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Plantains, a member of the banana family, are starchy and low in sugar. They are usually baked or fried and used much like potatoes in Caribbean and West African dishes. Like bananas, plantains are a good source of potassium and fiber. Plantains contain significantly more vitamin A and vitamin C than bananas.
Plantains, or cooking bananas, as they are often called, are longer, thicker-skinned and starchier in flavor than bananas. Unlike bananas, however, they’re loaded with the carotenoid antioxidants alpha- and beta-carotene. British researchers found that the phytochemical leucocyanidin in unripe plantains may protect against ulcer formation. Plantains have a heart healthy combo of nutrients, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. They also contain resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic, selectively nourishing the “good gut” bacteria that line the intestinal tract and protect against food borne illness. The bacterial by-products of resistant starch, called butyrates, increase fat metabolism and boost calcium absorption.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.