Banana is a unique plant which has a false stem for it is not actually a stem or palm and considered as the herb. The banana stem is call pseudostem which consists of broad leaves.
The plant can reach up to 2 until 6 meters from the ground depending on the cultivar types. When it comes to mature, the flower will rise through the true core stem and pass the center pseudostem.
The flower emerges from the top in between the leaves cluster. For one banana stem usually only produce one flower.
There are lots of banana varieties; the popular varieties are desert and cooking banana. In some countries, the cooking banana becomes the staple food.
You may as surprise as me when heard facts of banana as it is a naturally radioactive since it contains potassium in relative high amount for Potassium-40. This potassium-40 is radioactive isotope potassium.
However, as this radioactive substance is naturally produced, it has very little effect on the body. The same substances are also found other food such as potatoes, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Most bananas species originate in Southeast Asia. When exporting banana, it picked when green with the consideration that it will ripe in the destination.
There are approximately 1000 varieties of banana worldwide, some of them are:
1. Apple banana
This banana has exceptionally sweet taste comparing to other varieties. This banana grew largely in Hawaii rainy tropical forest. The banana flesh is firm with pinkish tone. Apple banana usually use for snacking, desserts and fruit salad.
2. Cavendish banana
This banana variety is the most commonly consume in the world. It is easily found in supermarkets. This banana is long yellow in shape and slightly sweet taste.
3. Ladyfinger bananas
This banana is small in size and smaller than other varieties. It also has a sweeter taste than the Cavendish.
4. Pisang Raja
This banana is popular in Indonesia and usually known as Musa belle Bananas. This variety of banana usually uses for banana fritters.
5. William banana
This banana has the same sweet taste as the Cavendish. It also has similar size.
6. Cooking banana
In some countries, cooking banana is roasted, steamed, fried, and many other recipes. For example in the Caribbean dessert which roasted banana combines with cake or ice cream.
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This yellow and green fruit is full of good nutrients for the body. Banana fruits compose of digestible and soft flesh made of simple sugar substances such as fructose and sucrose for instant energy revitalize.
Due to the quality, banana is used for supplement food for athletes and underweight children. This tropical fruit is also low in calorie for every 100 grams of fruit contains 90 calories. Moreover, banana contains a good amount of soluble dietary fiber which is powerful for reducing constipation problems.
This fruit is a good source of Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine which has an essential role in treating neuritis and anemia. Pyridoxine also helps decrease homocysteine which is the main factor of coronary artery disease and strokes.
Another vitamin contains in banana is vitamin C which helps increase body resistance against infectious agents and free radicals. The flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidant in banana helps fight oxygen-free radicals and reactive oxygen substances which is the main cause of premature aging and various diseases.
Fresh banana is rich in potassium which is good for body cell component and maintains body fluid which controls the blood pressure and against bad effects of sodium. Other minerals are copper, magnesium, and manganese which are good for the body health.
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Before growing bananas, there are some points that should be noted.
First, the right temperature; banana can take the extreme heat with plenty of water, but they do not like that kind of conditions.
They can also handle the cool weather but does not like it either.
Banana is suitable most for tropical and warm subtropical climate area. Growing banana means lots of water.
The big leaves evaporate a lot therefore banana needs high humidity. You can water the banana for two or three times for a day.
Banana needs very rich soil which means lots of compost and mulch. Then, when planting bananas you need more space since the plant will grow in huge and shady.