Nothing beats the satisfaction of having a sumptuous meal on a large, slender, greenish-yellow banana leaf. Yes! You got that right. Not only does it appeal to the eye there are various other health benefits of eating on a banana leaf.
What started as a tradition down in South India thousands of years ago is now also proving to be a healthy trend. Eating on banana leaves isn’t only flavourful, eco-friendly, hygienic and practical but also chemical free. Eating on banana leaves is healthy in every way. It is packed with polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants that is also found in green tea. These polyphenols battle all the free radicals in the body and prevent diseases. Banana leaf is also rich in polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme to treat Parkinson’s disease. Banana leaves also have peculiar anti-bacterial properties that can kill germs in the food and aids proper digestion. Banana leaves also have a wax coating that gives it a glossy finish that adds a subtle flavour to the hot food served on it.
What more? Eating food served on banana leaves does not require much cleaning as it is enough if it is rinsed a little. Banana leaves are eco-friendly and easily decompose in a short time unlike plastic that takes at least a century to degrade completely. The large size of the banana leaf is an added advantage as it can hold an entire meal. Also, being water-proof it can hold gravies without turning much soggy.
Apart from just serving as a leafy plate, banana leaves are also used for cooking. It is used for wrapping as well. Steaming food along with banana leaves gives a sweet taste to the dish. Banana leaf contains traces of EGCG that are used in dietary supplements.