7 Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas

by Ella

Bananas are a beloved and widely consumed fruit, known for their natural sweetness and versatility. However, beyond their delicious flavor, bananas harbor a world of intriguing facts that might surprise you. In this article, we delve into eight lesser-known aspects of bananas, shedding light on their history, health benefits, environmental impact, and more.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas

1. Bananas aren’t really a fruit. Well, they are and they aren’t.

Bananas are both a fruit and not a fruit. While the banana plant is colloquially called a banana tree, it’s actually an herb distantly related to ginger, since the plant has a succulent tree stem, instead of a wood one.


The yellow thing you peel and eat is, in fact, a fruit because it contains the seeds of the plant. Although since bananas have been commercially grown, the plants are sterile, and the seeds have gradually been reduced to little specs.


And to clarify more banana terminology: bananas grow in what are known as “hands,” so-called because of their appearance, which make up the larger stalk, known as a “bunch.”


See Also: Bananas: Calorie Content & Nutritional Value


2. There are many more varieties of bananas than you might think.

There are over 1,000 types of bananas in the world, each with its unique characteristics, flavors, and uses. However, a few varieties stand out as the most popular and widely consumed globally:

Cavendish Banana: The Cavendish is the most common and recognizable banana variety. It’s known for its creamy texture, mild sweetness, and ability to ripen uniformly. The majority of bananas in international trade are Cavendish bananas.

Plantains: While often considered a distinct category, plantains are a type of banana that is starchy and commonly used in cooking. They are larger and firmer than dessert bananas and are a staple in many tropical cuisines.

Lady Finger Banana: Also known as Sugar bananas or Pisang Raja, these bananas are smaller and sweeter than the Cavendish variety. They have a delicate, tangy-sweet flavor and are popular in various Asian countries.

Blue Java Banana: Often referred to as the “Ice Cream” banana, the Blue Java has a unique blueish tint when unripe and a creamy texture that resembles vanilla ice cream when ripe. It’s popular in Southeast Asia and some tropical regions.

Red Banana: Recognizable by its reddish-purple skin, the Red banana has a sweet, strawberry-like flavor. It’s commonly found in parts of Asia, South America, and Africa.

Apple Banana: This small, flavorful banana has a hint of apple flavor, which gives it its name. It’s a favorite in Hawaii and other Pacific islands.

Burro Banana: With a distinctive blocky shape and lemony flavor, Burro bananas are commonly used in Latin American cuisine.

Manzano Banana: Native to Central America, the Manzano banana has a distinctive apple-like flavor and is often used in cooking and baking.

Goldfinger Banana: Resistant to Panama disease, the Goldfinger banana is gaining popularity as a disease-resistant alternative to the Cavendish.

Dwarf Brazilian Banana: Also known as “Pacovan” bananas, these small, squat bananas have a creamy texture and are popular in Brazil and other parts of South America.

3. Banana peels can help fix a splinter or a skipping DVD.

Indeed, the humble banana peel, often discarded without a second thought, holds surprising potential beyond its role as a fruit protector. The natural oils and compounds found in banana peels can be harnessed for various practical uses, from addressing everyday annoyances to providing innovative solutions.

Banana Peel and Splinters: A Natural Extraction Method

When a pesky splinter finds its way under your skin, removing it can be a delicate and sometimes painful process. Enter the banana peel, an unexpected ally in the quest to extract splinters. The moisture and enzymes present in the banana peel may aid in softening the skin and reducing inflammation around the splinter, making removal a more manageable task.

To utilize this method, follow these steps:

1. Carefully cut a small piece of ripe banana peel to cover the affected area.
2. Place the inner side of the peel against the splinter, ensuring it adheres to the skin.
3. Secure the peel in place with a bandage or adhesive tape.
4. Leave the banana peel in place for a few hours or overnight.

The enzymes and moisture from the banana peel may help soften the skin and encourage the splinter to move closer to the surface, potentially easing its removal. However, if the splinter remains deeply embedded or causes increased discomfort, it’s advisable to seek medical attention.

Banana Peel and Skipped DVDs: A Polishing Potential

Banana peels’ natural polishing properties can extend beyond the realm of wood and metals. They can be harnessed to address the frustrations of a skipping or scratched DVD, potentially enhancing playback quality.

Here’s a simple method to try:

1. Gently wipe the DVD surface with the inner side of a banana peel.
2. Ensure the peel residue is evenly distributed across the disc’s surface.
3. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently buff the disc in circular motions.

The natural oils present in the banana peel may help fill minor scratches or imperfections on the DVD’s surface, reducing the likelihood of skipping during playback. While this method is not a guaranteed fix for severely damaged discs, it offers a creative approach to salvaging slightly worn DVDs.

From aiding in splinter removal to offering an unconventional remedy for scratched DVDs, the banana peel’s potential goes beyond its role as a protective covering for the fruit. As we continue to uncover the diverse applications of everyday items, the banana peel serves as a reminder that solutions to everyday challenges may often be found in the unexpected places around us.

4. There was once an official international club where banana lovers could unite.

In the annals of quirky and delightful phenomena, the existence of an international club dedicated solely to banana lovers certainly stands out. This eccentric yet endearing venture was known as the “International Banana Club,” a unique gathering of individuals bound by their shared adoration for this beloved fruit.

The Birth of the International Banana Club: A Fruitful Idea

The International Banana Club was the brainchild of Ken Bannister, a passionate banana enthusiast who found himself captivated by the fruit’s charm and versatility. Inspired by the joyful spirit of banana-themed collectibles and the camaraderie they sparked, Bannister embarked on a whimsical journey to unite fellow banana enthusiasts from around the world.

Established in 1972, the International Banana Club aimed to foster a sense of community among banana lovers, celebrating everything from the fruit’s taste and nutrition to its cultural significance and quirky appeal. Membership was open to anyone with a passion for bananas, regardless of their geographical location or background.

Banana Delights and Whimsical Collectibles

One of the hallmarks of the International Banana Club was its dedication to curating an array of banana-themed collectibles that members could proudly display and exchange. From banana-shaped trinkets and apparel to artwork and memorabilia, the club’s offerings were as diverse as the fruit itself.

Members received a unique membership number, often referred to as their “Bunch Number,” and had the opportunity to connect with fellow banana enthusiasts through newsletters, correspondence, and banana-related events. The camaraderie extended beyond borders, demonstrating the universal appeal of this vibrant and nutritious fruit.

The Legacy of the International Banana Club

For over four decades, the International Banana Club served as a delightful testament to the power of shared passions and the ability of a simple fruit to bring people together. It showcased the boundless creativity that can emerge from a seemingly straightforward concept and the capacity of human connection to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries.

Though the club officially closed its doors in 2010, its legacy endures in the hearts and memories of its members and the wider world. The International Banana Club remains a charming reminder that even the most whimsical endeavors can leave an indelible mark, proving that the joy of bananas knows no bounds.

In a world often preoccupied with the weighty matters of life, the International Banana Club stands as a beacon of lightheartedness, reminding us of the joy that can be found in the simplest of pleasures—a shared love for a fruit that brings smiles and camaraderie to those who embrace its sunny disposition.

5. The Looming Threat of Panama Disease: A Menace to Banana Crops

In the lush, vibrant world of banana plantations, a silent menace lurks—one that has the potential to wreak havoc on a global scale. This lurking danger is known as Panama disease, a fungal infection caused by the notorious Fusarium fungus. As the disease continues its relentless march, it poses a significant threat to banana crops, putting at risk a beloved fruit that graces breakfast tables, snack packs, and culinary creations worldwide.

Unmasking Panama Disease: The Fungal Culprit

Panama disease, scientifically labeled Fusarium wilt, is a fungal infection that targets banana plants, weakening their defenses and causing devastating consequences. The Fusarium fungus, particularly the strain known as Tropical Race 4 (TR4), has been the primary instigator of this crisis. Once introduced to a plantation, the fungus infiltrates the plant’s vascular system, obstructing water and nutrient flow and eventually leading to wilting, decay, and death.

The Domino Effect: Impact on Global Banana Production

The impact of Panama disease extends far beyond the individual plants it afflicts. Entire plantations can fall victim to its insidious spread, leading to significant economic losses for farmers and disrupting the global supply of bananas. The threat is exacerbated by the fact that bananas are primarily propagated through cloning, making them genetically uniform and thus susceptible to diseases that exploit genetic vulnerabilities.

6. Bananas: A Natural Mood Booster through Serotonin Synthesis

Bananas, those humble and beloved fruits, hold a natural secret to boosting our mood and well-being. Within their creamy flesh lies an amino acid called tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin—a neurotransmitter that’s often hailed as the “feel-good” molecule. When we consume bananas, our bodies ingeniously convert tryptophan into serotonin, contributing to the regulation of our mood and emotions.

Serotonin plays a pivotal role in maintaining a sense of well-being and happiness. Adequate levels of this neurotransmitter are associated with improved mood, reduced stress, and even better sleep quality. So, the next time you peel open a banana, you’re not just savoring its delightful taste, but also indulging in a natural source of happiness—a tangible reminder that the foods we enjoy can play a role in nurturing both body and mind.

See Also: What Happens to Your Body If You Eat Bananas Every Day

7. Historical Roots of Bananas

Bananas, with their delightful sweetness and vibrant appeal, are not just a contemporary culinary delight; they possess a rich historical tapestry that stretches back millennia. Believed to have originated in the fertile lands of Southeast Asia, bananas embarked on a journey of discovery and dissemination that would shape their global prominence.

Early explorers and travelers, driven by a curiosity for new lands and flavors, played a pivotal role in spreading the banana’s influence. As these adventurous souls traversed continents and crossed seas, they carried the precious cargo of banana plants, introducing them to diverse corners of the world.

Today, the legacy of this botanical odyssey is undeniable. Bananas have taken root in more than 135 countries, gracing tropical climates and temperate regions alike. Their cultivation spans vast expanses, from the sun-soaked plantations of Latin America to the verdant fields of Africa and the Pacific Islands.


Bananas, often taken for granted as a common fruit, hold a treasure trove of intriguing facts that illuminate their botanical origins, nutritional value, and cultural significance. As you peel back the layers of this humble fruit, you’ll discover that there’s much more to bananas than meets the eye. Whether you enjoy them as a mood-enhancing snack, or a culinary delight, bananas continue to inspire fascination and appreciation across the globe.



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