Food is traditionally served on banana leaves in India. These leaves are sacred and holy, and they are often used in the offering of prasad to the gods.
On special occasions and festivals in South India, there is a wonderful tradition of serving food to guests on these leaves.
Many restaurants are now serving food on banana leaves as well. Nothing compares to the pleasure of eating a delectable meal on a big, slender, greenish-yellow banana leaf.
So, let's look at some of the reasons why these leaves are still widely used in southern India, as well as the benefits they provide to us.
Health benefiting properties of Banana Leaf:
Banana leaves are well-known for their high nutritional value. Polyphenols are plant-based compounds found in banana leaves.
Particularly a type of polyphenol known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants that can be contained in a variety of plant-based foods.
Catechin gallate is a member of the epigallocatechin gallate family. It comprises three phenol rings and is a strong antioxidant.
Green tea leaves also contain epigallocatechin gallate, which is the main active ingredient. They also contain Vitamin A, Citric acid, Calcium, and Carotene, as well as having antibacterial properties. (USDA)
Health Benefits of Eating in Banana Leaf:
Rich in AntiOxidants
Polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants, are abundant in banana leaves. These can be found in a variety of plant-based foods as well as green tea.
Food served on banana leaves absorbs polyphenols, which are thought to protect against a variety of lifestyle diseases.
They're also said to have antibacterial properties, which could make them destroy germs in food.
One of the most important advantages of eating banana leaves is their high content of healthy nutrients, especially antioxidants, which is one of the main reasons for its popularity and widespread use.
One of the most cost-effective and low-cost choices is to eat food on banana leaves.
Depending on the quantity you need, you may be able to find them in the market for sale by piece or by kilogram. If you know a banana farmer, you will almost certainly be able to get them for free.
As a result, banana leaves are inexpensive and accessible to all. As a result, you will see food served in banana leaves at rituals and weddings, as Indian weddings attract a large crowd, making it difficult for low-income families to order too many expensive plastic dishes.
Prevents the Spread of Germs
Banana leaves are thought to have antibacterial properties that prevent food from being spoiled by bacteria or germs. Additionally, it aids in the preservation of your food.
As a result, the food on these leaves is free of germs and contamination, which keeps you safe and reduces your risk of becoming sick. As a result, it protects you from germs and bacteria.
Keeps Your Food Chemical Free
Banana leaves are the most hygienic way to eat bananas. Since the utensils we normally use are washed with soap, traces of the chemical-filled soap always remain on the dish, and our food absorbs those chemicals when we feed on that plate.
Banana leaves, on the other hand, have a wax coating that keeps dust and dirt at bay. These leaves can also be washed in plain water and used right away.
As a result, eating food on banana leaves will improve your experience while also protecting you from a variety of harmful chemicals.
Enhance Food’s Taste
The wax coating on fresh banana leaves is very thin. This waxy coating emits a nice fragrance and enhances the flavour of your food.
The banana leaves are covered with an edible wax layer that has a clear and distinct scent and flavour.
When hot food is eaten on banana leaves, the wax melts and enhances the flavour of the food, making it more flavorful and delicious.
Banana leaves, which are larger than the leaves of most plants, can be cut into various sizes and put on any size platter. Banana leaves are very large and can hold an entire meal in one piece.
Without mixing up various curries, all of the food items available at the feast can be served on the banana leaf. As a result, banana leaves are commonly used as a plate in the Sadhya.
Plastic and Thermocol plates, on the other hand, contribute to the growing landfill problem because they are non-biodegradable and take a long time to degrade. Banana leaves, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly and can be used as manure.
Make a wise choice and replace those plastic disposable utensils with banana leaves, which are much more environmentally friendly. They decompose in a matter of minutes.
Cures Tummy Problems
Banana leaf extracts have traditionally been used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. Banana leaf extracts have been shown in studies to help cure peptic ulcers.
The presence of active compounds such as anthocyanins, tannins, and flavonoids in banana leaves has been linked to their anti-ulcer properties. As a result, banana leaves can be useful for this as well.
Banana leaves have long been used to treat a variety of skin conditions. Banana leaves have antibacterial and antioxidant properties, making them ideal for use in skin creams and lotions.
Wounds and burns may be treated with banana leaves. Banana leaf dressings can cure burns and reduce discomfort and avoid infection in burn wounds.
Banana leaf paste is thought to be good for hair growth and shine. The compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is found in banana leaves and is also found in green tea. However, there aren't many studies that back up banana leaves' hair benefits.
Side-Effects of Eating on Banana Leaf:
All of the above indicate that eating on a banana leaf is a safe and nutritious choice. However, there are several exceptions to be considered.
So, here are some of the negative consequences of eating on a banana leaf:
Banana leaves lower blood sugar levels, so talk to your doctor before incorporating them into your diet.
Some people may be allergic to banana leaves.
Unhygienic banana leaves can lead to some serious health issues.
Sometimes food may fall off from the leaves if the leaf gets torn or damaged.
The tradition of eating food on banana leaves is a visual delight and a culinary delight.
Food served on banana leaves is healthy, hygienic, nutritious, and environmentally friendly. Choose banana leaves the next time you have the choice!
Hope you liked the health benefits and side effects of eating food in banana leaf. 🙏