Across Southeast Asia, Banana leaves are widely used such as cooking, decoration or serving food. In South India, banana leaves are known not only because they are eco-friendly and culturally hygienic but for its health benefits.
It is full of polyphenols aka epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that is a naturally potent antioxidant. It’s also a major player found in green tea. EGCG protects the cells from oxidative damage from free radicals; resulting to heart ailments, cancer, arteriosclerosis, and fast aging over time. In addition, this compound actively protects the DNA from UV and visible radiation and; promotes fat oxidation, weight loss, and even skin rejuvenation.
Since banana leaf is too hard for our stomach to digest, it’s not advisable to eat it directly even if it’s very beneficial to the body. As mentioned earlier, banana leaves are used for cooking or serving. The heat coming from the food helps the polyphenols to be absorbed in the food. Furthermore, nutrients such as Vitamin A, citric acid, carotene, and calcium can get inside the body through eating the food.
Moreover, the benefits of eating with banana leaves are as follow:
- Improves immune system
- Alternative cure for bladder-related diseases and kidney stones
- Eases mucus lining in the stomach and heals ulcer
- The chlorophyll in the leaves hinders skin cancer and intestinal ulcer
- Cleans the blood
- Helps digestion and activates appetite
- Enhance skin health
Reasons to Eat on a Banana Leaf
Adds Extra Flavor
Serving hot food on a banana leaf can add and enhance flavor both sweet and sour taste. As the wax-like coating in the banana leaf melts, it somehow transfers its essence into the food.
It’s easy to dispose of and can be eaten by herbivorous animals.
Sanitary and Fresh
All you have to do is wash the banana leaves with clean water and its ready to use.
Banana leaves do not have chemicals from the detergent or cleaning agents you use where traces of toxins are left on plates.
The wax-like coating of these leaves is sturdy enough to be used in serving foods like curries, sauces or soupy foods. It can also replace the aluminum foil for packing picnics or lunches.
- The banana leaves extract can treat dandruff, eczema, or other minor skin wounds.
- For sunburn, dip the banana leaves to cold water and apply on the damaged area.
- It helps cure harmful insect bites, rashes, and bee stings.