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Super Food of the Tropic: Plantain!

Super Food Plantain: Facts, Nutrition and Recipe

At the first glance, plantains look like bananas. While bananas and plantains have similar nutritious qualities, plantains are more nutritious than bananas. More than 120 countries including India, , Uganda and Colombia grow plantains.

Plantains are starchier , contain less sugar than bananas and can be added to many cooking recipes. Unlike bananas, plantains are typically cooked before eating. Bananas are eaten as a fruit while plantains are considered as a vegetable. One can replace plantains for potatoes in the recipes. Plantains are available year-round since it does not have a ' perticular growing season'.

Plantains can be found in green, yellow or red/ black variety.

Nutrition Facts: one cup cooked plantain:

  • 230 calories
  • 62.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.6 grams protein
  • 0.4 grams fat
  • 4.6 grams fiber
  • 1,818IU Vitamin A ( 36%)
  • 21.8 milligrams Vitamin C (36%)
  • 930 milligrams potassium ( 27%)
  • 0.5 milligrams Vitamin B6 ( 24%)
  • 64 milligrams magnesium (16%)
  • 1.2 milligrams iron ( 6%)

(Source: Dr. Axe)

As we can see from the above information, plantains are a great source of vitamin A, B6, C, and magnesium, potassium etc. Apart from these vitamins and minerals, plantains and bananas contain Serotonin, an important chemical responsible for a number of brain functions including mood and sleeping, Our Happiness may depends on the amount of Serotonin in the brain. One can literally feel happy by eating plantains and bananas !

Plantains are a natural remedy for high blood pressure ( due to potassium ), constipation ( fiber), to fight free radical damage ( vit. C), skin and eye health ( Vit. A) healthy brain function and macular degeneration ( Vit. B6). Due to being a good source of magnesium and Serotonin plantains can help with migrains, insomnia and depression. Plantains have astringent ( Kashay) taste or properties. According to Ayurveda astringent or Kashay food is recommended to balance Pitta and Kapha Dosha . A tea made from plantain leaves can be used to treat diarrhea.

Recipe:

Plantain chips:  Anytime 'pick me up snack!'

1 green plantain: peeled and cut in round pieces according to desired thickness

2 Tbs Coconut oil or ghee

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a medium skillet.
Add coconut oil
Add the cut plantain
Let cook for a minute
Turn and cook for another minute
Later, keep turning till both sides are lightly brown or brown if want a bit crunchy
Add salt and pepper
Toss well

Remove from heat and serve warm or cool

Note: if you are allergic to bananas, you may be allergic to plantain

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