Skip to Content

Is it good to eat beans and plantain together?

Eating beans and plantains together is a common combination in many cuisines around the world. However, some people wonder if it is healthy or safe to eat them together. This article will explore the potential benefits and downsides of eating beans and plantains together.

The Nutritional Benefits of Beans and Plantains

Both beans and plantains are nutritious foods that can be part of a healthy diet. Here is an overview of the key nutrients found in each:


  • High in protein – Beans provide all 9 essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis.
  • High in fiber – Just 1 cup of beans provides up to 75% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, and folate.
  • Provide antioxidants from compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids.


  • Good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium.
  • Provide dietary fiber, which benefits digestive health.
  • Contain magnesium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B6, and niacin.
  • Provide energy from natural carbohydrates.

By eating beans and plantains together, you can get a broader spectrum of nutrients. The fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals provided can help meet daily nutritional needs.

Potential Downsides of Combining Beans and Plantains

Although beans and plantains are nutritious separately, some people claim combining them can cause digestive issues. Here are some potential downsides:

Increased Gas and Bloating

Beans contain sugars called alpha-galactosides that we lack the enzymes to properly digest. As they pass undigested into the colon, they get fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas. Plantains are also high in fiber and starch, which could exacerbate gas and bloating when paired with beans.

Nutrient Absorption Issues

The high fiber content of both beans and plantains can potentially interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients if eaten together. For example, the phytates in beans can bind to minerals like iron, zinc and calcium and inhibit their absorption. Plantain fiber may have a similar effect.

Digestive Discomfort

Some people may experience digestive discomfort when increasing fiber intake too quickly. Adding high-fiber beans and plantains together could cause issues like cramps, diarrhea or constipation in sensitive individuals.

Blood Sugar Spikes

Although high in starch, green plantains have a low glycemic index. However, when ripe plantains are cooked and served with beans, the meal’s overall glycemic load goes up. This could potentially cause bigger blood sugar spikes for people with diabetes or prediabetes.

Tips for Eating Beans and Plantains Together

If you want to enjoy beans and plantains together while minimizing discomfort and health risks, here are some tips:

  • Introduce high-fiber foods like beans and plantains gradually to allow your body to adjust.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to help food and waste move through the digestive tract.
  • Try using a gas-reducing spice like fennel, cumin, coriander or ginger when cooking beans.
  • Soak and sprout beans before cooking to increase digestibility and reduce phytates.
  • Enjoy plantains when still green and lower in sugar to prevent big blood sugar spikes.
  • Consider a probiotic supplement or probiotic-rich foods to support healthy digestion.

Sample Meal Plans with Beans and Plantains

Here are a few healthy meal ideas that incorporate beans and plantains:


  • Scrambled eggs with black beans, sliced plantains, salsa and avocado.
  • Oatmeal topped with roasted plantain slices, peanut butter and raisins.
  • Tofu veggie scramble with pinto beans, plantains and spinach.


  • Quinoa bowls with chickpeas, roasted plantains, greens and tahini dressing.
  • Vegetarian burrito bowls with rice, beans, pico de gallo and fried plantains.
  • Lentil soup with plantain chips on the side.


  • Coconut curry chickpeas over brown rice with sautéed plantains.
  • Enchiladas with black beans, cheese, avocado and fried plantains.
  • Falafel bowls with hummus, mixed greens and grilled plantains.

The Bottom Line

Combining beans and plantains can provide protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, eating large amounts together, especially if your body isn’t accustomed to fiber-rich foods, may increase gas, bloating and digestive discomfort. Introducing high-fiber foods slowly, drinking plenty of fluids, probiotic foods and proper preparation methods can help minimize adverse effects. Overall, enjoying beans and plantains as part of a varied, well-balanced diet is likely safe and healthy for most people.