Banana Fruit: Plantain Health Benefits

Plantains and bananas are a major fruit crop in the subtropics and tropics, making it an important contributor to the economy of many countries. Bananas are also a staple fruit of India. In African countries such as Uganda, unripe bananas form an important part of diet. The good thing about bananas is that not only are they tasty but they are also inexpensive and available through the year. Bananas are consumed for its texture, taste, and the feeling of fullness it gives, rather than for its health benefits. In fact, most people prefer it because of its low cost. However, for whatever reason people consume bananas, it should be known that bananas are a wholesome and nutritious fruit. Bananas mainly consist of sugars (sucrose, fructose and glucose) and fiber, which makes them good for an immediate and prolonged energy source. Some of the banana health benefits include the following.

  • Reducing Depression: Bananas contain trypophan, which is an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin. This can improve your mood.
  • Constipation and Diarrhea: Owing to its high fiber content, bananas can bring about a restoration of normal bowel functions. Diarrhea also usually exhausts the body of electrolytes (the most important being potassium, which is present in high amounts in bananas). They also contain a soluble fiber known as hydrocolloid that can help in the normalization of movements in the digestive tract.
  • Kidney Cancer: Around 190,000 kidney cancer cases are diagnosed each year. It has been shown by research that consuming whole fruits and vegetables daily, especially bananas is very protective to the health of the kidney. Results have shown that over a timeframe of 13.4 years, women consuming more than 2.5 servings of vegetables and fruits each day cut the kidney cancer risk by 40 percent. Among all the fruits, bananas were considered to be most protective. Women who consumed bananas 4 to 6 times a week reduced the risk of developing the condition by half compared to the ones who did not consume bananas. What the study inferred was that frequently eating vegetables and fruits, particularly bananas, root vegetables, and cabbage can reduce the chances of cancer of the kidneys.
  • Blood Pressure: Bananas are very high in potassium, containing around 4673 mg of it. However, they are very low in sodium (1 mg), and therefore, they have the perfect ratio for the prevention of high blood pressure. The US Food and Drug Administration have recently allowed the banana industry to claim officially that bananas can reduce the risk of stroke and blood pressure.
  • Ulcers: One of the raw banana benefits is in the treatment of ulcers. Raw bananas help in decreasing acidity and reducing irritation. Bananas also cause the stimulation of the cells on the inner lining of the stomach to produce mucus that is thicker, which guards against acid. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that help in the elimination of stomach bacteria that has been pointed as the main cause of ulcers.
  • Sinusitis: Ripe bananas and sinusitis are also related. One of the good bananas home remedies for sinusitis involves making a smoothie of green leafy vegetables and fruits. Just add one cup of frozen berries, two peeled ripe bananas (frozen or fresh), four cups of cold water, and two cups of fresh clean spinach leaves, and blend them together. You could add another banana for more sweetness. Before you serve, you could also add 2–4 tablespoons of flax seed oil to reduce pain and inflammation caused by the sinus infection. Ripe plantain health benefits also include treating hangover symptoms like nausea, headache and sensitivity to sound and light.


  1. J. C. Robinson, Víctor Galán Saúco, Bananas and Plantains, Cambridge, MA, 2010.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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