Which fruit has a yellow peel, is a storehouse of Potassium, and can work well before workouts? You guessed it; we’re talking about bananas. Whether you’re a big fan of bananas or just learning about them for the first time, you’re going to love this list of Banana facts for kids. So put on your learning hat and get ready to take some notes!
1. Bananas are a berry
Berries are fruits that have soft outer skin, fleshy fruit, and many small seeds, all of which fit the description of bananas perfectly.
2. Bananas are 75% water
Doesn’t a banana look like such a solid fruit? Well, this might take you by surprise, but these fruits are basically 3-4th water, with water making up 70-79% of their total composition.
3. The scientific name of banana is Musa sapientum
The scientific name of bananas is Musa sapientum, which roughly translates to the muse of the wise in English. Could you ever have guessed it yourself?
4. Bananas are naturally radioactive
Bananas are slightly radioactive due to the presence of Potassium in them. But does this mean that eating them is dangerous? Well, only if you eat 10,000,000 of them at once, or over 200 of them on a daily basis for 7 years straight.
As long as your banana consumption doesn’t match that magnitude, you have nothing to worry about.
5. Bananas are called fingers and hands!
While you might find the comparison of bananas with your body parts weird, it has been in use for a long time. An individual banana is referred to as a finger, whereas a cluster of these fingers attached together makes a hand. Unlike your own hands, the hands of bananas can have as many as 20 fingers.
6. The term banana has African origins
While we use the term banana so casually today, did you know that it isn’t originally an English word? This might come as a surprise to many, but this term has originated in West Africa and comes from banaana, a word from the Wolof language.
It is believed that this term was perhaps the Africans who shared this name of the fruits with the Spanish explorers, who then passed it along to the Americans.
7. Bananas are the cheapest fruits in the world
Did you know which is the cheapest fruit in the world? It’s bananas. Wondering why? Well, one of the leading reasons behind their cheapness is their ability to reproduce asexually.
It means that each tree is basically a clone of its predecessor, with each fruit tasting the same, because of which they’re incredibly easy to grow.
8. Bananas are an ideal pre-workout snack
Although bananas are pretty versatile snacks, consuming them before playing some sports or going to the gym is highly encouraged globally. Have you wondered why?
The nutritional composition of these fruits has made them an ideal pre-workout snack. They’re rich in natural carbs and Vitamin B6, which not only meets your energy requirement throughout the workout but also replaces your muscle fuel reserves after it.
Additionally, they’re also rich in Potassium, which supports your muscle health and pushes you to grind harder!
9. Cavendish Bananas are the most common banana type in the world
Because bananas are grown so widely in the world, there are bound to be differences between them. Did you know that there are as many as 1,000 different types of bananas in the world?
And among them all, there’s one type that is most widely and commonly found: the Cavendish Bananas. These are the typical long, light-yellow bananas that you find in your nearby local stores.
10. Bananas can even float on the water!
Those of you who haven’t learned swimming yet, you go into the pool with a floaty, don’t you? Well, unlike us, bananas need no added protection to prevent themselves from sinking in water and can float in it on their own. Wondering why? It’s because the density of these fruits is lower than that of water.
11. Our DNAs are about 50% identical to that of bananas
You’d expect your DNA to match with that of your parents, but what about that long, yellow fruit kept in the fruit basket of your kitchen? Would you ever imagine them having the same DNA as you?
Well, as surprising as it might sound, the DNA of bananas is 50% identical to that of our own. This isn’t specific to just you or us but applies to all humans in general.
12. Banana plants are actually herbs
When you hear the term herb, we’re sure your head is filled with pictures of plants like basil, cilantro, and rosemary. However, while having an aromatic or savory quality is indicative of an herb, it’s not the most important one.
The primary factor that sets herbs aside from the other plants is the absence of a woody stem. And because the banana plants have a succulent stem, they fall into the category of herbs. Banana plants are distantly related to ginger, which is another herb used globally.
13. The leaves of banana plants have lots of uses
Just like bananas themselves, the leaves of their plant are also useful to humans. Although they’re not consumed directly, they’re used to wrap various dishes before steaming, cooking, or grilling them. Apart from their use in Asian, Hispanic, and Caribbean cuisines, these leaves are also used as plates to serve food.
14. Putting bananas in a refrigerator slows down their ripening process
Did you buy too many bananas and are now worried they might go bad? Why don’t you try putting it inside your refrigerator?
Because both temperature and humidity play a key role in the ripening of these fruits, putting them in a refrigerator can slow them down. However, the peels of these bananas will certainly change from yellow to brown, even though the inner flesh remains the same.
15. India leads the world in both the production and consumption of bananas
Did you know that bananas are grown in over 150 countries in the world? Among all these countries, India ranks first in producing the largest number of bananas every year, followed closely by China, Brazil, and Indonesia.
Another interesting fact is that alongside being the leading banana producer, India also happens to be the largest banana-consuming country globally!
16. Bananas and plantains are not the same
Have you ever heard someone refer to a banana as a plantain? Well, before you assume it’s just another name for these fruits, we’re here to tell you that they’re not.
While bananas and plantains are genetically similar and have similar appearances, there are several subtle differences between the two. Plantains are larger in size than bananas and have thicker skin. More importantly, unlike bananas, plantains are always eaten after being cooked.
17. Bananas also come with red peels
Most bananas you’ve seen so far have either green or yellow peels, right? Well, there exists a banana variety that has red peels as well!
Red bananas are a group of banana varieties that have a purplish-red peel. The color of their flesh also has a light pinkish touch. These bananas, although they’re eaten raw like yellow bananas, have a sweeter, softer flesh with a faint raspberry flavor.
18. Lady Finger Bananas exist!
Did lady finger bananas conjure the image of a weird cross-breed between these veggies and fruits in your head? Don’t worry; lady finger bananas have nothing to do with real lady fingers and are merely named after them due to their similar size.
These bananas grow up to 4-5 inches in length and have a thin, light-yellow peel. Other names for these bananas include date bananas, sugar bananas, and fig bananas.
19. The fiber from banana plants can be used to make clothes
While the fruits of banana plants are consumed widely, the fibers inside their trunks can also be used to make clothes. Clothes made of banana fibers are not only environment-friendly but also have high breathability and a natural shimmer.
20. More than 100 billion bananas are consumed every year globally
According to some estimates, global banana consumption crosses over 100 billion every year. In fact, in the rural areas of many African countries, these fruits make up 25% of their total daily diet!
21. Bananas are used to make fruit ketchup in the Philippines
If you’re a fan of fries, you must’ve tried it with ketchup. Isn’t the combination just mouthwatering? Well, imagine dipping your fry in ketchup made of banana. Gross, right?
We’re not tricking you here; banana ketchup does exist and is, in fact, a highly popular condiment in the Philippines.
It’s made of banana, sugar, vinegar, and some spices and appears brownish-yellow in color. However, manufacturers often dye them red to match the color of the traditional tomato ketchup.
22. There’s an interesting story behind the origin of banana ketchup
Having heard of banana ketchup, aren’t you wondering why people tried to make such a thing in the first place? Well, here’s the story of banana ketchup’s origin:
During World War II, there was a severe shortage of tomatoes in the Philippines, which is why none of the citizens could find tomato ketchup to eat.
During such trying times, Maria Y. Oroso, a Filipina food technologist, experimented with making ketchup with bananas, fruits that were plentiful throughout the country. And thus, banana ketchup came into existence.
While the taste of this ketchup is slightly similar to the tomato ketchup, they’re a lot sweeter.
23. Bananas are the national fruit of the Central African Republic
Just as blueberries are the national fruit of the United States of America, bananas are the national fruit of this African country: the Central African Republic.
24. Bananas were first introduced to America in the 16th century
Since bananas originated from Asia, have you wondered about how the Americans came to know about them first? There’s a fascinating story behind it.
From Asia, the bananas were first taken to the west by the Arab invaders and conquerors in 327 BC. From western Asia, the sea traders brought them to Africa through the Arabian sea route.
Many centuries passed until the Spanish explorers sailed to Africa in the 1500s and brought back with them bananas to the Caribbean, Central America.
25. Here’s what a banana republic means:
A Banana republic is a political term used to describe a state that is politically unstable and has an economy dependent solely on the export of its natural resources.
The term was first coined by the American writer O. Henry in his book Cabbages and Kings. In the 20th century, this term was used for Costa Rica, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Summing it up
And there you have them! Lots of banana facts that are sure to expand your knowledge of this delicious fruit. Bananas are extremely popular fruits, ranking as the third most consumed fruit in the United States after Apples and Oranges.
They are grown in warm tropical climates and make up the staple diet of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Their popularity is well deserved, however. Bananas are a great source of nutrients and healthy carbohydrates, an excellent energy source, they won’t raise your blood sugar too much, and they taste delicious—and unlike many other popular fruit snacks, they don’t have a lot of empty calories. They also contain a good quantity of Potassium.
That wraps up our article. We hope you enjoyed this post and kept your eyes peeled for more information. Do you have any other interesting facts about bananas to share? If so, feel free to drop us an email. We’d love to hear them.