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Raw Bananas (Plantains): Nutritional Health Benefits, Risks, & Recipes

Bananas are one of those healthy and nutritious fruits which people enjoy eating any time of the day. Usually, bananas are eaten in their ripe form, but the raw bananas are also eaten too, but after cooking.

Raw bananas (plantains) are eaten by frying, boiling or sautéing. They are a good source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and resistant starch. Raw banana tastes less sweet, has a bitter taste and is high in starches compared to the ripe bananas.

Nutritional Value Of Raw Bananas

100 g of raw bananas contain 74.91 g water, 89 kcal energy and they also contain

  • 1.09 g protein
  • 0.33 g fat
  • 22.84 g carbohydrate
  • 2.6 g fibre
  • 12.23 g sugar
  • 5 mg calcium
  • 0.26 mg iron
  • 27 mg magnesium
  • 22 mg phosphorus
  • 358 mg potassium
  • 1 mg sodium
  • 0.15 mg zinc
  • 8.7 mg vitamin C
  • 0.031 mg thiamin
  • 0.073 mg riboflavin
  • 0.665 mg niacin
  • 0.367 mg vitamin B6
  • 20 mcg folate
  • 64 IU vitamin A
  • 0.10 mg vitamin E
  • 0.5 mcg vitamin K

Health Benefits Of Raw Bananas

1. Aid in weight loss

Raw bananas contain two types of fibre - resistant starch and pectin both of which increase the feeling of fullness after meals. This further helps in slowing down the emptying of your stomach and make you eat less food, which in turn could help in losing weight [1] .

2. Control diabetes

Both resistant starch and pectin in raw bananas may help in controlling blood sugar after meals, according to a study [2] . Raw bananas have a glycemic index (GI) of 30, which is very low, and this helps in lowering blood glucose levels.

3. Promote heart health

Raw bananas are high in resistant starch which aids in lowering plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentration, thereby contributing to heart health. They also contain a good amount of potassium which helps keep your blood pressure in check [3] .

4. Improve digestive health

Resistant starch and pectin in raw bananas work as a prebiotic which feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut. The bacteria ferment these two types of fibre, producing butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids which help in treating various digestive problems [4] .

5. Prevent and treat diarrhoea

The presence of high resistant starch and pectin in raw bananas could help treat and prevent diarrhoea. It helps in hardening of the stool and fights off bacteria that cause diarrhoea. According to a study, raw bananas are useful in the dietary management of persistent diarrhoea in hospitalized children and can be used to treat children at home [5] .

6. Help in better iron absorption

Iron deficiency and anaemia affect a large number of population. A study published in the Food and Nutrition Research showed that, raw and cooked bananas do not affect iron absorption and they can help in increasing the iron levels in the body [6] .

Health Risks Of Raw Bananas

Eating excess of raw bananas could cause bloating, gas, and constipation. Also if you are allergic to latex, you need to avoid eating raw bananas as they contain proteins that are similar to the allergy-causing proteins in the latex.

Raw Banana Recipes

Raw banana curry [7]


  • 4 pieces raw banana
  • 2 potatoes
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Paanchphoran (even mixture of whole coriander, cumin, nigella, fennel, and mustard seeds)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt and oil as required


  • Peel, cut the raw bananas and pressure cook them for 3 whistles.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes.
  • Heat oil in a pan/kadai and shallow fry the potatoes. Keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add bay leaf and paanchphoran.
  • Then add ginger paste and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper, chilli powder, and salt. Sauté the spices.
  • Add banana and potato pieces and fry with the spices.
  • Add water and allow it to boil till the banana and potato is soft.
  • Add garam masala and serve hot.

Try this raw banana kebab recipe and banana chips recipe.

View Article References
  1. [1] Higgins J. A. (2014). Resistant starch and energy balance: impact on weight loss and maintenance.Critical reviews in food science and nutrition,54(9), 1158–1166.
  2. [2] Schwartz, S. E., Levine, R. A., Weinstock, R. S., Petokas, S., Mills, C. A., & Thomas, F. D. (1988). Sustained pectin ingestion: effect on gastric emptying and glucose tolerance in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients.The American journal of clinical nutrition,48(6), 1413-1417.
  3. [3] Kendall, C. W., Emam, A., Augustin, L. S., & Jenkins, D. J. (2004). Resistant starches and health.Journal of AOAC international,87(3), 769-774.
  4. [4] Topping, D. L., & Clifton, P. M. (2001). Short-chain fatty acids and human colonic function: roles of resistant starch and nonstarch polysaccharides.Physiological reviews,81(3), 1031-1064.
  5. [5] Rabbani, G. H., Teka, T., Saha, S. K., Zaman, B., Majid, N., Khatun, M., ... & Fuchs, G. J. (2004). Green banana and pectin improve small intestinal permeability and reduce fluid loss in Bangladeshi children with persistent diarrhea.Digestive diseases and sciences,49(3), 475-484.
  6. [6] García, O. P., Martínez, M., Romano, D., Camacho, M., de Moura, F. F., Abrams, S. A., … Rosado, J. L. (2015). Iron absorption in raw and cooked bananas: a field study using stable isotopes in women.Food & nutrition research,59, 25976.
  7. [7]
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