Banana Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits and are found in most parts of the world, we use them in a variety of recipes from banana bread to smoothies and much more. They are loaded with nutrients, are high in potassium and can have many health benefits. However, there are a ton of facts that you probably didn’t know about this common (and delicious) yellow fruit. Here, we will list 20 banana facts that you probably had no idea about until now!

Bananas come in more colors than just yellow.

While we’re most accustomed to the classic yellow banana, it is actually not the only color of banana out there. Some more uncommon varieties can be found in many different colors, such as red, pink, and even blue!

There are over one THOUSAND varieties of banana! 

While this is still debated, there are believed to be over a thousand different varieties of banana found all over the world. Bananas can be found in about 150 countries worldwide and the shape, color and flavor of bananas can be drastically different depending on where they are grown.

Bananas aren’t technically a fruit.

Anymore, that is. Because of the rise in commercialized farming, the bananas we know and love have evolved to have almost microscopic seeds. In order to be categorized as a fruit bananas have to have seeds, so many debate that the banana should no longer be considered a fruit since the seeds are so miniscule they are almost non-existent. Many people believe that bananas should instead be considered a berry because of the way they grow in bunches. On the other hand, bananas are also debated to be an herb. So it depends who you ask, but bananas are most popularly considered to be a fruit.

Bananas are composed of mostly water. 

Bananas are made up of 75% water! In comparison, a watermelon is made up of about 90% water.

The yellow banana we are used to is the Cavendish variety.

The classic, sweet bananas you find at your local grocery store are called the Cavendish variety of banana. These are the most popular banana thanks to modern farming methods, however the Cavendish haven’t always been the mainstream banana. Up until the mid 60’s, the most popular banana was the Gros Michel. Unfortunately, though, this variety was almost entirely wiped out by a fungal disease which is why we now have the Cavendish bananas in our home. But, these bananas are now thought to be in danger of the same fate as their predecessor. So appreciate the bananas the Cavendish bananas while you can!

Bananas can get rid of warts.

Rubbing the inside of a banana peel or even taping a piece of banana peel with the inside against your wart, repeating daily, is said to clear your wart in one to two weeks. It is said that the potassium helps to fight against the HPV virus, which is to blame for most common warts.

Not all bananas are sweet.

Although we are used to the flavor of the Cavendish variety, not all bananas are sweet. Another type of banana, called plantains, are quite common in Africa, Indian, Latin American and South America. They are used in cooking and are prepared in many different ways around the world.

India is the largest banana producer.

India is by far the largest producer of bananas out of any country in the world. Followed by China and the Philippines, India produces almost thirty million tons of bananas annually. In total the annual amount of bananas eaten around the world is close to one hundred million bananas, so needless to say they are a popular fruit. 

Bananas are radioactive.

Okay, while this one is technically true, you don’t have to worry about radiation poisoning. Bananas are radioactive because they contain high amounts of potassium, and potassium decays which results in radiation.

You can shine your shoes with bananas

Don’t have any shoe shine or polish? The inside of a banana peel can be used to shine leather shoes! Just peel a banana and rub the inside of the peel on your leather shoes in circular motions and you’ll have the most beautifully shined shoes in no time!

Use bananas to condition your hair.

If you’re looking for a great way to nourish and deep condition your hair, bananas are here to help! The flesh of the fruit can help prevent split ends and breakage because of the potassium and vitamins present in bananas. It is also said that bananas can help your hair become shinier and more manageable.

Banana peels can remove splinters!

As mentioned previously, banana peels can greatly help to soften skin. If you find yourself with a nasty splinter that you just can’t get out with tweezers alone, try taking a piece of banana peel and putting it against the affected area. Use tape or a sock, if the splinter is in your foot, to hold the peel in place overnight. By the morning the splinter should make its way up to the surface of your skin and be removed completely by the peel, or at the very least make it easier for you to go at it with your trusted pair of tweezers.

The Banana peel can be used to make clothes!

In some countries, such as Japan, the fiber in banana peels is used to make paper, fabric and even clothing. Because of how much fiber the peel of a banana possesses, it can be transformed into clothes that will hold up over the test of time.

Bananas can relieve itching

It is popularly thought that the inside of a banana peel can greatly help to relieve itching from either poison ivy or bug bites. So next time you go hiking or camping, bring a banana with you – you never know when it might come in handy.

Humans and bananas share 50% of our DNA

So we’re basically bananas. Just kidding, but through research, we have learned that bananas and humans share about 50% of the same DNA. Pretty crazy right?

96% of Americans purchase bananas during their monthly grocery runs

What can we say, we really love to eat bananas in the States. It’s no wonder how this fruit has become such an iconic staple in our diets – we can’t get enough of these sweet nutritional powerhouses!

Not blessed with a green thumb? Try bananas!

Adding banana peels to your flower beds is a great way to fertilize your plants without using harsh chemicals. Since bananas have high amounts of potassium and phosphorus, they introduce these nutrients in the soil as they break down.

The scientists who discovered why banana peels are so slippery won a Nobel Prize for their research in 2014.

Interestingly enough, the answer can largely be explained by physics. The root cause of banana peels slickness is the polysaccharide molecules present in the skin. As a frame of reference, these molecules are the same things that lubricate our joints so we they move smoothly. 

Ever wonder why bananas are curved? We’ve got an answer for you!

Scientists believe that bananas’ signature shape largely has to do with the way they’re grown. Since banana leaves are so large, they shield a majority of the light from ever reaching the ground. Naturally, the banana fruit curves upwards toward the sun to get as much light as possible. 

Humans have long enjoyed their fair share of bananas.

Although bananas were not brought to mass markets until the 1880s, there have been several accounts of them throughout history, many of which are spread all over the world. The oldest sighting of bananas that we’ve come across dates all the way back to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, or about 5,000 years ago!

Hopefully you learned something new from our list of facts you probably didn’t know about bananas. Although they are a common produce that you can find in any grocery store and just about every household, there are a lot of things that you probably didn’t know about them. Next time you eat a banana or pick up a bunch at your grocery store maybe you’ll stop and think about how much more there is to bananas than what meets the eye.

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