which are typically eaten raw and without the peel, usually being smaller, more rounded and sugary; however, there is no formal scientific distinction between plantains and bananas.
In some countries, there may appear to be a clear distinction between cooking plantains and dessert bananas, but in other countries, where many more cultivars are consumed, the distinction is not made in the common names used there. A subgroup of plantain cultivars may be distinguished as "true" plantains.
All modern plantain cultivars have three sets of chromosomes (i.e. they are triploid). Many are hybrids derived from the cross of two wild species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The currently accepted scientific name for all such crosses is Musa × paradisiaca.
Plantains contain more starch and less sugar than dessert bananas and are therefore usually cooked or otherwise processed before being eaten.
They are always cooked or fried when eaten green. At this stage, the pulp is hard and the peel often so stiff that it has to be cut with a knife to be removed.
Mature plantains can be peeled like typical dessert bananas; the pulp is softer than in immature, green fruit and some of the starch has been converted to sugar. They can be eaten raw, but are not as tasty in that state as dessert bananas, so are usually cooked.
When mature, yellow plantains are fried, they tend to caramelize, turning a golden-brown color. They can also be boiled, baked, microwaved or grilled over charcoal, peeled or still in the peel.
An average plantain has about 220 calories and is a good source of potassium and dietary fiber.
Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, the tenth most important staple that feeds the world.
Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.
Plantains fruit all year round, which makes the crop a reliable all-season staple food, particularly in developing countries with inadequate food storage, preservation and transportation technologies.
In Africa, plantains and bananas provide more than 25 percent of the carbohydrate requirements for over 70 million people.
The plant however does not stand high winds well, and plantain plantations are therefore liable to destruction by hurricanes.
Health benefits of plantains
Plantain relatively has more calories weight for weight
than that in the table bananas. 100 g plantain holds about 122 calories,
while dessert banana has only 89 calories. Indeed, they are very reliable
sources of starch and energy; ensuring food security for millions of inhabitants worldwide.
It contains 2.3 g of dietary fiber per 100 g
(6% of DRA per 100 g). Adequate amount of dietary-fiber in the food
helps normal bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation problems.
Fresh plátanos have more vitamin C than
bananas. 100 g provide 18.4 mg or 31% of daily required levels of this
vitamin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop
resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free
radicals. However, boiling and cooking destroys much of this vitamin in plantains.
Plantains carry more vitamin A than
bananas. 100 g fresh ripe plantains contain 1127 IU or 37.5% of daily
required levels of this vitamin. Besides being a powerful
antioxidant, vitamin A plays a vital role in the visual cycle,
maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion.
As in bananas, they too are rich sources
of B-complex vitamins, particularly high in vitamin-B6
(pyridoxine). Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a
beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anemia, and to decrease homocystine (one of
the causative factors for coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke
episodes) levels in the body. In addition, the fruit contains moderate
levels of folates, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
They also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium,
and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and
has a cardiac-protective role as well.
Fresh plantains have more potassium than bananas. 100 g fruit provides 499 mg
of potassium (358 mg per 100 g for bananas). Potassium
is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure,
countering negative effects of sodium.
Boost sex drive:
How does plantain boost sexual performance or reduces impotency, weak erection, and increases sex drive.
Unripe plantain, pure honey, cloves and walnuts will be grinded, mashed or pound together to make a gel or paste. After this, the gel will be sun dried to form a cake or flakes. During sun-drying, the materials should be protected either with tiny, spacing wire mesh or iron mosquito nets from flies.
Once totally dried and has become a flake, it has become a “drug” referred to as sex enhancing drug capable of improving penile-erection, cure sexual coldness in women and also prevent early or premature ejaculation in men during sexual intercourse.