Nutritional qualities and Benefits
One pandan leaf equals zero calories, zero fat, zero sodium and zero cholesterol. The leaves and other parts of the pandan tree contain flavonoids, natural substances which are believed to be antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
Some studies have shown that the more flavonoids you consume from your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower your risk of developing heart disease. The French, for instance, eat cholesterol-rich food more than any other Europeans, but suffer less from coronary heart disease. This has been traced to their high consumption of flavonoid-rich red wine. Drinking one to two glasses of red wine daily is now regarded as a good habit that protects you from heart disease.
At the opposite side of the world, a study showed that Japanese men and women who regularly drank a lot of flavonoid-rich green tea-five cups and more each day-were likewise found to be less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than other Japanese who drank less green tea. Other researchers have found that people who ate foods with three specific flavonoids may have lessened their chances of developing lung cancer.
Pandan leaves also contain alkaloids which are organic substances that contain nitrogen and are often beneficial to the health of people and animals. For instance the alkaloids in quinine, which is derived from tree bark, has made it an effective drug against malaria. Green tea, which some people claim to be even healthier than water, also contain beneficial alkaloids. The health benefits of pandan (leaves and roots) are the cumulative effect of flavonoids, alkaloids and lastly, glycosides, organic compounds with sugar or carbohydrate molecules. Recently, three new alkaloids were discovered in pandan leaf extracts and added to the five that have been already identified.