Banana flower, also known as banana heart, is an edible flower, offering numerous medicinal and therapeutic properties. This conch shaped flower in dark brown to purple colour grows at the end of the banana fruit cluster and is a staple in Indian households. The flower consists of bracts – the petals which look like leaves and rows of flowers.
The flowers which are female develop into fruits, while the innermost bracts or florets remain as flowers. Almost all parts of the banana flower are edible. The outer bracts which are thick and tough to touch are cooked into curry while the florets can be served as fritters. This flower is a powerhouse of all essential nutrients including phosphorus, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron etc.
Cleaning and prepping banana flowers needs a little bit of practice and here is how you do it.
How To Clean Banana Flowers?
- Rub some oil on hands before prepping up this flower, as it may turn palms into black colour
- Open the bracts one after the other and pluck all the florets
- From each floret, remove the stem like part and other petal
- Put the florets in buttermilk as it prevents the florets from turning black
- The banana bracts can be cut into small pieces and stored in zip lock bag in refrigerator
Health Benefits of Banana Flower:
Add this wonder flower to your regular diet for preventing various health issues.
Banana flower is loaded with ethanol, which helps in preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Include this in your diet plan for boosting immunity against a wide range of bacterial, viral and seasonal infections and allergies.
Keeps Blood Sugar Under Control:
The banana flower should be a part of a diabetic’s diet plan as it helps in the uptake of glucose and prevents sudden spikes of blood sugars. The dietary fibre in this natural wonder keeps you satiated for longer hours. Snack on these edible fruit dishes to avoid midday hunger pangs.
Loaded with an array of flavonoids, antioxidants, phenolic acids and tannins, the banana flower plays a pivotal role in protecting heart health. These components are also important for neutralizing free radicals, avoiding oxidative damage, and reducing the risk of cancer.
Though a flower, it is a galactagogue’s vegetable that plays an important role in improving milk supply in lactating mothers. This not only increases milk secretion but also strengthens the uterus, reduces bleeding, improves appetite post-delivery.
Supports Gut Health:
Alkaline in nature, this edible flower slows down stomach acid secretions and corrects indigestion, ulcers and other digestive issues. Rich in dietary fibre, this works as a natural laxative, regularizes bowel movement and treats constipation.