Banana Facts

Banana Facts
1. There are more than 500 varieties of banana in the world. Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. India is by far the largest world producer of bananas.

2. Bananas were first grown in Southeast Asian jungles. Most people believe that bananas originated in the country of Malaysia because of the large variety of bananas found there. It is likely that they were the first fruit to be farmed by humans.

3. Banana leaves, pseudostems, fruit stalks and peels can all be used for various culinary purposes. Bananas are primarily eaten as a fruit, either on its own or as a part of a salad. All parts of the banana have medicinal applications as well. 

4. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red.

5. Bananas are ferocious feeders of nitrogen and potassium. All bananas are self pollinating.

6. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers. 

7. Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms. The banana tree grows from a bulb (or rhizome) not a seed. 

8. Bananas are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. Bananas are America's #1 fruit. 

9. Bananas are great for athletic and fitness activity because they replenish necessary carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise. 

10. Bananas are not grown commercially in the continental United States. They are grown in Latin and South America from countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Panama and Guatemala. 

11. Bananas are perennial crops that are grown and harvested year-round.

12. In 2001, there were more than 300 banana-related accidents in Britain, most involving people slipping on skins.

13. There is no such thing as a banana tree. Bananas grow on plants.

14. The banana plant reaches its full height of 15 to 30 feet in about one year.

15. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe it’s time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away"!

16. Banana plants are the largest flowering herbs on earth.

17. About 30 species of wild bananas grow in tropical Asia. Their flowers are pollinated by bats and their sweet starchy fruit contain stony seeds.

18. Bananas have been cultivated for thousands of years. Cultivated edible bananas produce fruit naturally without being pollinated and the fruit is sterile-it does not contain seeds.

19. Most cultivated bananas are hybrids-they contain chromosomes from the wild species Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.  In fact the hybrids usually contain an extra set of chromosomes-33 in total-compared to the wild bananas which have 22 chromosomes.Cultivated hybrid banana fruits are larger than those of the wild species.

20. Bananas have been growing on Earth for over 1 million years.

21. Bunches of bananas grow pointing up.

22. Bunches of bananas are called “hands” and each hand has about 20 “fingers”.

23. The average American eats 28 pounds of bananas every year-that equals 112 bananas.

24. Each stem of a banana plant only flowers and produces fruit once.

25. The banana is the most popular fruit in the world-people spend over $25 billion a year on the fruit globally.

26. The banana trade is big business. It comes fifth in terms of world trade in agricultural produce-after cereals, sugar, coffee and cocoa.

27. Bananas contain tryptophan and vitamin B6, known to help make you feel happy.

28. Wild bananas originated in Asia, and have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years.

29. Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries, with the production concentrated in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America because of weather conditions.

30. Bananas are available all year around. They are harvested every day of the year.


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