Banana flower is an inherent to Andes Mountains of Colombia. The flower is large which grows from the end of the bunch of bananas and has a dark purple red blossom. The small flowers would be found on the inside part which would turn into the banana. It is starchy and bitter in taste. It is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A and can reduce the pains. It is included in the diet as the vegetable. The hard husk is found outside of the mature flower. It is also used as an ingredient for noodles and soup. In some countries, it is served as a salad. The fresh banana flowers are eaten raw. In order to avoid the liquid which can leave stains, one should use gloves to cook.
Health Benefits of Banana Flower
The banana flower serves the health benefits which are as follows:
1. Curing the infection
The banana flower has ability to treat infection because it possesses ethanol flowers which helps to prevent the pathogenic bacterial growth. It can cure the wound as well. The extracts of banana flower helps to prevent the growth of malaria parasites.
2. Overcoming diabetes and anemia
The diabetic patients should consume banana flowers either boiled or alone so that it reduces the level of blood sugar and raise the hemoglobin in the body as it is rich in fiber and iron which assists in red blood cell production. The pan should be heated with the oil and put mustard seeds till it crackles, then ½ tsp. of urad dal and channa dal should be added frying till it is brown and then 1/8 cup of cut shallots and curry leaves should be added. The banana flowers which are cut should be added with a tsp. of sambar powder, ¼ tsp. of turmeric powder and salt. Then it should be cooked by covering. Then it should be fried in a low flame so that the water evaporates fully then a tbsp. of fresh coconut scrapings should be added and switch off. It works a great for diabetic patients.
3. Improves lactation
The breast milk supply is increased for the lactating mothers. It helps to cure the excessive bleeding, maintains healthy uterus, restrict constipation during pregnancy and promotes lactation. It should be combined with other spices to make the good taste. The fresh one should be selected. The recipe for Indian pancakes or adai or dosai is firstly, 1 cup of rice should be soaked with 1 tbsp. moong dhal, 2 tbsp. urad dhal, 1 tbsp. channa dhal and ¼ cup toor dhal for overnight. The next day, 2 red chillies should be grind with little coconut, small piece of asafetida, a tsp. of cumin seeds which should be added to the dal grind after soaking overnight, with required salt. The cleaned banana flower which is cut should be fried in a little oil and then add to the batter in order to make dosais. This is high in fiber which helps to eliminate pregnancy constipation.
4. Reduce Free Radical Activity
The free radicals lead to various problems. The antioxidant property is possessed in the banana flower. It also treats the health problems like cancer and premature aging. It should be included in health supplements in order to make the full use of antioxidant properties.
5. Menstrual problems and weight loss
It increases progesterone which helps to reduce the excessive bleeding. ¼ cup of banana flower should be cooked in a little water and salt till it is completely cooked. After it is cooled, in ¼ cup coconut, 2 g. chilies, ½ tsp. cumin seeds should be added to make a thick and fine taste. The coconut mixture should be added to the thick yogurt with the cooked banana flowers and required salt. Excess bleeding could be treated if this is eaten with rice. As it is rich in fiber and nutrients, it results in weight loss. It soothes the stomach as well. For weight loss, the banana flowers should be added to the salads and soups.
6. Rich source of Vitamin and minerals
The banana flowers possess the Vitamin C, A, E, fiber and potassium which are the sources of healthy nutrient.
7. Boost Mood and Reduce Anxiety
It improves the mood and lessens anxiety due to the magnesium present in banana flowers. They serve as anti-depressants without side effects.
8. Anti-ageing power
It helps to encounter the free radicals and cure the health issues related to it such as cancer and early aging.
9. Healthy uterus
It helps to prevent from the uterus problems. To boost the healthy uterus, the banana flowers should be added with turmeric powder, peppercorns and cumin seeds. The banana flowers should be boiled with minor peppercorns and cumin seeds; ¼ tsp. of turmeric powder and salt till it is half. The uterus problems are eliminated by drinking this decoction.
10. Gastrointestinal health
Banana flowers are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. A soluble fiber allows the food to pass easily through the digestive tract as it dissolves in water and forms a gel. Insoluble fiber assist the bulk to undigested products as it is not dissolved in water. Both of it boost the healthy digestion and absorption of food.
11. Cancer and Heart disease
Banana flowers are high source of tannins, acids, flavonoids and other antioxidants which helps to counteract free radicals and eliminates the oxidative damage which leads to cancer and heart disease. The banana flower can prevent these conditions.
12. Neural disorders
The free radicals may cause Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease which may be prevented by consuming banana flowers regularly.
How to select
The firm and fresh flower should be purchased. It should be free from the cuts and blemishes, smooth appearance and bright. The overlapping of outer leaves should be tight.
- It can be served raw by slicing. The hot and spicy dip is accompanied with the banana flower in Thailand which is named as Nam Prik.
- The recipe of South Indian is: along with the salt the chopped banana should be steamed, then softening with mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafetida and curry leaves and topped with grated coconut.
- In Indian and Asian cuisines, the sliced banana flower is added to the stir-fries, rice or noodle, soups and meat stews.
- In cold salads also, banana flower is used.
How to store
Fresh one should be used. It should be wrapped in transparent plastic, cover in zip lock bags and store it in a refrigerator.