Food & Drink

Fact about bananas

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Bananas taste as good as they look
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Yes, We DO Have Bananas

Harry Belafonte, king of Calypso, is best known for the Banana Boat Song, with its signature lyric Day-O, while the tune Yes, We Have no Bananas was a big hit in 1923 and acknowledged the banana shortage at that time.


Songs have been written about bananas because this fruit is very important to economies around the world. Bananas are the fourth largest fruit crop in the world. India is the number one producer of bananas.


Bananas are tasty and good for us, which is why they are the top fruit in America. Bananas do not contain cholesterol, sodium or fat, and are a prime source of potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin C. If you are extremely active, bananas are a good food because they furnish your body with glycogen, carbohydrates and fluids, which you burn off while exercising. Bananas can be eaten fresh, or as a healthy dried snack which may be hard to find but can be ordered from an organic bulk food retailer. Bananas are used in baking, as accompaniments to meat in many Caribbean dishes, and in preserves and chutneys.


Bananas do not actually come from a banana tree, but rather from an herb that is large and produces the fruit. The banana plant can grow tall enough to pass for a tree, but it is not. There are no boughs and no woody trunk.


Banana farmers start their banana crop by cutting growths from the underground stems, called suckers, of mature banana plants. The suckers are planted and a few weeks later, tightly rolled leaves shoot out from the suckers. As the leaves grow, they unroll, and they start looking like large, sagging feathers.


As the leaves continue to grow, they tightly wrap into a bundle. The trunk of the banana plant is actually the stalks of the leaves.


After two months, a large bud grows from the bundle of leaves, popping out of the end of the thick underground stem. There are bracts, or small purple leaves, on the bud. When the stem grows through the top of the plant, the bracts roll back and clusters of little flowers are revealed. These flowers turn into tiny green bananas.


A cluster of bananas, which is 10 to 20 bananas, is called a hand. The individual bananas are called fingers.


Bananas may, in fact, be the first fruit on earth. They have been around since history has been recorded. Alexander the Great discovered bananas when he conquered India in 327 B.C.


The uncomplimentary term banana republic was the brainchild of O. Henry, an American writer. He used this term to refer to Honduras, but it went on to mean any Caribbean, Latin American or African county that relied on agriculture, was in the dark technologically and politically unstable.


An employee of the Tassel Pharmacy soda fountain in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, named David Evans Strickler, invented the banana split in 1904. It has remained a favorite ever since.


The banana can create problems, especially if you slip on a banana peel. In Britain in 2001, there were 300 recorded incidents of injuries that occurred as a result of people slipping on the peels.



Health Diaries: Facts about Bananas

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