Plantain peels (Musa paradisiaca) are not just a waste of plantains; they can also be used to improve your health. There are a lot of ways you can utilize plantain peels to benefit from their nutrients.
You can decide to dry and grind it into powder form, which can be used in making fufu (this is common in Nigeria). You can boil it, slice it into tiny bits, and add it to your salad or sandwiches. You can also make tea or mix it with your lotion and rub it on your skin.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the potential health benefits of plantain peels that will amaze you. However, what is the nutritional value of plantain peels?
Nutritional Composition of Plantain Peels
The nutritional value of plantain peels is very similar to that of plantains.
A 2020 study investigated the nutraceutical potential of ripe and unripe plantain fruit peels.
From the study, it was discovered that the peels contained phytochemicals such as., terpenoids, cardiac glycosides, phenols,
flavonoids, alkaloids, reducing sugars, and saponins.
They also contain minerals and nutrients like potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and phosphorus.
10 Health Benefits of Plantain Peels
Below are some of the potential health benefits of plantain peels.
1. May relieve constipation
Plantain is a natural laxative that helps relieve constipation naturally without any side effects. The fiber content in plantain peels helps to keep bowels regular by increasing the bulk and water content of stool, thereby promoting bowel movement.
2. May control blood pressure
The nutritional properties of plantain peels help lower blood pressure because they help eliminate excess sodium from the body through urine.
This results in a reduction in sodium levels in body fluids and a lowering of blood pressure levels, as well as reducing strain on heart muscles to pump blood through arteries and veins as well.
Plantain peels are also loaded with potassium, a vital nutrient for the heart.
3. May have antifungal properties
A 2016 study evaluated some nutrient contents and antifungal properties of ground Musa paradisiaca (Plantain) peels and leaves.
In the study, extracts of plantain peels were effective against C. albicans and P. notatum and hence may be useful in managing such pathogen-induced ailments.
4. Excellent source of potassium
The high potassium content of plantain peels makes them an excellent heart-healthy food since potassium reduces the risk of hypertension, stroke, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.
Potassium also helps maintain normal blood pressure levels by preventing water retention in the body.
5. High in dietary fiber
Plantain peels are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They contain nearly twice as much fiber as plantain peels. The high fiber content helps prevent constipation and also aids in digestion by preventing uncomfortable bloating and gas.
A 2016 study showed that plantain peels are an excellent source of dietary fiber.
6. Rich in folate
The folate content in plantain peels helps prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy. It may also help prevent congenital disabilities of the heart, spine, or brain during childhood development when consumed by pregnant women during the first trimester.
7. Possesses anti-inflammatory properties
The peels of the plantain contain flavonoids and tannins known to have anti-inflammatory properties. The peels can be used in several ways, such as by making tea or putting it on your skin as an ointment.
A 2022 study concluded that plantain peel contains many bioactive compounds which demonstrate anti-inflammatory properties.
8. May prevent cancer
The anti-cancer properties present in plantain peels are known to help in reducing the risk of cancer. It also helps prevent cancer cell growth by reducing inflammation and neutralizing free radicals.
9. Good source of iron
The iron in plantain peels helps improve blood circulation and prevent anemia. It also plays an essential role in keeping our bodies fit by increasing cell oxygen supply.
10. May treats ulcers
A study conducted in 2014 investigated the anti-ulcer properties of an aqueous extract of unripe plantain peel in Wistar rats.
They concluded that aqueous extracts of plantain peels alleviated the ulcerative lesions in the rats and may be effective in treating ulcers.
The potential health benefits of plantain peels are amazing. However, there is still little medical research available to ascertain it’s health effects on humans. Always consult your doctor first.
Ensure you wash the peels with clean water and salt before boiling or drying them. This will help ensure it is free of germs and safe to consume.
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