Are Banana Leaves Edible? Here’s Why They Are Used

Banana is a superfood and its versatile nature proves it. It’s not simply the banana, however, you can use every part of a banana tree whether it is fruit, stem and even flowers can be consumed.

Banana leaves are one of them, but are they edible?

No, banana leaves are not edible for humans. You can’t eat raw and not even cooked banana leaves due to their large fibre content.

There is no harm in eating it but it is conjointly very difficult to chew and digest for humans.

What actually happens?

The developed banana leaf has a large number of fibrous plant materials including lignin and cellulose. As the plant matures, the proportion of fibre to some nutrients like sugar, protein and starches conjointly increases making it very difficult for the human body to digest.

Banana leaves can be used for a number of purposes as they are giant, flexible and waterproof

  • Its leaves have been used from ancient times for various purposes like victimization as a plate, bowl and for cooking purposes like steaming, boiling, grilling, frying, baking to shield the food from direct burning.
  • Many people from the Southern and Eastern parts of India still eat their food on banana leaves.
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  • The herbaceous banana tree is native to Asia. It migrated to Africa and then America. It can be simply grown in all tropical and subtropical regions.

It is not simply an ancient tradition but it comes with tons of health benefits too:

  • Banana leaves contain an outsized variety of polyphenols that are unit natural antioxidants. You will also find the same polyphenols in green tea.
  • Eating on a banana leaf with fingertips charges the food particles naturally which is sweet for digestion and they also have medicinal properties.
  • While you can’t eat the leaves, wrapping the food with a banana leaf during the cooking process ensures that the antioxidants present in leaves get infused with the food.
  • They are very economical, hygienic and are widely used for cooking, especially for grilling and baking fish.

  • Apart from this, they are widely used for making clothes in the cloth industry. Dried banana leaves are great for making clothes due to their fibre content.
  • Banana leaves also have a very significant role in religious functions.
  • Even many exotic restaurants are shifting to serve their food on a banana leaf for its enormous benefits and easy availability.
  • You can’t consume them but can use them effectively for many purposes such as food packaging, transporting or storing foods.
  • It is a great alternative for aluminium foils and parchment papers.

What is the main reason to use banana leaves during cooking?

The main reason why these leaves are used during the cooking process is the leaves can preserve the food’s flavour, moisture and can infuse some of its nutritional benefits into it.

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In this era, we’ve tons of choices for ceramic and steel plates at our homes. Still, there’s a large positive impact of banana leaves by numerous projects like sustainable packaging.

  • They aim to make people aware of the benefits of using banana leaves and ditching the utilisation of plastic.
  • Mainly the street food vendors should adopt this method of using economical banana plates because Indians are very prone to eating tasty street foods.
  • They are a sensible substitute for plastic packaging.

How is banana leaf useful in the latest spa treatments?

Banana leaves can be also used for

keeping skin healthy.

The latest spa trend titled -Banana Leaf Body Wrap.

They use the giant banana leaves for their therapies.

They simply apply a body mask and then wrap your body with long banana leaves.

They cover you with a steam capsule and give you a steam bath for fifteen minutes.

According to the reviews, it is known to be a very relaxing and safe treatment.

Use of banana leaves for fermenting food

Banana leaves an excellent element for aerobic fermentation. It allows the natural fermentation process to occur while protecting the food and allows air exchange too.

People from the northwest region of Africa, highly use banana leaves for fermenting corn dough which results in making a tasty dish known as Kenkey.

Can banana leaves be consumed by animals?

Yes, consuming them is safe, it’s just the high fibre making it difficult for humans to consume them, but animals can easily consume them. They enjoy chewing the crunchy texture of leaves. Only a little portion of fibrous leaves should be given to animals like horses, goats, rabbits, cows or buffaloes to help in their digestion process.

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Otherwise, they may face bloating, gas and digestion problems.

How to use them correctly?

  • If you discover any difficulty in collecting some fresh banana leaves then you can buy some frozen banana leaves at the market but we always recommend using fresh leaves as they are more effective.
  • Before using the banana leaves, always wash them properly then cut them into desired sizes and shapes followed by removing the veins or other tough areas.
  • To make it easier to wrap the foods, pour some boiling water over the leaves so they become softer and easier to use.