plantains: improving and regulating your heart rateThanks to their high potassium content, eating green plantains can help regulate your heart rate.
This is because potassium regulates your blood pressure and protects your heart from anything that might cause an irregular heartbeat.
A medium-sized green plantain contains around 400 mg of potassium. This is a huge daily dose if you consider the fact that the recommended daily value amount for adults is 4700 mg (3800-4500 for children).
Read more: 8 foods to manage blood pressure
2. Fight gastritis and other stomach problemsGreen plantains are very rich in starch. They’re excellent protectors of the gastric mucosa. This is why they’re a good food to eat if you have any of the following problems:
- Stomach ulcers
In these cases, however, it’s important to prepare them properly and not fry them. The grease typically involved in frying them will almost certainly cancel out any of the potential benefits of green plantains.
Eating them boiled and seasoned with a little salt and olive oil is usually the best option.
3. They fight intestinal diseases
The starch content in plantains, a type of highly fermentable fiber, is very beneficial for the good bacteria that helps improve colon function, because it has regulatory and probiotic qualities.
Eating green plantains will help you regenerate your intestinal flora. It’s a good idea to make them part of your diet if you’ve just finished taking antibiotics. The medication may have weakened your intestinal flora. They’re also helpful in the case of intestinal illnesses like Crohn’s disease or colitis.
4. They boost your defenses
Just like garlic, green plantains are an excellent source of vitamin B6. This is important for the proper functioning of your immune system, especially in older people.
Many of the diseases that become common as you get older can cause inflammation, which degenerates into tryptophan. This means your body will need more vitamin B6 to stay healthy.
Because vitamin B6 is water-soluble, it’s a good idea to steam the plantains and preserve this nutrient as much as possible.
5. They regulate your blood pressure
Potassium is very important for your physical health, and not just because it’s good for your arteries. It also helps with muscle contractions, which is very important when it comes to your heart.
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If you have high blood pressure, it’s best to increase your potassium, magnesium, and calcium intake. One of the best benefits of green plantains is that they have large quantities of potassium and magnesium, so they’re great if you need more of these in your diet.
You need to be careful if you already take medicine for high blood pressure because it usually increases potassium too.
6. They reduce cholesterol
A 200 gram green plantain can provide up to 5 grams of protein, making it a great choice for reducing cholesterol levels.
This is important if you want to avoid problems like obesity, diseases associated with type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
7. They help prevent obesityThe starch in green plantains provides long-lasting feelings of fullness, and they’re also naturally low in fat.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you can add green plantains to your meals in moderate amounts (remember, they’re also rich in carbohydrates).
You can eat them boiled, mashed, or even steamed if you like.
Things to keep in mind when eating green plantains
Keep in mind that, while eating green plantains can bring many benefits for your health, you should avoid them if you have liver or kidney problems.
This is important because if your kidneys aren’t working properly, they can’t remove potassium as fast as they should be. This causes your potassium levels to rise, which then increases your risk of hyperkalemia. This can cause:
- A weak pulse
- Severe damage to the heart