Eating food served on banana leaves is common in south India. The food served on banana leaves not just tastes good but it is also healthy. Nowadays, many restaurants too have started serving food on banana leaves. So, what’s stopping you? Find out the benefits of eating food served on a banana leaf and get the leaves now.
Why Should You Eat Food Served on Banana Leaves?
It is common in south India to serve food on banana leaves, especially on special occasions and auspicious events. This because eating food on banana leaves has been believed to have plenty of health benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Your food will be enriched with antioxidants.
Banana leaves are loaded with plant-based compounds called polyphenols such as EGCG (which is also present in green tea). Polyphenols are natural antioxidants which help fight free radicals that can cause many diseases including cancer. The food served on the leaves absorb the nutrients and antioxidants and benefit you. Banana leaves have antibacterial properties. Their wax coating protects the leaves from contamination and is even believed to kill pathogens.
2. Banana leaves are hygienic.
Banana leaves are particularly used to serve food on auspicious occasions as they are more hygienic compared to other utensils. Plastic plates that are rented may not be thoroughly washed and could harbour pathogens. They are also washed with dish liquid that could remain on the plates (if the plates are not washed properly) and may contaminate the food. Banana leaves, on the other hand, are fresh and clean since they are straight from the field and used only once. Rinse the leaves with clean water and they are good to use.
3. You will help save the environment.
On several auspicious occasions, people serve food on styrofoam plates (or the disposable plates) which are harmful to the environment. Replacing them with banana leaves is an ideal option as banana leaves are eco-friendly. Banana leaves can decompose sooner as compared to paper plates and using them would also save your time. No need to do the dishes!
4. Banana leaves can be cleaned easily.
Banana leaves have a natural ability to repel microbes and dust. Hence, they do not require much cleaning. All you need to do is rinse them with water and they’re good to go. You can throw them away after use.
Benefits of Using Banana Leaves
There are a number of other reasons why you should ditch the plates and start eating food on a banana leaf.
- Disposable plastic and styrofoam plates have grown in popularity over the years as they are easily available and are inexpensive. However, they are not good for the environment. Styrofoam plates cannot be recycled and standard procedures to dispose them of are seldom practised. Also, styrofoam doesn’t decay in the soil and remains for hundreds of years. However, banana leaves decompose quickly when disposed of, making them friendly to the environment.
- Banana leaves are easily available and in plenty. If you live in urban areas, you can find them in grocery stores and no, you won’t have to spend a lot on them. Banana leaves are economical.
- If you hate doing the dishes, you will like eating food on banana leaves. After eating on them, you can throw them away. You won’t have to clean them. And don’t you worry about serving hot gravies on them because banana leaves are resilient, they won’t turn soggy.
- Banana leaves have a waxy coating that makes them waterproof. The waxy coating keeps the leaves clean and also impart a distinct (but pleasant) taste to the food.
- The antioxidants present in the leaves help the body by boosting immunity. Eating the food served on the leaves can also build a healthy bacterial flora in the gut.
- Serving on banana leaves is simple, the leaf only has to be cut in half and rinsed once in the water. Later, the leaves can also be used to make compost.
Eating food served on banana leaves is healthy, hygienic, nutritious and good for the environment. The next time you get a chance to choose, opt for banana leaves!