Banana Plantain

1.0 lb
Weight: PER LB

Plantains are rich sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and are easily digestible. As a staple food, plantains have been the main fare of millions of people for centuries.

Here are the basic nutrition factsTrusted Source for one cup of baked yellow plantains (139 grams), according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Nutrition will vary on cooking style.

Calories 215
Fat 0.22 g
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 58 g
Fiber 3 g
Potassium 663 mg
Vitamin C 23 mg
Vitamin A 63 ug
Vitamin B-6 0.29 mg
Magnesium 57 mg

Plantains are a poor source of protein and fat, so they only represent one part of a healthy, balanced diet — similar to many grains in the United States.

Fiber is important because it promotes bowel regularity. Fiber softens your stool and increases its overall size and weight.

Bulky stools are much easier to pass and therefore prevent constipation.

Eating a high-fiber diet may also reduce your risk of hemorrhoids and small pouches in your large intestine known as diverticular disease. Fiber also increases fullness, slows digestion, and may help manage cholesterol.

Carbohydrates aren’t necessarily a bad thing for weight management like most people believe. The fiber and starch found in plantains are complex carbs.

Fiber and complex carbs are less processed and more slowly digested than the simple carbs found in processed foods. They keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer after a meal, which can mean less snacking on unhealthy foods.

Plantains contain a good amount of your daily recommendedTrusted Source amount of vitamin C in a single cup. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant which may help boost your immune system.

As an antioxidant, it may protect your body against free radical damage that’s associated with aging, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.

StudiesTrusted Source have found an inverse relationship between vitamin C intake and lung, breast, colon, stomach, esophagus, and other types of cancers.

People with cancer were also found to have lower blood plasma concentrations of vitamin C.

The high amount of potassium found in plantains is essential for maintaining the cell and body fluids that control your heart rate and blood pressure.

The fiber in plantains also helps lower your cholesterol, which in turn keeps your heart functioning at its best.

You might commonly come across plantains fried and soaked in grease as a side dish in a restaurant, maybe even topped with sour cream. While they taste absolutely amazing, fried plantains aren’t exactly a healthy choice if fried in an unhealthy oil.

It’s better to think of plantains as a starchy vegetable or a substitute for potatoes. Their texture and mild flavor really shines when baked or grilled.

You can incorporate plantains as part of a meat- or vegetarian-friendly stew (like this!) or grill them alongside fish.

Plantains are an excellent option for gluten-free or paleo-friendly recipes, like paleo pancakes. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try ripe plantain arepas or boronía (mashed plantain and eggplant).

Plantains grow in tropical countries across the globe from Central and South America to the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia. As a nonseasonal crop, plantains are available all year long.

They’re considered a staple food in many regions, providing a significant source of calories to people in the tropics.

Fortunately, plantains can also be found easily in supermarkets and grocery stores. Though it’s more than likely your local grocery chain will carry plantains, if you’re having trouble finding them, try a Latin or Asian grocery store.

Another plus: Plantains are cheap! Like bananas, you can usually get a handful of plantains for less than a dollar.