Banana Leaf – Health Benefits and Scientific Benefits
Benefits of Eating on Banana Leaf
There is nothing good in comparison to having a three-course meal on a large, green-yellow banana leaf. It just doesn’t look attractive but meals get 2x tasty. Banana leaf is also used to offer prasad to deities as it is considered quite sacred. Food served on the banana leaves is full of nutrients and chemical-free too. Banana leaves have their uses in cooking food.
India is a land of different traditions. One such old tradition is eating food on banana leaves. In the deep south of the Indian peninsula, serving food on banana leaves is counted as auspicious and healthy. In South India, banana leaves are on the top list during festivals and family functions. Not just three-course, banana leaves are big and thick enough for holding a multi-course meal; including watery dishes like sambhar and chutney.
In this article, you will find common benefits as well as scientifically-proven benefits of eating on a banana leaf.
Common Benefits of Eating on Banana Leaf
The ancient habit of eating banana leaves is still in practice in India, especially in the southern part. Wanna know why? The banana leaves are full of benefits, supplementing health. Here is the list:
Using banana leaves is one of the economical and cheap options while traveling. As there are no worries of spending extra money on plastic plates or other utensils. Grab few banana leaves from the herbaceous plant and soak for 1-2 mins in hot water. Then, rinse the leaves with water. It’s ready to eat on them.
Ancient Indian Tradition
Ancient Indian literature has many uses for banana leaves. Respecting one’s tradition is of utmost privilege. It is used not only in festivals or rituals but also in serving and decoration. In ancient eras, there’s a special mention about eating food on banana leaves after any religious poojas or rituals which may bring prosperity to our life. Banana leaf is present in the majority of rituals. Like while worshipping “God Ganeshji” or during “Kathas”.
Banana leaves are easily obtainable and cost very little too. You may find them within the market sold per piece or per kilogram looking on the number you need. The value also varies supported by the place you get the banana leaves from. If you recognize any banana farmer, then you may presumably get them free. This makes banana leaves cheap and affordable for everyone. Ordinary steel plates or plastic plates are long-lasting but costs a lot. Hence you may have seen food serve in banana leaves in rituals and marriages as there’s a large crowd in Indian marriages which makes it difficult for low-budget families to order such a lot of costly plastic dishes.
Adds Flavour and Aroma
When the hot food serves on a fresh banana leaf, the really thin wax coating melts. This wax-like coating releases a pleasing aroma and infuses an additional flavor into your food. Banana leaves just intensify the flavor and aroma of any dish you eat on it. Eating food on banana leaves gives a pleasant experience.
Did you know that banana leaves are waterproof? Being waterproof it is easy to eat liquid food on the banana leaf. As south Indian foods involve many liquid dishes like sambar, rasam, and more. This waterproof quality makes banana leaves an ideal choice for the natural plate as you’ll be able to easily wash them and make use of it. While most of the plant’s leaves don’t seem to be waterproof and if washing them or if you eat food on them, the leaf plate might break down and spoil your food. It won’t spoil any clothes or desk. Even the ghee and oils utilized in the food don’t stick on the plate and hence you’ll completely enjoy your meal without facing any difficulties.
Size of Banana Leaf
Banana leaves are quite large in size and easily accommodates the whole meal in one leaf. If you’ve got heard about Kerala’s banquet or “Sadhya”, then you’d know that it’s a feast prepared for special occasions in very great quantity and has many food items within the meal. So, to induce all the things on your plate you wish a large plate which isn’t feasible moreover as not required because you’ve got Banana Leaves. All the food items available within the feast will be easily served on the banana leaf without mixing up different curries.
Scientific Benefits of Eating on Banana Leaf
Who doesn’t know about the common benefits of banana leaves? But do you know about the scientific benefits of it? Don’t underestimate the power of banana leaves. There are proved scientific benefits of these leaves, eating on them is super advantageous for your health. Let’s check it out:
Banana leaf is Eco-friendly
When it involves disposable plates, most of you’re using plastic plates, Styrofoam plates, or plastic-coated paper plates. Make a sensible move and ditch those plastic disposable utensils for banana leaves as they’re far more eco-friendly. These plates take years to decompose and hence they spread pollution on the world. But banana leaves are a good eco-friendly alternative to those plates. Banana leaves decompose rapidly and decrease soil pollution. The used banana leaves mix with natural fertilizers and facilitate the growth of more plants. Not only do they decompose in a very very short time unlike most plastics, but they also save the additional time and energy that might have otherwise gone in washing the dishes. Chemical-based dishwashing soaps and liquids further enter the bottom water and will harm the geological formation within the long term.
Banana leaf with Anti properties
Do you know what makes green tea leaf special? Yes, the antioxidant properties of the tea make it good for health. Just like tea, banana leaves also possess these anti-oxidant properties. Not just anti-oxidant, banana leaf is additionally anti-bacterial in nature and thus it can kill germs within the food. EGCG is the chemical present in banana leaves that causes antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal. Various studies also proved that the antioxidants present within the banana leaves can help to cure cancer. Also, in one Chinese research, they found that banana leaves can aid people stricken by Parkinson’s disease.
Banana leaf is very Hygienic
You know banana leaves are waterproof. It is usually an honest idea to vex banana leaves because it is certainly more hygienic in comparison to other utensils. Normal utensils should be washed using soap and there are chances that traces of soap should remain on the utensils even after washing. The water-resistant quality of banana leaves also avoids the harmful chemical liquid fertilizers to stay on its surface and hence it becomes less harmful. Also, you’ll be able to easily clean them before eating with no health risk. Those traces might find yourself contaminating your food. Banana leaves have a wax-like coating that forestalls dirt and dirt from sticking on the surface of leaves. It also adds subtle and earthy flavors to the dishes that are served on the leaves. Banana leaves have a wax-like coating that stops dirt and dirt from sticking on the surface of leaves
Banana leaf’s uses in Ayurveda
There are many uses of Banana leaves within the Ayurveda. it’s used for creating some ayurvedic medicines and was accustomed pack the medicines except for short period. There are various reasons behind using banana leaf in ayurvedic medicines and a few of them we discussed earlier during this post. Though the utilization in Ayurveda isn’t associated with eating food on banana leaves these properties are the core reason why banana leaves are chosen rather than other plant or tree leaves.
Banana leaf is free from Chemicals
After reading the points about waterproof and hygienic, you’ll understand how banana leaves will be free from harmful chemical fertilizers. Moreover, once we clean plastic plates or stainless-steel plates with soaps or detergents, the harmful chemicals of those detergents continue the plates. These dangerous chemicals mix with the food and you indirectly intake some chemicals which may be injurious for your health. But there’s no must clean banana leaves with these harmful chemicals. Hence eating food on banana leaves will provide you with a stronger experience and protect you from many harmful chemicals.
So, if you wish to induce all the above-mentioned benefits, get a fresh bunch of banana leaves for you and your family and take a look at eating your food in banana leaves. Ideally, all the dishes from the South Indian Cuisines like Idli, Dosa, Upma, Uttapam serve on the banana leaf.