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|P M Jagadeesha, Ravikumar B, Ramesh M H and Dinesh Nagar|
|Plantains are quite different from bananas, but belong to same family Musaceae. They thought to have developed by hybridization of two wild species of Muscaceae, Musa acuminata Colla ( AA ) and M. balbsiana Colla ( BB ), and consist of chromosomal triploid AAB genome, as well as taller and more droughts tolerant makes the difference from edible bananas. These plantains are dual in use i.e., raw green plantains for cooking and making fried chips and ripened fruits eaten as table fruit. Plantain has more nutrition than banana as it contains more calories weight of 122 calories, while dessert banana has 89 calories per 100 g of edible fruit. Indeed, they are very reliable sources of starch and energy ensuring food security for millions of households worldwide. It contains 2.3 g of dietary fiber per 100 g which helps normal bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation problems. Fresh plantains have more vitamin C than bananas provide 18.4 mg per 100g as it helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. And also having more vitamin A of 1127 IU or 37.5% of daily required levels of this vitamin. In addition to 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), that has a beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anaemia, 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 thiamine. 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 (USDA National Nutrient data base.).|
P M Jagadeesha has completed his Bachelors degree in Horticulture from University of Horticulture Sciences Bagalkot and presently pursuing the Masters Degree in Tamil Nadu Agriculture University. Currently his research focus is on Postharvest physiology of banana fruits.
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