Banana Facts

Banana Facts
Banana is a type of flowering plant that is best known by its delicious, yellow curved fruit. There are over 70 different species of banana that are native to New Guinea and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Philippines). Wild types of banana can be found in rainy, tropical areas. Due to growing popularity of this fruit, banana is cultivated and transported to all parts of the world. Most commercially available bananas are exported from South America (Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala…). Rare types of banana can be consumed because most species contain seeds and have hard texture that is not pleasant for eating. Bananas are prone to fungal infections. Panama disease is a fungus that already wiped out one of the most popular species of banana.
Interesting Banana Facts:
Size of banana depends on the species. Tree of commercially available banana can reach 25 feet in height.
Banana looks like woody plant, but it is actually largest herbaceous plant.
Leaves of banana are very thin, flexible and spirally arranged. They are usually 9 feet long and 2 feet wide. Leaves are used in Asian cuisine for the preparation of certain dishes.
Fruit of banana plant grows in bunches called "hands". Each hand is composed of 10 to 20 individual bananas called "fingers".
Most common color of the peel is yellow, but certain species of banana have green, red, brown or purple peel.
Musa sapientum is scientific name for banana. It means "fruit of the wise men."
Banana is the 4th most consumed plant in the world. First three places are reserved for rice, wheat and maize.
100 000 million bananas are eaten every year. People in Uganda eat the greatest amount of bananas. They consume 500 pounds of bananas per person every year.
Banana contains 75% of water. It is one of the healthiest fruits because it contains various vitamins, minerals, fibers and sugars in optimal doses.
According to some scientific investigations, banana can prevent heart attack, stroke and even development of certain types of cancer. It also may soothe depression.
There are a lot of different types of banana, but only rare varieties have pleasant taste. Banana of the Cavendish type is a variety that is currently consumed throughout the world.
The Gros Michel banana variety was popular in the first half of 20th century. Unfortunately, fungal disease led to extinction of this variety in the world.
Bananas contain radioactive isotope of potassium (called potassium-40). Luckily, amount of potassium is not high enough to induce damage in human organism.
Fibers isolated from banana can be used in the manufacture of paper and fabrics.
Lifespan of banana tree depends on the variety. Commercial species can survive 25 years and more. Roots of certain wild bananas can reach the age of couple of hundred years.

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