Though a type of banana, plantains are considered more of a vegetable for cooking because of the starchier and practically neutral taste when unripe, quite unlike dessert bananas which have a sugary flavor. Believed to have originated from Malaysia and from there spread to the other parts of the Malay Archipelago, plantains eventually were brought to Africa and then to the New World. Now widely available in the United States, this makes plantains easy to incorporate into one’s diet. However, eating plantains in reasonable amounts should be considered, especially by individuals who have specific weight or disease management goals.
Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of plantains and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.
Plantains are, first and foremost, an excellent source of carbohydrates. Plantains have complex carbohydrates and so have a naturally low glycemic index of 38. This means that eating a reasonable amount of plantains that have been cooked appropriately won’t result in rapid blood glucose increase, which is typically the effect when eating carbohydrates-rich processed products like bread, crackers, or cereals.
Plantains are a very good source of vitamin B6 as well. This nutrient has manifold functions in the body, from aiding in bringing oxygen to the tissues via the red blood cells, to hormone levels regulation. A diet rich in vitamin B6 as well as magnesium, which is also present in plantains, has been found to decrease the incidence of premenstrual syndrome and its associated symptoms like depression, cramping and water retention. High vitamin B6 intake has also been linked with lower risk of miscarriage.
Plantains are also a good source of vitamin C, a conventional immune booster and antioxidant vitamin. The minerals potassium and manganese can be had from eating plantains, too. Lastly, this crop has been studied for its flavonoid compounds and it was discovered that leucocyanidin, which works by controlling gastric secretion and therefore is a natural remedy for peptic ulcer, is fairly abundant in plantains.
Plantains contain allergens that are similar to those found in natural rubber latex. Individuals who have been diagnosed with latex-fruit syndrome, or have a sensitivity to pollen and other plant-derived foods, should steer clear of eating plantains.
Plantains prepared by frying contain considerable amount of carbohydrates as well due to the added calories from fat. Also, the water content in plantains considerably decrease when cooked in this manner, and so may not be as satiating as when eaten boiled or roasted.
Roughly 30 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugars, and 120 calories can be had from eating 100 grams of cooked plantains. Individuals who need to carefully track and control their caloric intake, either for weight loss or disease prevention or management, must consult with their physicians prior to integrating plantains in their diet.
Plantains’ Practical Uses:
Plantains are often fried but you can always opt for healthier roasting or baking. To make crispy chips, peel two green unripe plantains with a knife and slice thinly, preferably with the use of a mandoline. Place sliced plantains in a bowl, sprinkle two tablespoons of olive oil, lightly season with salt, and toss.
Arrange in a single layer in a cookie sheet and pop in the oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for at least 15 minutes, making sure to turn the slices after about eight minutes. The slices may burn easily after turning so ensure to keep an eye on the chips and take out as soon as golden brown on both sides. Serve while still hot with a homemade dip made from one ripe avocado and one ripe banana mashed with two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of potatoes and how to moderately use said vegetable in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of plantains, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of plantains.