On the third Wednesday of April every year, West Chester University hosts its annual Banana Day! What started as a day to promote healthy eating turned into a day full of complete. There are games to play, foods to eat, shirts to win, people running around in gorilla suits, a real live monkey, and, of course, BANANAS! Do you know these facts about bananas?
1. Bananas are actually classified as berries
To be classified as a berry, a fruit has to have three distinct layers: an exocarp (outer skin), mesocarp (fleshy middle), and endocarp (innermost layer that contains the seeds). I think it is obvious that bananas fit this description!
3. Bananas help lower blood pressure
Bananas contain potassium and fiber, which are associated with lowering blood pressure and promoting overall health!
4. Humans and bananas share more than 60% of the same DNA
Animals (including humans) and plants (like bananas) share many of the same genes for basic cellular function. These include genes for DNA replication, cell cycle regulation, and cell division.
5. The banana tree is actually considered an herb
The stem of the banana plant does not contain the true "woody" tissue that would classify it as a tree. Being herbs, bananas plants are in the same family as orchids and lilies.
6. The inside of a banana peel has medicinal properties
Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite or poison ivy for some natural, organic itch and inflammation relief.
7. Bananas have changed since the 1960's
The Gros Michael banana was wiped out in the 1960s due to the "panama disease." Today, we eat a different type known as the Cavendish banana. There are several different types of bananas that are less popular but can still be found today as well!
8. Bananas make people happy!
Bananas contain vitamin B6 and tryptophan, which aid in the production of serotonin, a mood boosting hormone.
9. Eating bananas before a workout can improve performanceGiphy
The potassium in bananas helps maintain nerve and muscle function during a workouts!
10. A cluster of bananas is called a "hand" and a single banana is called a "finger"
Each "hand" of bananas has about 10 to 20 "fingers"
11. More songs have been written about bananas than any other fruit
Let's be honest, it was Gwen Stefani who taught us how to spell "bananas"
12. More than 100 billion bananas are eaten worldwide each year
This makes then the fourth most popular agricultural product throughout the world
13. More than half of people allergic to latex are also allergic to bananas
Some of the proteins in latex that cause the allergy are also found in fruits such as bananas, kiwis, avocados, plums, strawberries, and tomatoes
14. Uganda has the highest average per capita consumption of bananas
In Uganda, residents eat about 500 pounds of bananas per person each year! In America, we eat about 27 pounds of bananas per person each year. That's a significant difference!
15. Banana plants can grow to be 25 feet tall
Their leaves can grow up to 9 feet long and 2 feet wide!
16. Banana peels can be used to remove warts
If done properly, running the inside of a banana peel along a wart can remove it in about 2 weeks!
17. Monkeys peel bananas upside-down compared to the human method
The way monkeys do it is actually easier and less damaging to the banana peel
18. Green and yellow bananas have different starch and sugar contents
Green bananas have a higher starch content and lower sugar content than yellow bananas. As bananas ripen and turn yellow, starches turn into sugars. This is why yellow bananas are sweeter than green bananas - they have more sugar!
19. Bananas are the "fruit of the wise men"
That is what thee Latin name for bananas, "musa sapientum," means - "fruit of the wise men."
20. The banana plant can be used to make fabrics and paper
Japan is the most notable culture to use the fiber in banana plants for these products.
21. There is a banana club that you can join
In fact, there is a Banana Club Museum in California containing more than 17,000 banana related items donated by club members.