If You Ever Noticed Stringy Looking Things On A Banana, Here’s What They Are Used For

Updated June 26, 2017

If you are like a lot of athletic, active people, you probably swear by bananas as the go to snack during a workout or strenuous activity. If so, congratulations on making a great nutritional choice. Bananas are well known to be extremely high in potassium and other nutrients. In fact, according to one Dole Nutrition Institute scientist, the banana may only have one drawback: the pesky “strings.” Turns out, they are pretty important.

If you have ever bitten into a banana chances are you have experienced what Dr Nicholas D. Gillitt calls banana strings. They are the slightly fibrous part of the plant that sometimes is a little harder to chew than the rest of the banana.

The strings actually have a proper name: Phloem bundles.

Dr. Gillitt says that “Phloem bundles are necessary for the adequate disposition of nutrients throughout the plant.”

He is the vice president of nutrition research at the Dole Nutrition Institute, so he should know. Dr. Gillitt says that these strands are found in all plants. In bananas, they are actually the highest source of fibre as well.

Did you know that bananas are actually a type of herb and not a fruit at all? It is true!

This shocking news of the importance of phloem bundles in our bananas was broken by the British online tabloid Daily Mail. It has generated more reader commentary than you might expect, with people saying things like:

“I don’t know how humanity would make it without such insightful articles as this.”- Ted Jones

“We always refer to these as the bones of the banana. It’s really important to remove banana bones before you eat one; getting one of those stuck in your throat halfway through a banana is to be avoided.”- Minoltaman

“My whole life I just ate the the phloem bundles & threw the rest away, thanks DM good info.”- Sultan of Swing

“Genuinely never in my life wondered about what they were. Please don’t start genetically modifying our fruit for the sake of this! Let’s keep our food as natural as possible. We’re not American!”- Glasgow

“Wow, so Bananas are formed for a purpose other than human consumption. It is almost as if they were once part of a complex living organism, and formed according to biological processes.”- Wibble 123

“Another one of life’s great mysteries solved.”- Sarcasm Personified

“It bothers me that this has never bothered me and now that I know it is bothersome it bothers me.”- Baffometus

A long time ago women ate bananas with a fork on plate…not to confuse any body of practicing for something else.”- Fido

“why can’t they be more considerate and think about the end user?”EveM24

“Ah the wonderful banana. Treasure these wonderful fruits as they will soon be a thing of the past now that your Brexiters have had your way! “- Tobias Mcliberal

“Wow can’t wait to get down to the pub tonight to impress my mates with this info.”- Young Tone

What kind of snack do you reach for when you are working out? Do bananas make you happy? Please share your thoughts with us here.