Bananas are one of the highly consumed food items in the world. Typically, bananas are known for their health benefits and sweet, pulpy taste. If you also love this fruit, you may sometimes wonder if bananas have seeds. Just like other fruits, they tend to have seeds. In this article, you’ll learn more about banana seeds and their role in improving your health.
Do Bananas Have Seeds?
Contrary to common beliefs, bananas have seeds. When you slice them into thin pieces, you’ll notice the black seeds at the center. The seeds will be bigger in wild bananas.
Some seeds are so large that it makes chewing the flesh tougher. The commercially available bananas are nowhere close to that size, but the seeds exist nonetheless.
Why Wild Bananas Have Seeds But Not Commercial Ones?
You might be wondering why wild bananas have more and larger seeds than commercially-grown ones.
The reason for the difference is in breeding style. In the wild, seeds are necessary for the reproduction of the plants. Hence, the seeds tend to be larger and more effective.
But the commercially-grown bananas are bred genetically and not from seeds. More specifically, they’re grown from pups. The mature banana plants produce something called rhizomes. And these later grow into little plants, which are also called pups. The pups are removed and planted elsewhere, from which the banana plants grow.
The mutations made the cultivators realize that seeds aren’t necessary to grow bananas. Moreover, those cultivated without seeds are softer, juicier, sweeter, and tend to sell more. Seedless bananas also have a longer shelf life than seeded bananas. So farmers opted for the ones where there are no seeds.
Wild bananas grow primarily in the Kalimantan Island region or the Indo-Malaysia region, which is in Indonesia. Bananas found in the wild are called plantains. The ones you get at home are called “dessert bananas.”
Are Banana Seeds Edible?
As and when you come across a wild banana with seeds, you may wonder if you can consume it safely. The answer to your curiosity is yes. You can eat the wild banana that has seeds since they aren’t poisonous. You can consume both ripe and unripe variants.
But they aren’t consumed like a seedless banana. People in Indonesia and Southeast Asia slice the banana thin and remove the seeds instead. They then put the slices in a salad and consume it.
So, the seed is removed either way. But you can always consume the seeds nevertheless.
Expect a somewhat bland and bitter taste with little to no sweetness. But some varieties, depending on the season and location, can taste quite delicious.
A particular variety, known as “Baby banana,” is a must-have if you want to eat banana seeds. They are native to Costa Rica and grow in the wilds. If you come across them, you can eat the seeds and savor on the sweet flesh.
But generally speaking, you shouldn’t consume wild bananas. They might be exposed to any virus, pesticide, or bacteria. A disease called “Panama Disease” is common among wild bananas. These can react negatively inside of your body and develop complications.
Where Can You Buy Seeded Bananas?
You can get seeded bananas at some retail stores. But expect to do some research. Not all stores will carry seeded bananas. Depending on the season and any special offer, they may store seeded bananas. You can check online for seeded bananas.
Stores that keep a stock of these bananas advertise them online. Your final resort is to check online for availability. If not, then perhaps seeded bananas aren’t available in your area.
Can You Grow Seeded Bananas?
You can grow wild bananas at your home, which would produce the seeded bananas. For these, you’d have to gather the seeds that would germinate into banana plants. Find the seeds first. Some nurseries carry them. So, you need to contact a few nurseries and check if they’re stocking the seeds.
When the seeds germinate, they will take a few months before they bear the fruits. The banana thus produced will contain the seeds. Depending on the banana species, the size can be small, medium, or large. To get the largest size seeds, you need to talk with the nursery worker accordingly. Also, bear in mind that the seeded banana will be unlike the bananas you get at home. So be well-prepared for the change.
So to answer your question, if bananas have seeds, they do. But, the ones you consume are genetically modified to have smaller ones. It’s only in the wild bananas can you find medium-sized and large-sized seeds.
Featured Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels