Busting the seven biggest myths about bananas
Bananas may be as old as history itself. According to the book Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World, by Dan Koeppel, scholars have traced the banana back to the Garden of Eden, and believe that the forbidden fruit was not an apple, contrary to popular belief, but a banana.
With so much banana history, there’s a lot of room for banana myths, falsehoods, and pure confusion around the fruit. That’s why we’re here to set the record straight. Here are some of the more common myths – and facts – when it comes to the not-so-forbidden fruit.
- Bananas are fattening
Fact: Bananas have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium – they’re 100 calories of energy per banana. Bananas are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are good for you, including vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. It’s all served up in a convenient curved yellow package that can help you power through the day, and satisfy your sweet tooth.
- There’s just one kind of banana
Fact: There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas! Two broad types are the table banana and the plantain, which is also known as “the cooking banana.”
- You will inevitably slip on banana peel
Fact: This fun trope got its popularity from slapstick comedy back in the early 20th century. At that time, bananas were incredibly popular, and the story goes that people would just toss their banana peels with wild abandon, littering the streets and sidewalks. The peels would, of course, begin to decompose and become slick. While sidewalks full of rotten banana peels may present a danger to pedestrians, stepping on a single banana peel is likely a safe endeavor.
- Bananas are best in sweet dishes
Fact: Bananas taste great in savory dishes, too. There are many great banana recipes out there to try, such as Prawn Stir fry with Curried Banana Sauce or Chicken Banana Peanut Curry. After trying these delicious savory recipes, you may never look at a banana in the same way again!
- Bananas aren’t good for you
Fact: Bananas are an all-natural, fat-free snack, with real health benefits. In fact, they may actually help lower blood pressure. That's because they're loaded with potassium, something that doctors say helps control blood pressure by lessening the effects of sodium.
- Bananas are hard to grow
Fact: Bananas are actually quite easy to grow, but they require warm weather conditions and moderate rainfall. The banana is native to Southeast Asia, and now many of them also come from Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
- Bananas just aren’t that popular
Fact: Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world! In fact, 100 billion bananas are eaten a year worldwide, with Uganda consuming the most bananas per person than any other country in the world.
Remember when mom told you “don’t believe everything you read"? That’s how myths get started. And sometimes, you have to peel back a layer to get to the truth of the matter. Just like when you’re eating a banana.