Let’s be real: Most of us *hate* banana strings. Like, really hate them. But maybe we should rethink these little nuisances, since apparently, they’re pretty good for us. The fruit threads are technically called phloem strings, and they’re packed with beneficial nutrients. Here’s the long and short of why you should consider leaving the strings on when you make smoothie recipes or banana bread.

What Are Phloem Bundles?

Do you have any recollection of snoozing through biology while your high school teacher droned on and on about xylem and phloem? Now that we’re a little older, we wish we’d payed closer attention… these tissues are actually pretty fascinating. Phloem is a complex tissue that transports nutrients through plants. The closest equivalent in humans might be veins, which are tasked with carrying the blood that brings nutrients to our cells. So phloem bundles are like plant veins? Well, yeah, kinda (though we don’t recommend drawing an EXACT comparison).

Why You Should Eat Banana Strings

So, for the purposes of this admittedly oversimplified article, we’ll answer the question of why on earth you should bother eating banana strings. Think about it this way: Nutrients are en route to all of your tasty banana’s cells when the banana is harvested. So these phloem strings probably pack a huge nutritional punch.

Of course, this is mainly just educated guesswork based on what we know phloem bundles to do. “Although we have not specifically tested phloem bundles, it is likely that there would be a difference in its nutritional value,” Dr. Nicholas D. Gillitt tells the Huffington Post. “They likely contain more and varied types of fiber and structural components required for their function. Because of this, they probably would have a different nutritional profile for humans.”

So, stop being afraid of banana strings. They taste just like the rest of the banana, minus the occasional stringiness. Throw your bananas in a smoothie and you’ll never even notice the difference.

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