Preparing to have a baby can be an extremely exciting time. Before your baby draws a breath, there are all kinds of prenatal care options. Some of those are natural while others are man-made supplements, but both can be beneficial. Common foods that offer natural benefits are salmon, sweet potatoes and whole grains. One lesser known food that is also great for pregnancy is the banana flower. The banana flower is the floral part of the banana fruit. It’s a deep red color, almost like wine and tastes similar to a potato. Below are 8 benefits of banana flower during pregnancy and 3 delicious recipes to go along with them.
1. Reducing Morning Sickness
One of the hallmark signs of pregnancy is the inevitable morning sickness and nausea. It can be uncomfortable and hard to get your day started with frequent trips to the bathroom. Having a bit of a banana flower can help soothe this symptom.
2. Cramp Relief
While it’s a joyful time, being pregnant can also be fairly uncomfortable. Usual menstrual cramps can be intensified and difficult to treat without introducing foreign medicines into your body. A more natural solution to this pain is to eat bananas or the banana flower. This helps because they contain high levels of potassium. Besides the potassium, banana flowers contribute to your body’s releasing higher levels of progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that can help reduce heavy bleeding and relieve some of the pressure around the uterus.
3. Increased Breast Milk
For those new mothers who choose to breastfeed, it can be hard to meet the demands of a hungry newborn. Banana flowers can help stimulate your body to make it easier for your body to produce more milk and also make it easier for the baby to receive.
4. Heal an Infection
It becomes slightly more risky to take prescription or even over-the-counter medicines while pregnant because of the harmful effects the medicine could cause your growing baby. In times of infection, it’s wise to treat it before it can worsen. Banana flowers can help heal the infections present in the body by limiting how quickly bacteria can grow.
5. Treating Anemia
Anemia is a medical condition where your body doesn’t get enough iron. Some people eat special diets or take supplements in order to reach a healthy daily range of iron. During pregnancy, this condition can worsen. Eating the banana flower, which is rich in iron, can provide your body with enough iron to make up a deficiency.
6. Gastrointestinal Aid
Constipation is an uncomfortable state of feeling backed up and heavy in our midsections. Banana flowers, which offer high levels of good fiber, can help get you the relief you need. Not only can they help with pushing the toxins out of your body, they can help treat other stomach-related problems. Their alkaline properties make them a great option to treat gas, heartburn and other excessive levels of acidity in the stomach.
7. Vitamin Packed
When carrying a baby, it’s important that it receives all the necessary nutrients to develop strong and healthy. However, it’s also extremely important that the mother also receives proper nutrition. To combat a lack of vitamins, you can eat the banana flower. It’s packed with such vitamins as B6 (which creates red blood cells and releases the happiness hormone, serotonin) and Vitamin C (a natural antioxidant).
8. Lowered Blood Sugar
There is a symptom of pregnancy known as gestational diabetes. During the pregnancy, the mother experiences life as a diabetic. This means close monitoring of blood sugar and insulin levels. One way to maintain an even blood sugar level or lower it after a spike is to consume banana flowers.
3 Delicious Banana Flower Recipes
If you’re unsure about how to prepare this wonderful ingredient, here are a few recipes to try.
1. Banana Blossom Fritters
- One cleaned banana blossom, chopped
- ½ cup pigeon peas
- ¾ chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 1-2 chilies, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin, salt
- 1 tablespoon coriander or cilantro
- Soak the pigeon peas and chilies for about three hours before washing and draining them. Let this rest for five minutes.
- Using half of your chili and peas, make a thick paste, then combine the paste with the flower blossom in a food processor; add salt and herbs to taste.
- Next, heat your large flat pan with a thin layer of oil. Make patties out of the mixture about the 2-2.5 inches across. Place the patties in pan and flip after four minutes per side.
- Remove from the pan and drain the oil from the patties by placing them on paper towels.
- Serve with ketchup or chutney (optional).
2. Sautéed Banana Flowers
- One cleaned and peeled banana flower
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon of pigeon peas
- ½ teaspoon chickpeas
- 1/8 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 3-4 curry leaves
- Heat the pan on a medium flame and add the mustard seed, waiting until it pops, then slowly add the chick and pigeon peas and fry until light brown.
- Next, add the shallots and curry leaves, then add the banana flower and turmeric, stirring to combine before covering.
- Lower the flame and remove from heat.
- Add fresh coconut to the pan and salt to taste (optional).
3. Banana Blossom Salad
- 2 banana blossoms, cleaned and cubed
- 1 scallion (green onion), cut thin
- 1 pound peeled and cooked shrimp
- ¼ cup of various nuts
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Cut the cleaned banana flowers into cubes and soak overnight in a bowl of water with one added tablespoon of vinegar, and cook the shrimp for about 10 minutes until firm.
- Using a food processor or blender, grind the nuts, keeping the texture coarse.
- Next, in a large bowl, combine nuts, prawns and rinsed banana flowers.
- Finally, add the lemon juice into the bowl and gently fold the ingredients together. Allow to cool for thirty minutes before adding salt and serving.