Friday, June 5, 2015

Swap out the Bananas for Plantains !

Since summer is right around the corner, we are now seeing more veggies and fruits available to consume as the warmer weather brings in better produce. Instead of sticking to your "normal" routine, I am challenging you to out outside the box and eat something new each week ! Having a diverse palate is important and can really be an exciting time to try a new recipe or even find something new that you might enjoy regularly !
One fruit I want to highlight which does not get much recognition is the Plantain. A Plantain is a type of banana that has less sugar than the common yellow banana and is native to Latin America, Africa and India, it is now grown all over the world in warm climates. It's green and isn't eaten raw but cooked similarly to vegetables. Plantains are used today for an array of health benefits.
Plantains have a number of internal health benefits. Plantains, like bananas, are a quick source of energy. Plantains can ease symptoms of a variety of ailments, including arthritis, gout, anemia, allergies, kidney stones, tuberculosis and urinary disorders. They promote digestion. Plantains enhance calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen retention, they have the ability to assist the regeneration of healthy tissue.
Plantains are used in a variety of skin treatments. They are a commonly used as an anti-wrinkle treatment. How you ask?? Make a plantain mask by mashing a quarter of a plantain and spread it on the face for 15 to 20 minutes daily. To treat skin allergies, mix a plantain with a cup of milk and drink it two to three times daily. Plantain peels can be used to treat warts by pressing the inside of the peel against the wart and tape it in place. When the peel turns black, remove it and repeat until the wart is gone. To treat poison ivy, apply the inside of a peel to the rash.
Plantains are a mood enhancer because they contain the amino acid tryptophan. They can also help people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Due to their considerable amounts of vitamins C, B6, B12 and A1, eating bananas and plantains can also help smokers kick the habit. The magnesium and potassium contained in plantains which can help the body and mind deal with the symptoms of withdrawal from a habit-forming substance.
The breakdown of the nutrition facts are:
Amount of Plantain: 1 cup
total Calories 232
Carbohydrates 62.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Sugars 28.0 g
Total Fat 0.4 g
How to use them in a meal ?? Glad you asked !!
Replace potatoes with plantains in your favorite vegetable soup and stew recipes.
Saute plantain slices as a healthy side dish that pairs well with barbecued meat or spicy tamales.
Add cooked plantain slices to bean salads as another way to incorporate them into your diet.
Arrange raw plantain slices on a baking sheet and brush them with canola oil. Sprinkle the slices with garlic powder and black pepper and roast them until they are crisp. The plantain chips are a nutritious alternative to potato chips. Serve the chips with fresh tomato salsa or black bean dip.
Saute plantains until they are soft, drizzle them with honey and top them with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a healthy dessert.
AND in case you are still not convinced about the great things plantains can do for you, here are some great benefits !
-Plantain, much like its yellow ripe counterpart, is extremely good for skin. Plantain juice can be effectively used to treat sunburn, ulcers, scalds and burns. It is treated as an effective substitute for aloe vera.
-Plantain has been used for long to treat diseases like tuberculosis and syphilis, both internally and externally. It is very effective for treating liver sluggishness and inflammation of the digestive tract too. Plantain is also used for scrofula, mercurial poisoning and other specific or non-specific glandular diseases.
-Chewing plantain root can offer immediate relief from toothache.
-Plantain is known to soothe cough reflex and is used to treat asthma, lung infections, and hay fever and any other respiratory disorder that involves mucous congestion. It is known to provide relief from hoarseness and bronchial infections too. It is also used for respiratory problems that involve mucous congestion

What Are the Benefits of Plantain Fruit? |…

James A. Duke. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2000.

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