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15 Interesting Facts About Bananas that You Never Knew

Bananas are one of the most versatile fruits ever to exist. From being able to cook and eat them in different ways to using them for skincare, these fruits offer people worldwide the chance to get tons of nutrition and delicious flavor! If you’ve ever seen this yellow fruit in the supermarket, you might wonder about the origin of bananas, how many calories they contain, and its Latin name. 

This banana guide will walk you through a list of basic banana information, followed by some exciting banana facts! 

15 Interesting Facts About Bananas

Banana Basic Information

Name

The official and scientific names for bananas are Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata

Latin Name

The Latin name for bananas is Musa. Musa is a genus belonging to the Musaceae family that grows plants producing plantains and bananas.  

Type of Food

Bananas are a type of berry

Size and weight (on average)

The average banana is around seven and nine inches long. They are around half to one inch long. Bananas usually weigh about 100 to 150 grams each, depending on their length. 

Colour and Shape

Most bananas are yellow, but some grow in red, green, purple, and brown shades. Their bodies are slender and elongated, with a curved tip near the bottom of the fruit. 

Total Calories

Total Calories in Banana

The average banana has around 105 to 118 calories, depending on its size and weight. 

Total Fat

Bananas contain around 0.4 grams of fat. 

Also Read: 15 Interesting Facts about Carbohydrates

15 Cool Facts About Bananas 

Here’s a list of exciting facts about bananas that you may not have known before! 

Bananas are berries. 

Bananas are berries

Even though we often refer to bananas as fruits, they are berries. This is because bananas have soft flesh, referred to as the mesocarp, and a soft skin or outer layer called the exocarp. Berries must also grow seeds inside their flesh and not the outside. Since they meet all the parameters for a berry, they are labeled as such. 

Banana trees are herbaceous

Banana trees are herbaceous

Even though bananas grow on plants that resemble trees, they are herbaceous plants. For a tree to be classified as a tree, it needs to contain woody tissue. The stem of the banana plant, or the part that would otherwise be labeled the trunk, is a stem covered with leaf sheaths. 

Also Read: 6 Parts of Plants for Kids

Bananas can help improve your health. 

Bananas can help improve your health

Bananas contain healthy amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and less than 0.5 grams of fat. As a result, they can help improve your blood sugar and gut health and also help lower blood pressure. Bananas can also help you lose weight. 

Also Read: 5 Cool Facts About Muscles

India and China produce the largest number of bananas in the world. 

India produces over 14 million tonnes of bananas every year, while China produces over 11 million tonnes annually. While it can be hard to figure out how many bananas the world produces every year, studies estimate that global banana production is more than 110 million tonnes. 

Bananas are radioactive. 

This fact might sound like fake information, but it is true! Every banana contains around .01 millirem of radiation. These fruits are high in potassium, and every potassium atom has approximately 0.012% of the radioactivity. As a result, bananas are only slightly radioactive, so you can eat them without worrying about becoming radioactive yourself! 

Bananas can float in water. 

The reason bananas can float in water is that they are much less dense than water. A common misconception is that bananas can only float in saltwater because of the high amounts of salt in the water. However, bananas can float in both salt and freshwater. The only difference is that a banana will sink in freshwater and float to the surface. 

Also Read: Interesting and Fun Gravity Facts for Kids

Bananas can help regulate your mood

Bananas can help regulate your mood

While eating a banana on its own isn’t enough to help lift your mood, it helps people stabilize their blood sugar levels and mood levels. This is because bananas contain Vitamin B6, which helps produce serotonin and dopamine, thus stabilizing your blood sugar levels. 

Banana peels can help relieve itching, rashes, and poison ivy stings. 

Banana peels can help relieve itching

Before throwing a banana peel away, consider keeping it to treat itchiness or rashes. The peels contain vitamins C, A, B, and E, along with tons of amino acids that can quickly relieve the discomfort of rashes or itchiness. Banana peels also contain salicylic acid, an astringent that helps remove the outermost layer of skin. 

Bananas are used to make condiments in the Philippines. 

Banana sauce or banana ketchup is a popular condiment in the Philippines. It contains banana puree, spices, vinegar, and sugar. You can eat this banana ketchup In the same way that you would eat regular ketchup on burgers, fries, and fried chicken. Filipinos also eat this sauce with eggs, grilled meat, and rice. 

Bananas and plantains are not the same

Bananas and plantains are not the same

While it is easy to confuse the two fruits for each other, bananas and plantains are pretty different. Bananas are generally much smaller and sweeter than plantains, and you can eat them both raw and cooked. Bananas are yellow, while plantains usually have green skin. Plantains contain less sugar than bananas, which means they are often cooked and treated like vegetables in Latin and African countries. 

Bananas and human beings share 50% of the same DNA.

Humans and bananas share quite a lot of the same DNA! While it may seem hard to believe, researchers discovered that more than 50% of human genes have a genetic equivalent in bananas. 

Panama disease destroyed banana crops in the 1950s. 

In the 1950s, a deadly disease caused by a fungus spread throughout banana crops in Central America. It killed the Gros Michel banana, which, at the time, was the primary type and most popular banana sold worldwide. Since Gros Michel bananas went out of the market, Cavendish bananas became more popular and are currently the most popular banana type sold today. 

Bananas used to be a luxurious item. 

When we eat bananas now, we peel them and eat them with our hands! However, back in the 1880s, when Americans were first introduced to this fruit, bananas were considered exotic and luxurious fruits that people ate with a knife and fork.

You can quicken the ripening process easily. 

If you want to make some banana bread but don’t have ripe bananas, you can place your bananas in a paper bag and add one tomato. Bananas and tomatoes release ethylene when they ripen. Therefore, by placing the bananas in the same bag as a tomato, you can help speed up the ripening process. 

There is a museum dedicated to bananas. 

International Banana Museum in Mecca, California
Source: m01229

If you’re ready to go bananas over bananas, all you need to do is visit The International Banana Museum in Mecca, California. It is a one-room museum solely dedicated to this yellow fruit. 

Conclusion 

As we mentioned in the introduction, bananas are one of the most versatile and delicious fruits in the world, that, as you’ve learned by now, offer so much more to people than just nutrition! They help keep you healthy, their peels can heal skin afflictions, and they share a huge chunk of their DNA with humans. The next time you’re in need of 15 cool facts, make sure you come to us for information.