The banana tree is the ideal to look up to when it comes to a ‘no wastage’ policy! Almost all parts of the banana tree can be used. The most obvious is the fruit—bananas that we eat almost daily. But, other parts of the tree also offer many health benefits!
Both the South Asians and Southeast Asians use banana flowers as a vegetable. They use it either raw or steamed with dips. They also use those in soups, curries and fried foods. The flavor resembles that of artichoke. Like artichokes, both the fleshy part of the bracts and the heart are edible.
Nutritional Value Of Banana Flower
As per the African Journal of Biotechnology, 100g of banana flower offers the below mentioned nutrition:
- 51 kcal
- 1.6g of Protein
- 0.6g of Fat
- 9.9g Carb
- 5.7fgof Fiber
- 56mg of Calcium
- 73.3mg of Phosphorous
- 56.4mg of Iron
- 13mg of Copper
- 553.3 mg of Potassium
- 48.7mg of Magnesium
- 1.07mg of Vitamin E
[ Read: Benefits Of Banana Peels ]
Benefits Of Banana Flowers
Banana flowers are called banana hearts for a reason! These flowers are pretty, but you should not dismiss them as merely decorative elements. Tey have a host of health benefits too!
Some of the health benefits of banana flowers are:
1. Wards Off Infections
Banana flowers treat infections, thanks to their ethanol based extracts. Banana flower inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacterias. Some of them are bacillus subtalis, bacillus cereus, and escherichia coli. Banana flower also helps heal the wounds. According to a study, banana flower extracts can also inhibit the growth of the malarial parasite plasmodium falciparum in vitro. These claims are yet to be proven.
[ Read: Benefits And Uses Of Banana For Health ]
2. Reduces Free Radical Activity
The presence of free radicals in the body can cause serious problems. Fortunately, the extracts of methanol present in banana flower possess antioxidant properties. These flowers perfectly handle free radicals that cause damages to the body. It treats many health issues, such as premature aging and cancer. To make the full use of the antioxidant property of these flowers, include in health supplements.
3. Reduces Menstrual Bleeding
Menstruation brings pain inmany women. Some suffer from severe PMS symptoms, while others bleed excessively. A cup of cooked banana flowers can help deal with these problems. Cooked banana flowers along with curd or yogurt increases the progesterone hormone in the body and reduces bleeding.
4. Manages Diabetes And Anemia
Calculated intake of banana flowers reduces blood sugar levels. It also increases the total hemoglobin levels in the body. However, as with antimicrobial activity, the hypoglycemic effects of banana flowers haven’t proven clinically.
5. Rich Source Of Vitamins And Minerals
Banana flowers contain various vitamins like Vitamin A, C, and E. They also contain potassium and fibers. This makes them an excellent health food and a source of healthy nutrients.
[ Read: Benefits Of Banana Juice For Health ]
6. Boosts Mood And Reduces Anxiety
Don’t reach for an anti-depressant, if you are feeling down and out! Try banana flowers instead! Since they contain magnesium, banana flowers reduce anxiety and boosts the mood. They are natural anti depressants without any side effects.
7. Helps Nursing Mothers
New mothers face many problems when it comes to breast feeding. One of the major problems that they face is dwindling milk supply. Banana flowers boost the supply of milk that helps the new mothers feed their young better.
These are some of the benefits of banana flowers. When combined with bananas, you can reap all the wonderful health benefits they have to offer.
Do you include banana flowers in your diet? How do you use them? Let us know in the comments section below.