Eating on leaves

Plantain leaf is used as a plate in India for its wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses. Our forefathers had a very good practice of eating foods on plantain leaves. In southern India for all festival meals, even today the plantain leaf is placed in front of a deity in honour. The key reason for using this attractive green leaf is that it is natural, chemical free and nutritious.

Health benefits of eating on leaves

Banana leaves

Banana leaves contain large amounts of Polyphenols, a natural antioxidant. These powerful antioxidants fight against free radicals and thereby help to prevent a number of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.When you place hot foods such as rice or any such hot dish, these that will absorb the polyphenols from the plantain leaf. So regular use of plantain leaf for all three meals will give you amazing health benefits and protect our body from diseases.

Other benefits:

  • Plantain leaves are more hygienic when compared to plastic and other plates
  • Plantain leaf has a waxy coating and once food is served on the leaf, the wax melts and gives an additional flavour to the meal.
  • These are eco-friendly.
  • Usually plates are washed with soaps and liquids. A lot of times unknowingly, the chemicals may remain on the plates and contaminate your food. That is not the case with these natural leaves.
  • It imparts aroma to your food served.

Anti-bacterial properties

Banana leaves have Polyphenols – antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which fight bacteria in food to the maximum extent possible. Eating food on banana leaves reduces the risk of getting diseases.

Thaibanana leaf
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Lotus leaves

Lotus leaves are beautiful, round in shape and easy to fold into a cup. You can use these large leaves for serving sticky foods. Many temples in India distribute food to the devotees in such lotus leaf cups.

In most Chinese kitchens, they wrap rice on lotus leaves and steam in bamboo steamers to make incredibly fragrant and mildly green lotus rice.

The lotus leaves contain an active ingredient called nuciferine, which helps to reduce muscle spasms.

Health benefits of lotus leaves:

  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Treats diarrhea
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Treats ringworm
  • Promotes healthy heart and liver function

Banyan tree leaves

Banyan tree leaves have many medicinal properties and cures various diseases. You can use the leaves of banyan tree as natural biodegradable plates and you can use it to serve food on.

The banyan tree leaves contain ficusin and bergaptene – they are powerful healing agents.

Almond tree leaves

Almond tree leaves are a healthy option too. These leaves are broad and are good to use as a plate. But you might have to sew four or five leaves together to use as a plate. A popular and old technique is to use thing sticks to stitch the leaves together. Again, completely bio-degradable and healthy.

Areca nut betel
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Environment friendly:

Plastic plates in the environment affect humans, animals and the soil. It is slow to degrade and unfavourably affects lands, water ways and ocean. Fifty percent of plastics are used just once and thrown away. Only little plastic wastage is recycled and the balance is left out on the earth. It is highly dangerous. Seek out alternatives to plastic.

Go green!

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.