Have you wondered why Indian traditions prescribed eating over banana leaves and not metal plates? In ancient times, people followed very healthy routines with their major focus being directed towards eating healthy, hygienic, and fresh food and that is why banana leaves were used back in those days. These leaves are considered to be very healthy and auspicious in our country and are used to offer food or prasad to Gods in the southern part of India.
So, let's take a look at some reasons why these leaves are still used extensively in southern India and what benefits they offer to us.
These Leaves Are Full Of Antioxidants
Coming as one of the most important benefits of eating over banana leaves, its richness in healthy nutrients especially antioxidants, is one major reason for its popularity and extensive usage. These leaves are full of plant-based compounds such as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG(also present in green tea(hacks to make green tea taste better)), and other powerful antioxidants that help in improving your immunity and keeping the food full of nutrition. Banana leaves cannot be eaten directly but the food that we keep on it absorbs the nutrition from the leaves and becomes super healthy with the addition of the extra nutrition.
It Keeps The Germs At Bay
Banana leaves are believed to have anti-bacterial properties that help in protecting the food from being ruined by germs or bacteria. The food present on these leaves thus remains free from any germs or contamination and helps in keeping you healthy and prevents the chances of falling sick.
It Makes The Food Flavourful And More Delicious
The banana leaves are coated with a layer of edible wax which also has a distinct and unique fragrance and flavour to it. When hot food is served on the banana leaves the wax on the leaves melts, and adds to the taste of your food, making it more flavourful and delicious.
It Is A Hygienic Way Of Eating
Banana leaves are definitely the most hygienic way if eating. Because the utensils we otherwise use are generally washed with soap and many times traces of the chemical-filled soap remain on the plate and when we eat on that plate, our food absorbs those chemicals. But on the other hand, banana leaves come with a wax coating that keeps all the dust and dirt away. Further, these leaves can be washed with plain water and used directly.
These Leaves Are Economical And Eco-friendly
Banana leaves are very economical and help in avoiding harm to the environment that we would cause by disposing of used utensils to waste. The plastic used in most disposable utensils cannot be broken down and hence it harms the environment. But this is not the case with banana leaves, these leaves can be broken down and decomposed easily into the environment and pose no harm to nature. So, forget expensive utensils, go for economical, healthy, and eco-friendly banana leaves.
Banana leaves are chemical-free and you can serve large meals on them, including the starters to the dessert(how to make chawal rasmalai), these leaves can accommodate everything at once. Plus, they are also largely waterproof and help in keeping the food rich in nutrients along with preventing it from getting soggy. So, try this healthy and iconic tradition of our country and enjoy delicious meals over banana leaves.
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