The banana flower or banana blossom is an edible part of the tropical species of the banana tree (Musa acuminata). This cone-shaped flower has a dark red-orange or maroon hue and is consumable as curries, salads, cutlets, and soups.
The edible portion of the flower is the florets and core obtained from the peeling of the outer petals of the flower. We can use these outer, non-edible petals as serving plates. Regardless of its fruity origin, most cuisines use banana flowers as a vegetable in various cuisines. It has a flowery and sweet taste. Before consuming the flower, removes the sap between the petals, as they are bitter. We can brew the banana flower, and this tea is famous as a nutritional supplement.
Banana flowers are a nutrient-dense food product and offer numerous health benefits, such as:
- Banana flowers are rich in soluble and non-soluble fibers, which help you feel full for a longer time and prevent constipation and other digestive problems. These fibers improve healthy gut microbes and reduce the risk of gut cancer. They also lower blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of type-2 diabetes.
- The banana flower contains plant-based protein, which fulfills our daily requirement of essential amino acids.
- This blossom is rich in numerous minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc, which help countless bodily functions.
- Banana flowers contain sterols (naturally occurring plant compounds) that help reduce high cholesterol levels by preventing the absorption of ingested cholesterol from our gut.
- Banana blossom has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the size of enlarged prostate glands. These anti-inflammatory effects are due to citric acid, a rich amino acid profile, and Quercetin (an antioxidant), which decreases prostate inflammation and eases the urinary flow.
- The banana flower contains antioxidants (Quercetin and catechin) and bone health-promoting minerals, which help prevent bone loss.
This delicate and sweet fruit is very versatile and nutrient-rich. We can consume banana flowers in various savory dishes, smoothies, brewed as tea, and as a nutritional supplement.