Plantain is a popular staple food that is eaten in different forms – boiled, fried, or roasted – all depending on the preference of the consumer.
During pregnancy, women experience food cravings that sometimes don’t align with their usual diet due to certain hormonal changes.
Also sometimes, these foods may have health implications for expectant mothers that they are unaware of.
Now when it comes to plantain, it’s important to know that it is not only rich in starch, but also beneficial to expectant mothers. However, it shouldn’t be eaten excessively.
Also, there are certain forms of plantains to avoid. They are nightshades and they contain a neurotoxin that can adversely affect your pregnancy.
So, if you’ve been craving some plantains during pregnancy, here are some health benefits of eating plantain during pregnancy that you probably didn’t know about.
Health Benefits Of Eating Plantain During Pregnancy
Prevents digestion and constipation problems
Plantain is a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber aids smooth bowel movements. It also makes pregnant women less prone to developing constipation issues. If you are expecting and haven’t thought of eating plantain yet, you can try it out soon.
A good energy booster
Due to its sufficient amount of starch, plantain can be eaten by expectant mothers to gain enough needed energy during pregnancy.
It boosts the immune system
During pregnancy, you need your immune system to be stronger than ever due to the hormonal changes that make you easily susceptible to infections. Eating plantain will help take care of your immune system and protect you and your unborn child from risks. This is because plantain is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin A works as a strong antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals. It also prevents healthy cell damage while you are expecting.
Aids eye and skin health
Due to plantain having a high vitamin A content, your eye health and vision get a good boost and this is great for expectant mothers. Also, it’s not about what you rub on your skin but also what goes into your body. This is why it’s good to add plantains to your diet during pregnancy as your skin complexion gets a proper glow-up. It’s also better to go the natural way for skin protection during pregnancy by eating plantains as some skincare chemicals may be too harsh during this delicate period.
Prevents kidney and bladder problems
Plantain works as a diuretic during pregnancy. This aids smooth urinary functions and also reduces the risk of developing kidney and bladder problems.
A rich source of B-Complex vitamins
B-Complex Vitamins, especially vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, helps you treat anemia, neuritis, and homocysteine effectively during pregnancy. And plantain is rich in these vitamins.
For good doses of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, and iron during pregnancy, plantains are a good source. This is especially when you eat the unripe plantain. It not only helps you have strong bones, it also enables good growth and development of your fetus.
Good for your heart
Due to having a high potassium content, plantains are good for your heart as they help to promote heart health during pregnancy. Eating plantains during pregnancy also ensures that you have healthy cells. Potassium regulates your blood pressure levels and heart rate and combat negative sodium effects significantly.
Health Benefits Of Mackerel Fish
Eating fish is important for a balanced diet and mackerel fish are some of the most widely available and healthiest fish around.
However, before you add mackerel to your diet, it is important to know where they come from and what health benefits and possible side effects they hold.
Mackerel fish is actually a general term that encompasses more than 30 species of fish, most of which belong to the Scombridae.
In many parts of the world, mackerel fish are known as bangada.
These fish are typically found near coastal areas, where they breed and feed, and their range includes both tropical and temperate regions.
Mackerel fish are usually found in large schools, which makes them an easy target for commercial fishermen.
This makes mackerel one of the most common fish on the menu, particularly in North America.
Ranging from 20 cm to 200 cm, these fish have varying physical characteristics, but they offer similar flavor and a relatively aligned nutrient profile.
Mackerel Fish Nutrition Facts
Mackerel species are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as possible high levels of vitamin B12 (nearly 700% of your daily requirement).
They may contain minerals like selenium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
There can be smaller amounts of vitamin A, potassium, zinc, and sodium in it.
Along with 230 calories per filet – an average of 100 grams – there are also 21 grams of protein, representing roughly 40% of your daily required intake.
Due to this impressive nutrient profile and the different ways to prepare mackerel, it remains one of the most popular and readily consumed fish in the world.
Health Benefits of Mackerel Fish
The health benefits of mackerel fish may include improving hair health, protecting the skin, preventing age-related macular degeneration, strengthening the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels, preventing chronic disease, and boosting bone health, among others.
With ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, mackerel fish can possibly take care of all your skincare needs.
These substances may act as antioxidants within the body and possibly helping reduce oxidative stress and the effects of free radicals, which are the natural byproducts of cellular metabolism.
They can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots and relieve certain inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
There are many nutrients that are critical to hair care such as protein, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which might be found in mackerel fish.
A regular dose of these nutrients in your diet will help improve the luster and look of your hair, while also strengthening the hair strands and reducing the effects of scalp conditions, such as dandruff.
May Boost Immunity
Despite having a low level of vitamin C, mackerel fish are still praised for their effects on the immune system.
Coenzyme Q10 is one of the unique elements in mackerel fish that is closely associated with preventing infections and strengthening the body’s defense against oxidative stress.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to possibly reduce inflammation, which can put unnecessary strain on the immune system.
May Lower Cholesterol Levels
With an impressive level of omega-3 fatty acids, mackerel fish might improve cholesterol balance in the body by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
This might reduce the amount of cholesterol that is oxidized and deposited in the arteries as plaque, so this fish is known to possibly lower your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart diseases.
Benefits Of Eating Cocoyam
Colocasia esculenta popularly known as cocoyam is a tropical, perenial crop.
It is a starchy tuber crop with three parts namely; corn, stem and leaves, which is grown basically for edible root.
It is the thick, tuber stalk of the Cocoyam plant is an extremely important part of global cuisines and diets, as it has been for thousands of years.
It can also be grown as an ornamental plant for the beautification of the environment as well as a medicinal plant.
Cocoyam has its origin from Asia or Southeast Asia as some researchers have found out and it is a known staple crop in most developing countries of Africa.
It can also be found in India, USA, Japan as well as Singapore.
The health benefits of eating cocoyam includes providing strength for good aerobic exercise, improving heart and bone health, improving enzyme function and fighting anemia.
Cocoyam contains a wealth of organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit our overall health in a number of ways.
One cup (132 grams) of cooked cocoyam has 187 calories — mostly from carbs — and fewer than one gram each of protein and fat.
It has a very significant amount of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as high levels of vitamin A, C, E, vitamin B6, and folate, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.
There is magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and copper in it.
The plant also provides some protein in your diet, but the amount is almost negligible.
Health Benefits Of Eating Cocoyam
Keeps Hunger At Bay
The Cocoyam is rather calorie-sparse at 142 calories per 100g – around 13% of the possible calorie content.
The low-calorie and high “bulk” of tubers such as cocoyam has made them a staple in diets across the world as they will reduce hunger and make you feel “full” without too many calories.
For this reason, Cocoyam can be an excellent food addition for those who are dieting, as one of the hardest parts of losing weight is getting past the feelings of hunger.
Helps Control Blood Sugar
Although Cocoyam is a starchy vegetable, it contains two types of carbohydrates that are beneficial for blood sugar management: fiber and resistant starch.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that humans can’t digest. Since it’s not absorbed, it has no impact on blood sugar levels.
It also helps slow down the digestion and absorption of other carbs, preventing large blood sugar spikes after meals.
The health benefits of eating cocoyam plays an important part in the antioxidant activity in our bodies.
High level of vitamin A, vitamin C, and various other phenolic antioxidants found in Cocoyam help to boost immune system and help eliminate dangerous free radicals from our system.
By eliminating these free radicals, our general health is almost guaranteed.
Cryptoxanthin, which is found in Cocoyam, is directly related to a lowered chance of developing both lung and oral cancers.
Reduces Muscle Cramps
Consuming high-potassium foods is directly related to decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength.
Muscle cramps are one of the common side effects of low potassium levels.
This happens when an athlete becomes dehydrated and don’t consume enough potassium-rich foods before and after exercise.
Boosts Immune System
Cocoyam plays an important role in the immune system.
Vitamin C is found in Cocoyams, which helps to encourage immune system to create more white blood cells, which help to defend the body from foreign pathogens and agents.
Additionally, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which moderately prevents the development of conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
Generally, the health benefits of eating cocoyam includes improving the chances of dietary success, supporting digestive health, a good source of carbohydrate, improving metabolic efficiency and nutrient absorption, strengthening immune function and supporting blood health.
Healthy Benefits Of Tiger Nuts For Women
Tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus) is not actually a nut.
They are classified as tubers that start growth under the dirt and are classed under the sedge family, also known as tiger nutsedge, yellow nutsedge, or earth almond.
Scientists have come to understand that tiger nuts were a source of nutrition for the earliest humans and before.
This article looks at six healthy benefits of tiger nuts for women.
It is rich in high insoluble fiber
The US National Library of Medicine has documented that 100g of tiger nut flour contains around 59.71g of dietary fibre.
The most significant finding was that it’s high in insoluble fibre which makes our fiber friendly friends list that also includes foods such as carrots, cabbage, chia seeds, oats and apples.
This insoluble fiber helps to bulk up stool so it’s easier to pass and can be very helpful with constipation.
A diet high in fibre during pregnancy has been observed to reduce preeclampsia and cardiovascular risks.
The University of California San Francisco recommends that pregnant women eat between 20-35 grams per day.
Ideal for anyone with lactose intolerance
For those who are lactose intolerant and unable to consume cow’s milk, this is an ideal substitute and a healthy option.
If you compare all non-dairy milk alternatives, this one has the highest nutritional, healthy fat and fiber content.
It’s also a good source of calcium, and can be one nutritious food to help achieve the 1,000 to 1,300 mg dairy recommended calcium intake.
Cardiovascular disease protection
According to the National Health Institute, vitamin E is an antioxidant-rich fat-soluble compound important for repairing free radical damage, a healthy immune system and important in blood vessel and heart health.
Food is preferred to supplements when it comes to vitamin E, and tiger nuts have vitamin E in abundance in both milk and flour form.
It also boosts good cholesterol
The word cholesterol makes most of us panic, but we all need cholesterol to survive and the right types of cholesterol are important for our health.
For example, oleic acid a type of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) found in tiger nuts (the same one that’s also in avocados and olive oil) assists in increasing the “happy” HDL cholesterol, essential for mother and baby during the nine months.
Excellent source of magnesium
Magnesium can carry out over 300 vital biochemical tasks in the body according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
A 100 grams of tiger nuts provide up to 17 percent magnesium , helping promote the standard function of nerves, maintain blood pressure levels, control sugars and strengthen bones.
Aids digestion and health gut
As we have learned the health benefits of tiger nuts are many, making them a fantastic food for anyone.
In Asia and Africa where tiger nuts are most prevalent, they have been used to treat ailments for the stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and cover a wide range of digestive complaints.
Outside the medical system and in medication passed down through generations, tiger nuts have been known to aid in the treatment of flatulence and diarrhoea.
This could be due to the fact that those little tubers are rich in resistance starch that acts as a prebiotic to help feed our gut flora and maintain a healthy digestive system.
We all understand that during pregnancy digestive problems can occur, so a regular intake of tiger nuts will be of immense benefit.
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