Plantains may look like a green or yellow banana on steroids, but they taste quite different from bananas. These 12-inch long banana style fruits taste more like a vegetable than fruit, with a starchy, rather than a sweet taste. While bananas can be eaten raw, plantains need to be cooked no matter what stage of ripeness. Both have a similar nutritional profile, besides looking the same, but plantains are starchy and lower in simple carbs. That’s what makes them good for fat loss, which is one of the benefits of plantains.
You have to eat plantains cooked.
You use plantains much like you’d use potatoes or sweet potatoes and can cook them in a variety of ways. Of course, their weight loss benefits and health benefits will vary, based on how they’re prepared. They contain vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber, which provide health benefits. However, as bananas ripen and go from green to yellow, those complex carbs and resistant starch change. Much of it becomes glucose, which digests quickly. On the other hand, plantains are primarily resistant to starch and other fiber. You’ll feel fuller longer, while feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut. The microbes in your gut then turn it into short-chain fatty acids.
The resistant starch helps your metabolic health.
Insulin resistance can cause a vicious cycle. If you are overweight, it increases your risk for insulin resistance. However, insulin resistance also makes it harder to lose weight. It’s also the precursor to diabetes. Resistant starch improves insulin sensitivity, keeping your blood sugar levels lower, including after meals. If you eat food with resistant starch in the morning, it will also help prevent a blood sugar spike at lunch.
You’ll lower your risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and obesity.
When you consume the resistant starch in plantains, it helps you keep your blood sugar low and maintains the feeling of fullness longer. Choosing the unripe–green—plantain, over the yellow—ripe—one is the best choice for weight loss. It offers more dietary fiber and is far lower in sugar. However, you need to eat it boiled, rather than fried. The fried plantain carries with it all the extra calories you’d have with any fried food.
- Make a healthy stew using plantain. Combine water, sliced unripe plantain, baby spinach, meat, black pepper and other seasoning. Bring to a boil and let cook until meat is thoroughly cooked. It’s excellent for weight loss.
- Plantains also contain vitamin B6 and vitamin A. Just like bananas, they’re a good source of potassium, so they’re also heart healthy.
- If you have digestive issues, such as hemorrhoids, diverticulitis or IBS, the fiber in the plantain can help keep your stool softer, preventing constipation. You can use unripe plantains to replace rice.
- You’ll get a lot of extra antioxidants in your diet if you add plantains to your diet. It is high in vitamin C. Studies show that the lower your vitamin C levels, the more potential there is for cancer and premature aging.
For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness