Eating on a banana leaf is a tradition in countries like India, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad. This past weekend I had the pleasure to try it out myself and I was able to notice some differences in comparison to eating with metal utensils and on paper plates.
Eating on banana leaf is a custom that dates back thousands of years; however, its benefits still exist. Based on my own research I have found several differences and benefits when eating in this manner.
Benefits of Eating on Banana Leaf
HEALTH: Banana leaves contain polyphenols, which help fight against free radicals and diseases. Banana leaves are hard for the human body to digest when eaten directly; however, the food eaten in the leaf absorbs the polyphenols from the leaf. There are also reasons to believe that the leaf can kill germs in the food due to anti-bacterial properties.
FLAVOR: When eating off the leaf, I found my food to be more flavorful than usual. Using metal utensils can give a somewhat metalic taste to the foods. In addition, hot foods melt the waxy coating from the leaf, introducing more flavor and even tastier food.
The banana leaf also is eco-friendly, in that it decomposes far quicker than plastic.