Bananas Are a Favorite Breakfast Food
More than 100 billion bananas are consumed every year around the world. According to banana facts, this makes the banana the fourth most consumed agricultural product. On average, Americans consume nearly 27 pounds of bananas every year, and 96% of American families buy bananas once a month, if not more. Just over half of these purchased bananas are eaten at breakfast time. Uganda, one of the largest producers of bananas, is also the highest consumer of bananas. Each person in the country eats about 500 pounds of bananas a year.
India Produces the Most Bananas
India produces the most bananas of all the banana growing countries in the world. Bananas are a crucial part of the country’s economy and also make up a large part of the nation’s diet. A man in India once ate 81 bananas in just half an hour. That adds up to 8,505 calories, 2,182.95 grams of carbohydrates and 31.59 grams of fat. Overall, bananas are a very healthy fruit but when consumed in excess, their high sugar and calorie levels can have a negative effect on your health.
Bananas Have a Variety of Uses Besides Eating
Although they’re most commonly thought of as a foodstuff, bananas can be used in a wide variety of everyday situations. You can rub the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite to relieve itching. The peel can also remove warts if it is taped onto one every night for a few weeks. Try whitening your smile by rubbing the peel over your teeth or rub the peel over your forehead to help alleviate the pain from a headache. The banana itself can also be mashed and mixed with heavy cream and honey to make a natural hair conditioner.
Save Your Grocery Budget By Buying Bananas
It’s no secret that it’s getting more and more expensive to feed our families, with trips to the grocery store costing more each year. But bananas remain one of the most affordable fruits to buy, which is odd considering that the fruit is often shipped from far away countries. They also require a lot of care, delicate handling, and pretty much continuous refrigeration, much more than other fruits like apples that cost much more. Bananas can be sold for as low as 39 cents for a pound. Depending on the size of the banana, one piece of fruit can cost just over a dime.
You May Be Able to Lose Weight by Smelling Bananas!
One of the more interesting banana facts tells us about a study performed at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. The research showed that when a person smells a certain food, their brain can often be tricked into thinking that the food was actually consumed. One of the foods that this works with is bananas. So, the next time that you’re feeling a little hungry but are trying to limit your calorie intake, try smelling a banana. It might trick your body into pushing aside any feelings of hunger for a bit.
Bananas Contain High Levels of Vitamin C
Banana facts tell us that the fruit is mostly known for its potassium levels, but it doesn’t often receive recognition for its high levels of vitamin C, one of the most important nutrients for the body. An average serving of banana contains 15% of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin C. This vitamin is a crucial antioxidant that helps to repair damage done to the body by free radicals. It also helps to produce collagen and keeps blood vessels healthy.
Bananas Are Immune to Inflation
It’s always interesting to hear about prices from the past. In the not too distant past, homes cost less than the average annual salary of today, and the gas prices of the past seem nearly unbelievable. But one of the few items to avoid common inflation is the banana. When bananas were first introduced to American consumers in 1876, a single banana cost 10 cents. If the cost of bananas had risen at the same rate of inflation as most other consumer products, a single one would cost $3.00 at the grocery store today.
Eating a Banana Could Extend Your Workout
Banana facts tell us that many athletes eat the fruit on a very regular basis. It has been documented that Olympian Yohan Blake eats up to 16 bananas each day. Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab conducted a study that found that half a banana eaten every 15 minutes was equivalent to drinking a sports drink with an equal amount of carbohydrates in the same time period. Bananas are full of potassium, which is an electrolyte that aids in fluid balance and regulation of nerve impulses.
The Banana Split Is Older than You Are
Almost everyone loves a delicious banana split. The treat was invented in 1904 by David Evans Strickler, who was a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassell Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It was common for drugstores to have soda shops, and Strickler enjoyed inventing sundaes for customers. The original banana split recipe, as created by Strickler, included three scoops of ice cream (one scoop of vanilla, one of strawberry and one of chocolate), an entire banana split lengthwise, chocolate sauce, pineapple chunks, strawberries, chopped peanuts, whipped cream and, of course, a cherry on top.
Bananas Are Fruits, Herbs and Berries
One of the most interesting banana facts talks about how the food is classified. The banana is an edible fruit, but botanically is classified as a berry. But it also grows on a herbaceous flowering plant, which can make it a herb. A berry is a fruit that is produced from a single seed and contains seeds inside. This is true of a banana, classifying it as a berry fruit. Interestingly, a strawberry is not considered a berry because its seeds are on the outside.
The Banana You Eat Is the New Fruit
One of the more surprising banana facts reveals that the species of banana that is sold today is not the same banana that was found in grocery stores several decades ago. Today, we eat the Cavendish variety of bananas. Our grandparents, though, grew up eating the Gros Michael banana, which was larger and tastier. By 1960, a fungus known as The Panama Disease had wiped the Gros Michael banana off the face of the planet. There is concern that this same fungus could wipe out the Cavendish within the next two decades.
Bananas Don’t Grow On Trees
Bananas actually grow on plants that are classified as a herb, and are classified with palms and orchids. These plants grow to be about 25 feet high and their leaves can be as long as 9 feet. The roots of a banana plant can be hundreds of years old. The plants grow from seeds and produce bananas in bunches. A bunch of bananas is technically called a hand, while a single banana is known as a finger. Each banana hand has at least 10 fingers.
Some Bananas Taste Just Like Strawberries
It is estimated that there are nearly a thousand varieties of banana in the world. These varieties are classified into 50 groups. It’s not surprising that the Cavendish is the most popular banana, and this is what most of us buy from our local grocery store. There are some other, very unusual, varieties though. Bubblegum pink bananas have fuzzy skins and are striped green and white. The pulp is the color of orange sherbet. There is also a variety that tastes just like a strawberry when the banana is cooked.
You Can Speed Up or Slow Down the Ripening Process of a Banana
If you’re looking for banana facts that tell you how to keep your precious produce from spoiling, take note of the following. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to keep the fruit fresher for up to five days longer. If you need to ripen a banana faster, place it in a brown paper bag. You can speed up the process even more by adding an apple to the bag. You can refrigerate your bananas as well. The peel will turn dark brown or black, but the flesh of the banana will still be edible.
The Ancient Egyptians Ate Bananas
Bananas were mentioned in written history for the first time in the 6th century BC. They were also depicted in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The banana is believed to be the first cultivated fruit, with some of the first banana farms being planted in Southeast Asia, where it is believed that the fruit originated. Portuguese sailors brought bananas to the Americas, after bringing them from West Africa in the 17th century. They weren’t introduced to the United States until the 1870s though, at the Philadelphia Centennial Celebration.
Bananas Could Help You Live Longer
Bananas are low in calories, and they also contain absolutely no fat or cholesterol. This isn’t what makes them so healthy, though. They also contain potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Eating bananas on a regular basis may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to research. There is also scientific evidence that supports the theory that bananas may be able to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Bananas also contain an amino acid that can help the brain to create serotonin, a chemical that alleviates depression symptoms.
We Generally Eat Our Bananas Upside Down
Most people peel their bananas from the stem. It is actually recommended, however, to peel your banana from the bottom. This will prevent the fibers in the peel from sticking to the banana. Many argue that this is the correct method, partly because monkeys peel bananas in this way. Monkeys, however, bite into the peel and then remove it, unless they have learned to peel a banana by observing humans. However you peel your banana, remember that the peels are edible and can be cooked in many ways to get more out of your fruit.
Banana Facts – Facts about Bananas Summary
Banana facts reveal the interesting history behind this ancient produce, including how it was introduced to the New World. Learn about how the banana split was invented, and just how good a banana is for you. Discover if you’ve been eating bananas the wrong way your entire life and learn how you can speed up or slow down the ripening process of the bananas in your fruit bowl.