Can you eat plantains raw?

In this essay, I will answer the question “Can you eat plantains raw?” and I will discuss whether or not plantains are safe to eat raw.

Can you eat plantains raw?

Yes, you can eat raw plantains. Plantains that are ripe are sweet like bananas, but without the banana flavor. They can be eaten raw, however frying them brings out the greatest flavor. They caramelize and crisp up like the edges of butter-fried pancakes.

Raw plantains can be eaten without difficulty, but keep in mind that the riper the plantain, the chewier and more flavorful it will be.

Green plantains, which are plantains in their early stages of ripening, are totally edible as well; nevertheless, they have a distinct astringency that few people find pleasant, with the exception of a small number of “raw-foodies.”

The oral epithelia becomes dry, scratchy, and puckered as a result of the astringency caused by a high percentage of tannin – a chemical substance found in the pulp and the peel of plantains

The other two stages of plantains, the yellow and black stages, are significantly sweeter and more easily tolerated by oral cells.

The texture of the plantains is soft and creamy at this point, and the flavor is similar to banana, but with a bit less sweetness. In fact, ripe plantains have a unique hint of savory flavors when compared to bananas, which is one of the key differences between the two foods.

What do plantains look like?

Plantains might easily be mistaken for bananas. They belong to the Musaceae family of plants, which includes bananas. More than 300 types of bananas are cultivated throughout the world. These are grouped according to the number of chromosome sets present and the proportion of genomes of M. acuminata (A) and M. balbisiana (B). Plantains or the cooking bananas mainly contain the AAB, ABB, or BBB genomes (1).

Plantains are produced in tropical areas all over the world and used in a range of cuisines. They are thought to be native to Southeast Asia. 

Unripe plantains are green to yellow in color, hard to peel, and have a starchy flavor—perfect for boiling and frying. 

Plantains are black when completely mature, with a flavor that some compare to that of a banana, but without the sweetness. 

Many people like to eat plantains that have been cooked.

What are the health benefits of raw plantains?

Plantains can be consumed as part of a healthy diet. However, because they are high in carbs, they should be consumed in moderation if a person is trying to lose weight. Plantain has been researched to be very useful and cheap for managing diabetes mellitus, treating anemia and liver disorders without adverse side effects. In addition, unripe plantain flour has been used as a good diet for diabetic patients (2).

Plantains have a plethora of health benefits:

  1. They improve gut’s health: 

Green plantains, like raw bananas, have a lot of resistant starch and pectin, which can help to feed the good bacteria in your intestines and boost the creation of short-chain fatty acids. As a result, your gut health may improve.

Along with the pectin, resistant starch, which is categorized as a dietary fiber, may help manage blood sugar levels, especially after meals.

Resistant starch can escape digestion leading to its fermentation by several bacteria in the colon. The fermentation products (short chain fatty acids, e.g. butyric acid) are then absorbed into the colon and from there pass into the bloodstream where they play an important role in reducing blood cholesterol, thus positively affecting people with cardiovascular problems. Another health benefit of resistant starches is that as they are not digested they can serve as part of the diet of obese and diabetic individuals (3)

  1. They are rich in antioxidants: 

Plantains naturally contain healthy plant elements such as polyphenols and flavonoids, according to a 2016 study. hydroxycinnamic derivatives, such as ferulic acid-hexoside, were the predominant phenolic compounds in the plantain pulp (4.4–85.1 lg/g DW) and showed large diversity among cultivars. In plantain peels, rutin was the most abundant flavonol glycoside with values in the range of 242.2–618.7 lg/g DW. The study concluded that pulp and peels of plantains are good sources of phenolics for health benefits (1).

These chemicals are antioxidants that aid in the battle against free radicals. In the body, free radicals generate oxidative stress and damage and are responsible for aging and various diseases (1).

In addition, according to a 2018 study, replacing  wheat flour with plantain flour enhanced the antioxidants and fiber content of baked cookies. Unripe plantain has a great amount of resistant starch. The resistant starch present in the unripe plantain flour was preserved due to the low water content of the cookie. Consequently, baked products are considered low glycaemic index products that can be consumed by obese, overweight, or diabetic patients due to the low glucose supply (4). 

  1. They help support the immune system:

Plantains are high in vitamin C, and having them in a well-balanced diet can assist to support the immune system.

Vitamin A is also found in plantains. Vitamin A is anti-inflammatory and helps regulate immunological function, according to a 2018 study.

Bananas have phytosterols. Phytosterols are naturally occurring plant sterols used as ingredients in functional foods, in relation to their wide variety of positive health promoting effects, such as lowering the cholesterol level in the blood and reducing its absorption in the intestine. They act as immune system modulators and also have anticancer properties (1).

  1. They help reduce the blood pressure: 

Potassium is necessary for the heart, nerves, and muscles to operate properly. It aids in the digestion of carbohydrates and the production of protein. Potassium-rich foods can help control blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Potassium is abundant in plantains. Including them in your diet may help you maintain a healthy sodium and potassium balance in your body (1).

  1. They improve the cardiovascular and brain health: 

Pantain pulp contains dopamine, dopa, carotenes, norepinephrine and ascorbic acid with high antioxidant activities. These antioxidants retard aging, prevent coronary heart diseases (1).

Bananas also contain 41% of daily needs in vitamin B6, which helps to increase focus and mental acuity. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the metabolism of macronutrients, the formation of healthy red blood cells, and the production of neurotransmitters.

One cup of plantain provides 17 percent of a person’s daily vitamin B6 requirement.

Vitamin B6 may offer the following health advantages, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (5):

  • It lowers homocysteine, which may lower cardiovascular risk.
  • It has the potential to improve brain function and slow cognitive decline.
  • It has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  • It may aid in the reduction of morning sickness symptoms during pregnancy.
  • It is necessary for producing antibodies and red blood cells as well as aiding in the metabolism of fat

Plantains have plenty of health advantages. However, people who are attempting to lose weight should be careful about portion size


In this essay, I answered the question: “Can you eat plantains raw?” and I provided the numerous health benefits that this fruit offers.

Feel free to contact me for any additional information.


  1. Singh, Balwinder, et al. Bioactive compounds in banana and their associated health benefits–A review. Food Chem, 2016, 206, 1-11. 
  2. OLUTOMILOLA, Emmanuel Olatunji. A review of raw plantain size reduction. Scient Afri, 2021, 12, e00773. 
  3. Gutiérrez, Tomy J. Plantain flours as potential raw materials for the development of gluten-free functional foods. Carbohyd polym, 2018, 202, 265-279.
  4. García‐Solís, Sandra E., et al. Plantain flour: A potential nutraceutical ingredient to increase fiber and reduce starch digestibility of gluten‐free cookies. Starch‐Stärke, 2018, 70, 1700107.
  5. Kumar, KP Sampath, et al. Traditional and medicinal uses of banana. J Pharmacog Phytochem, 2012, 1, 51-63.