Health Benefits of Saba Fruit

Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on July 08, 2022
3 min read

The Saba fruit is native to the Philippines and is the most common cooking banana cultivar grown in the region. It is beginning to be grown in more and more parts of the world. It is viewed as a valuable source of food, since it grows year-round.

Saba fruit is also known as saba banana, sweet plantain, or saba senegalensis. It grows in bunches at the top of a banana palm. Saba fruit are shorter and thicker than the common banana. Saba bananas often appear green in color and grow to a deeper yellow. They have a thick skin with white, starchy and firm flesh. Saba fruit has a rich flavor profile with a sweet taste.

Saba fruit has high levels of nutrients, making it a good choice for consumption. Saba fruit is rich in starch, with similar carbohydrate content to a potato. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C and contains dietary fiber and iron. Saba fruit has its highest nutritional value when consumed raw.

Owing to its nutritional value, saba fruit has numerous health benefits. Some of them include:

Aids digestion. Due to its concentration of dietary fiber, saba fruit is excellent for digestion. It may overcome symptoms of constipation and reduce the risk of gastric ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems.

Improves metabolism. Saba fruit has a variety of B vitamins, which enable it to improve metabolic processes in the body. The fruit can boost energy levels when eaten raw. It can also improve nervous system functions.

Prevents stroke. Similar to other bananas, saba fruit is rich in potassium, which is a vasodilator. This can decrease strain on blood vessels, thereby reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Improves circulation. Containing high levels of iron, this fruit can stimulate oxygen circulation. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, which helps deliver oxygen and resources throughout the body.

Boosts immunity. This fruit contains a high concentration of vitamin C. Intake of saba fruit can help boost the immune system and protect your body from infections, along with boosting antioxidant activity in the body.

Improves eyesight. Saba fruit is packed with vitamin A, antioxidants, and carotenoids. These nutrients contribute to good vision.

Regulates blood sugar levels. Since saba fruit contains natural sugar, it ranks lower in the glycemic index. That’s why bananas are a healthy snack for people with diabetes.

Important for pregnant women. Pregnant women need a lot of nutrients for the proper development of the fetus. One of the most important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy is folic acid. Saba fruit is a good source of folic acid.

May reduce the risk of asthma. Asthma is an allergy-triggered disease, and many people get it at an early age.  A study found that children who consumed just one banana daily had lower chances of developing asthma.

In addition to the nutritional value of saba fruit, it can provide further benefits to your health:

  • They are a great source of energy. A saba fruit is an excellent snack to help you refuel in the middle of the day.
  • This fruit is recommended for recovery from the effects of a hangover. It helps you replenish lost vitamins within a short time. 
  • Vitamin B in saba fruit is beneficial for people trying to quit smoking. This is because the fruit contains compounds that reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. 
  • Vitamin B6 in saba fruit can help pregnant women manage symptoms of morning sickness as well as help regulate body temperature. 
  • Their energy content makes saba fruit helpful in replenishing the body with glucose after strenuous activity. 
  • Saba fruit can help prevent heartburn.

Saba fruit can be consumed both raw and cooked, but it is more flavorful when eaten cooked. Despite its numerous health benefits, saba fruit should be consumed in moderation. This is because some people may have allergic reactions to a latex component called chitinase, which is present in bananas.