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Green vs Yellow bananas – Which ones should you eat?



Wonderfully sweet with firm and creamy flesh, bananas come prepackaged in their own green/yellow jackets and are available for harvest throughout the year.

People are always going bananas over whether green or yellow bananas are better.  I’ve listed pros and cons of both so that you can decide which ones are better for you.

  • Pros: Green bananas is the high resistant starch content.  If you are trying to avoid food with high sugar content, green bananas are better than yellow ripe bananas.  If you are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes you can eat unripe bananas. Unripe bananas also have pro-biotic bacteria, a friendly bacterium that helps with good colon health.  In addition, green bananas have high nutrient absorption rate, especially calcium.
  • Cons: Because antioxidant levels actually increase as a banana ages, unripe bananas are lower in this category.  Also green bananas may cause some bloating and gas due to the higher resistant starch content.


  • ProsYellow bananas are easier to digest because the resistant starch changes to simple sugar as banana ripens.  The higher glycemic index of ripe bananas shows that they are digested quickly.  Yellow bananas also have higher levels of antioxidants. One interesting fact about fully ripened bananas is that they produce a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor).  This means that ripe bananas have anti-cancer qualities as they combat abnormal cells.  The more dark patches a banana has, the higher its immunity enhancement quality will be.
  • ConsStudies show that there is some micro-nutrient loss that happens as a banana ripens.  To lessen the amount of vitamins and minerals lost, its better to store and ripen bananas in the refrigerator.   Because of high sugar content Type 2 Diabetics should avoid them.

The Verdict: There are benefits on both sides.  You could eat green bananas or yellow bananas and get the benefits of either one.  The only difference is that for Type 2 Diabetics and anyone trying to avoid excess sugar, yellow bananas should be avoided.

If you are working on losing weight or building lean muscle then you should stick with green bananas. Yellow bananas make a great pre-workout and post-workout food, while green bananas can be consumed at other times.

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