health benefits of unripe plantain

Many people love ripe plantains because of their sweet taste and because they entice the eyes when cooked, especially with beans. But what about unripe plantain? Unripe plantains also taste nice and have a lot of health benefits, as you will find out in this article.

Bunches of ripe and unripe plantain placed on a green plate

Key takeaway:

  • Unripe plantain is a staple, nutrient-rich food that is common in different parts of the world, particularly West Africa.
  • Unripe plantains have numerous health benefits, including treating anemia, strengthening bones, and promoting heart health.
  • Unripe plantain is also beneficial for pregnant people as it contains a substantial amount of folic acid and other nutrients needed for proper growth and development of a fetus.

Africans and Nigerians, in particular, love unripe plantain because of its numerous health benefits. It forms the core food of most Nigerian homes.

Unripe plantain and beans will surely make you salivate when cooked together. However, aside from cooking it with beans, there are other uses of unripe plantain, especially for medicinal purposes.

It has been observed that unripe plantain contains antioxidant compounds that help prevent diseases and provide vital vitamins.

According to researchers from the Center of Development of Biotic Products (CEPROB), unripe plantain is a natural source of resistant starch that helps reduce blood glucose levels, so it is considered an excellent ingredient for food fortification.

Here are several health benefits of unripe plantain:

1. Unripe plantain enriches the heart

The richness of unripe plantain in potassium makes it heart friendly by preventing heart attack and hypertension through controlling heart rate and blood pressure in our body and cells. This is one of the top unripe plantain benefits.

Also, unripe plantain has high fiber content, which is excellent for reducing cholesterol levels. It also reduces the risk of developing any heart disease.

An article, "Effect of Unripe Plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) on Blood Glucose, Body Weight and Feed Intake of Streptozotocin-induced Diabetic Rats", indicated that one of the health benefits of unripe plantain is its potential to lower blood sugar level.

2. Unripe plantain treats anemia and neuritis

Vitamin B6 in unripe plantain can help cure neuritis (inflammation of the nerve) and anemia, a medical condition where someone has low red blood cells in the blood, which causes weakness.

When incorporated into meal plans and consumed, unripe plantain has high health benefits, such as treating or preventing anemia and neuritis.

3. Unripe plantain aids the circulatory and digestive system

Unripe plantain is a source of vitamins A, B6, and C that help better vision and skin complexion. More health benefits of unripe plantain include its ability to help build immunity against diseases and free radicals.

4. Unripe plantain strengthens bones

Unripe plantain is rich in calcium, which is the essential mineral needed for stronger bones, muscles, nails, and teeth.

A healthy meal with unripe plantain included will help prevent osteoporosis, which is characterized by the weakening of the bones and fractures.

Eating unripe plantain might also help reduce weight, according to a study published in the Open Biochemistry Journal. Obesity or too much weight can put a lot of stress on the bones and joints, causing health problems.

This means that for people who want to lose weight, unripe plantain, which contains fewer calories, might be a food of choice for preventing obesity or excessive weight gain.

5. Unripe plantain prevents Ulcer

Some people have asked questions like, "Can ulcer patients eat unripe plantain?" The answer to that is most likely yes. People with ulcers can eat unripe plantain.

One of the health benefits of unripe plantain is the role it plays in preventing diseases like stomach ulcers. Various studies have shown that unripe plantain contains phytochemical properties such as leucocyanidin, which can prevent ulcers.

Scientists reason that the starch in plantain's unripe form helps to decrease acidity and reduce irritation. This should answer the question of whether ulcer patients can eat unripe plantain.

This means unripe plantain might help sickle cell patients dealing with leg ulcers (leg ulcers is one of the most common complications of sickle cell disease).

In the Indian Journal of Pharmacology", the research stated that plantain powder is a potent herbal remedy for treating peptic ulcer disease.

Health benefits of unripe plantain to pregnant women

Unripe plantain can be beneficial to pregnant people too, boosting their immunity and aiding foetus development.

You may be wondering if unripe plantain good for pregnant women? Yes, unripe plantain is healthy and is considered safe for pregnant women. It is okay to enjoy unripe plantains while you are expecting your baby.

In fact, plantain is a rich source of dietary fiber which aids digestion and helps reduce the risk of constipation during pregnancy. This is one of the health benefits of unripe plantain for pregnant women.

Also, unripe plantain contains a substantial amount of folic acid, proteins, minerals, and other nutrients, which are good for your health and that of your baby.

Other unripe plantain benefits for pregnant people include:

  • It boosts the immune system and prevents harmful infections during pregnancy.
  • It promotes eye health and improves skin complexion during pregnancy.
  • Unripe plantain is a rich source of starch, providing the needed energy during pregnancy.
  • Unripe plantain acts as a diuretic as it enhances urinary functions.
  • Unripe plantain helps to prevent bladder and kidney problems during pregnancy.
  • It strengthens the bones and ensures the good development of the fetus.
  • Unripe plantain promotes heart health during pregnancy.
  • It is enriched with folate, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, which all ensure a healthy pregnancy.