Almost every part of the banana tree can be used in some way or the other. The flowers, fruit and stems can be eaten, the leaves can be used as plates and the bark can be used to make paper.
Also known as banana hearts, banana flowers are native to tropical and sub tropical countries like India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China and so on. They are loaded with fiber, protein, potassium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and Vitamin E.
Even though they come from the same tree and literally grow off a cluster of bananas, you won’t find any fruity banana flavor here—it’s a flower, after all. Similar to jackfruit or tofu, the flavor of banana blossoms is neutral, meaning they can take on the taste of however you season them.
Even though they don’t look that appetizing, it is a wonderful flower that will surely steal your heart, if not your crush’s!
They are good for diabetes patients.
A study found that diabetic patients’ insulin levels dropped when they ate banana flowers, however the study hasn’t been clinically proven yet.
They are natural antidepressants.
Since these flowers are loaded with magnesium, they can improve your mood and bring down your stress levels.
They are loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals.
Free radicals attack healthy cells and damage them, leading to problems like heart disease, cancer and skin ageing. These flowers contain antioxidants that battle free radicals and prevent them from damaging the body.
They are light on the system and treat a number of digestive problems.
Banana flowers are light and soothing on the digestion system, and can be used to fight abdominal pain and bloating caused by acidity.
They keep infections at bay.
These flowers are known to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
They can regulate menstrual bleeding and tackle PCOS.
According to Ayurveda, eating a cup of cooked banana flowers with yoghurt can increase progesterone levels in the body and prevent excessive menstrual bleeding. Banana flowers are also believed to help women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
They can prevent anemia.
Due to their rich iron content, banana flowers can increase the levels of hemoglobin in the body and prevent anemia.
They improve milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.
Ayurveda recommends that nursing women eat banana flowers to boost their supply of milk.
These pretty flowers can be eaten raw or cooked as curries and thorans. You can also add it to salads if you are following a strict diet. If you are looking for tastier options, go for soups, stir-fries, banana flower cutlets, vaazhapoo vadas. You can also make tea out of it.