The smell of hot sambar along wih fluffy idlis and crispy dosas will definitely make you want more. The South Indian meals are not only delicious but are also healthy in many ways. But when in south India we learn to eat in the South Indian way. I decided to pen down an article on the tradition of eating on Banana leaf as it is often misunderstood by many as simply a replacement for plates but as you read along with me, you will be surprised to know the amount of health benefits it is packed with.
The first thing that anyone would notice is the Indian tradition of sitting on the floor for eating. Padmasana and Sukhasana is one pose that has health benefits for your entire body. Not only does it help your digestive system function better, but it also helps keep your joints supple, flexible and less prone to injuries and degenerative diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis. As you consume food, it becomes easy for your body to digest food also you would eat the required amount of food. Isn’t that great? But sadly now days not many follow the tradition of sitting on the floor for the meals
According to science when you sit on the floor and eat as a family it aids in mindful eating. Not only does it help you focus on your food, but it also helps you make better choices when you eat. Since your mind is calm and your body is ready to accept nutrition, sitting on the floor is the best way to eat the right amount and kinds of food.
In India, banana leaves are so large they are used as umbrellas during monsoon season. They are used as natural food wrappers when steaming, grilling and baking different types of food. The leaf also makes an attractive serving platter because of its size and sturdiness. Banana leaves contain large amounts of polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, also found in green tea. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants found in many plant based foods.
Also, it is hygienic and a simple sprinkling of water is enough to clean a banana leaf. When you are eating at places with questionable hygiene it is always preferable to eat in a banana leaf than an inadequately cleaned plate. If that’s not enough then let me also tell you that banana leaves have a waxy coating that has a subtle but distinct flavor. When hot food is placed on the leaves, the wax melts and lends its flavor to the food, making it taste better.
The perfect way to eat with the banana leaf is to eat with hands. When you eat with your hand it gives you a feeling of satisfied sumptuous meal. So ditch those spoon and forks, stop clinking those plates and go desi with a hot banana leaf meal.