8 Reasons why Eating Food on Banana Leaves is Healthier than Thermocol or Paper Plates
Since time immemorial, People in India have been consuming food on banana leaves and pattal or plates made from sal leaves. Today, the concept of eating on banana leaf plates is also taking off in Japan where it is customary to sit at a family meal of the floor. Now it isn’t advocated that eating on the floor is a healthy practice, however Japan is a different scene altogether where homes are the every epitome of cleanliness. Returning back to the banana leaf, there are many scientific reasons to prove how eating on banana leaves has benefits in more ways than one. In regions of south India and Bengal, the use of banana leaves is a traditional method of serving food on grand occasions. Not only does the food taste better, the banana leaf itself is an auspicious symbolization and entire meals are served on the banana leaf.
According to doctors, Food served in thermocol invites a health risk of bacterial infection, skin allergies and gastrointestinal problems. Banana leaves have no such problems. Here are 8 such benefits of eating on banana leaves.
1 Banana leaves are large and accommodate a lot of food
A banana leaf can easily accommodate several food items on a single unit. In India especially, traditional curries and condiments are all served on the banana leaf without it getting mixed up. Unlike a regular plate, food on a banana leaf can be easily separated and enjoyed to its fullest without one big hotch potch occurring.
2 Banana leaves are eco-friendly in comparison to thermocol
Rather than keep using ceramic, melamine or China, banana leaves which are disposal are extremely bio degradable produce. Today in events like picnics and fairs, it is customary to use paper or thermocol plates. Besides being unhealthy, these are also non biodegradable produce and are harmful to the environment. Using a large amount of paper plates means using more trees. Banana leaves require no strain on the environment.
3 Banana leaves are Affordable too
There is an abundance of banana leaves where markets sell banana leaves in lots rather than by the piece. You could easily enquire from your local bazaar or supermarket where banana leaves are available. If you happen to reside near a banana plantation in the south, then that would be ideal as you could source banana leaves from local farmers.
4 Banana leaves are Waterproof as well
The best thing about banana leaves is that it is waterproof. Eating liquid food off banana leaves won’t spoil your desk or your clothes unlike paper plates which can get soiled and allow liquid to flow over. You can also wash a banana leaf before eating food on it and wash it again later. Thermocol plates or paper plates have no such properties.
5 Eating from plastic disposal plates increases risk of kidney stones
According to scientific studies, eating food off disposal plastic plates increases the risk of kidney stones. It is a favorite pastime of picnic goers to use plastic and melamine. Taiwanese researchers have found heating melamine can increase the amount of melamine exposure causing kidney stones. Banana leaves have no such issues and is perfectly safe for your health.
6 Banana leaves have beneficial properties good for health
Banana leaves contain elements called polyphenols like epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. These are antioxidants as natural as they can get and fight free radicals that cause disease. Although you can’t really eat banana leaves, warm food served on them absorbs the beneficial properties. Banana leaves also contain anti bacterial agents so consuming food on clean banana leaves reduces your chances of getting tummy infection.
Surprising as it may seem, research studies in China also found consuming food on banana leaves can help people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
7 Banana leaves enhance the flavor of food
This is by far one of the best benefits of banana leaves. A fresh banana leaf has a waxy type of coating that is melted on contact with warm food. This, in turn, releases an aroma that is extremely pleasant and infuses with food to enhance its flavor. This is why food tastes awesome when eaten on banana leaves.
8 Banana leaves are chemical free
Plastic and Styrofoam plates contain harsh chemicals bad for health. Moreover, melamine plates are usually washed with water leaving traces of chemicals from the soap that can even contaminate food. Banana leaves just need to be rinsed and dried, that’s it. For hygienic purposes, it makes more sense to eat from a banana leaf at events rather than use disposal thermocol or paper plates.
The benefits of banana leaves for ready food consumption is fast catching on n many parts of the world where Japan is now manufacturing designer banana leaf plates in silicon material which is a start towards a healthier trend.