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Apple vs Banana - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Apple
vs
Banana

Summary

Apples have a lower glycemic index and are lower in calories, carbohydrates, total sugars, and richer in vitamin K. On the other hand, bananas are richer in potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins C, B6, A, and folate. They have similar amounts of dietary fibers.

Introduction

Apples have originated in central Asia, and from there, it has spread throughout the whole world. There are 7500 types of apples, and different apples are cultivated for different purposes. Apples can be used for cooking, consuming raw, making compote, apple cider vinegar, and the apple cider alcoholic beverage. The most famous type of apple is the "red delicious," which is full-flavored and sweet. It is usually consumed as a fruit. The "granny smith" apple is a tart tasted apple with various usages, such as making cider but can also be eaten as a fruit.

Bananas, on the other hand, are considered one of the most harvested fruits worldwide.

Indigenous to India and Southeast Asia, however nowadays, it is cultivated all over the world. Compared to apples, it has a shorter shelf life, approximately 5 days, and after that, it will start to overripe.

Bananas can be used in various ways; they can be consumed raw, made into smoothies, and even used as an ingredient for baking.

Bananas that are cultivated today are different from wild-type bananas. Wild bananas were much smaller in size and contained seeds in them. In the early centuries, wild-type bananas were modified and made into the current day domesticated bananas.

In this article, we will be comparing the nutritional content of apples and bananas, the vitamin and mineral content, health impacts, and the variety of uses.

Nutritional content comparison

Apples and bananas are considered low glycemic index foods. The glycemic index of apples is 38, and for bananas, the glycemic index is 51, thus making the glycemic index of apples lower than that of bananas.

Calories

Apples have 41 calories per 100g, and bananas have 59 calories per 100g. Both can be considered low-caloric foods.

Carbohydrates

Apples contain 13.81g of carbohydrates which are distributed among sugars, carbohydrate vitamins, and dietary fibers. While on the other hand, bananas contain 23g of carbohydrates distributed among sugars, dietary fibers, and vitamins. However, an interesting aspect is a direct correlation between the ripening of the banana and the amounts of sugar and dietary fibers it contains. Unripe bananas, similar to ripe, contain 23g of carbohydrates, but dietary fiber and sugars are different. In unripe bananas, the carbohydrates are resistant to absorption, also known as resistant starch, thus acting as dietary fibers. On the other hand, ripe bananas have transformed this starch into sugars, increasing sugar in ripe bananas.

Dietary fibers

Apples and bananas have similar amounts of dietary fibers. For apples, the fiber content is 2.4g, while for bananas, the fiber content is 2.6g. However, as previously mentioned, the fiber distribution in bananas contains different amounts of dietary fibers as the ripening level differs.

Sugars

Apples have lower sugar amounts than bananas, as apple contain10.4g of sugars, whereas bananas contain 12.2g of sugars. As previously mentioned, as the ripening of the banana progresses, the number of sugar increases.

Protein

Bananas have higher proteins than apples since bananas contain 1.09g of proteins and apples contain 0.26g. These amounts are negligible relative to the daily recommended values, which is 56g by average for a sedentary person.

Fat

The content of fat for both fruits is negligible.

Vitamin content comparison

The main vitamin composition of bananas per 100g is as following:

  • Vitamin C: 8.7mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.367mg
  • Vitamin A: 64IU
  • Folate: 20mcg

The main vitamin composition of apples per 100g is as follows:

  • Vitamin C: 4.6mg
  • Vitamin K: 2.2mcg
  • Vitamin A: 54IU

As observed above, bananas contain higher amounts of vitamin C and A, common between them. Additionally, bananas contain vitamin B6 and folate. On the other hand, apples are richer in vitamin K.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Apple
2
:
8
Banana
Contains more Vitamin E +80%
Contains more Vitamin K +340%
Contains more Vitamin A +18.5%
Contains more Vitamin C +89.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +82.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +180.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +630.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +447.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +795.1%
Contains more Folate +566.7%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 4% 0% 16% 5% 6% 2% 4% 10% 3% 0% 6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 2% 0% 29% 8% 17% 13% 21% 85% 15% 0% 2%
Contains more Vitamin E +80%
Contains more Vitamin K +340%
Contains more Vitamin A +18.5%
Contains more Vitamin C +89.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +82.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +180.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +630.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +447.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +795.1%
Contains more Folate +566.7%

Mineral content comparison

Apples don't have a remarkable mineral profile. All the minerals present in it are at trace levels.

On the other hand, bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Apple
1
:
6
Banana
Contains more Calcium +20%
Contains more Iron +116.7%
Contains more Magnesium +440%
Contains more Phosphorus +100%
Contains more Potassium +234.6%
Contains more Zinc +275%
Contains more Copper +188.9%
Equal in Sodium - 1
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 2% 5% 4% 5% 10% 1% 2% 9%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 2% 10% 20% 10% 32% 1% 5% 27%
Contains more Calcium +20%
Contains more Iron +116.7%
Contains more Magnesium +440%
Contains more Phosphorus +100%
Contains more Potassium +234.6%
Contains more Zinc +275%
Contains more Copper +188.9%
Equal in Sodium - 1

Potassium

The daily recommended value of potassium is between 3500mg and 4700mg per day. 100g of bananas contain 360mg of potassium on average, making it one of the top foods containing potassium. On the other hand, apples contain 107mg of potassium per 100g. Relative to the daily recommended value, this amount is negligible.

Health impacts

Apple consumption has been related to lowering the risk of mortality due to cancer. In contrast, bananas are related to lowering mortality rates due to cardiovascular diseases. (1)

Apples have multiple protective roles, which are: (2) (3)

  • Anti-cancer, highly protective against breast, colorectal, and lung cancer (among others).
  • Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic; consumption of apples reduces the risk of developing diabetes and obesity
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Increased cognitive performance in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Increased ventilatory performance in patients diagnosed with asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease.

Bananas have antidiabetic properties. An enzyme in the digestive system breaks down big chain sugars into smaller sugar molecules to absorb them. Bananas contain enzymes that prevent this, thus reducing the amount of absorbed sugars from the digestive tract, keeping the sugar levels in check. (4)

Lectins are active proteins in bananas that act on cancer cells and suppress cell proliferation (multiplication). This, in turn, reduces cancer propagation and metastasis. (5)

Weight loss

Apples are considered an essential food during weight loss and diets. This is because apples have a low energy level and are rich in dietary fibers, which helps maintain a negative caloric balance and weight loss. (3)

A reduction of body weight was observed, mostly in patients with diabetes, while consuming bananas, specifically bananas on the unripe spectrum of bananas. This is primarily due to feeling full-on resistant starch. (6)

Drug interaction

It is recommended to reduce the consumption of apples, mostly apple juice, while taking anticoagulant drugs, specifical warfarin. Due to the interaction of warfarin and the flavonoids of apples. (7)

In the case of bananas, it is recommended to avoid them while taking MAOI drugs (Generic names of MAOI drugs; Emsam, Marplan, Nardil, Parnate), which are a specific type of antidepressants. The side effect of the interaction of MAOI drugs and bananas can cause hypertensive crises in some patients. (8)

Variations

Apples are also consumed as apple juice; however, the sugar concentration of apple juice with the cutting down some dietary fibers does not put apple juice on the same level of health advantages as raw apples. As the peel and pulp of apples are thrown away while making apple juice, most nutritional values are lost due to this processing.

On the other hand, bananas are also consumed as smoothies, usually mixed with various other ingredients that could be milk, sugar, or other fruits. This causes a change in the macronutrient and micronutrient profiles of bananas.

Breakfast

Apples are highly recommended to be consumed in the morning with breakfast. It offers a balanced nutritional profile that provides dietary fibers.

While bananas are not recommended to be consumed at breakfast, since it is usually higher in sugars than apples, as it offers an energy boost initially, but is followed by a crash period after a couple of hours is usually expected.

In some individuals who suffer from acid reflux, consuming a banana on an empty stomach for breakfast usually worsens the reflux symptoms.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26787402/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225682/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183591/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24752944/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6272006/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898027/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777580/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191675/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Apple vs Banana infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Apple Banana
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Apple Banana Opinion
Net carbs 11.41g 20.24g Banana
Protein 0.26g 1.09g Banana
Fats 0.17g 0.33g Banana
Carbs 13.81g 22.84g Banana
Calories 52kcal 89kcal Banana
Starch 0.05g 5.38g Banana
Fructose 5.9g 4.85g Apple
Sugar 10.39g 12.23g Apple
Fiber 2.4g 2.6g Banana
Calcium 6mg 5mg Apple
Iron 0.12mg 0.26mg Banana
Magnesium 5mg 27mg Banana
Phosphorus 11mg 22mg Banana
Potassium 107mg 358mg Banana
Sodium 1mg 1mg
Zinc 0.04mg 0.15mg Banana
Copper 0.027mg 0.078mg Banana
Vitamin A 54IU 64IU Banana
Vitamin E 0.18mg 0.1mg Apple
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 4.6mg 8.7mg Banana
Vitamin B1 0.017mg 0.031mg Banana
Vitamin B2 0.026mg 0.073mg Banana
Vitamin B3 0.091mg 0.665mg Banana
Vitamin B5 0.061mg 0.334mg Banana
Vitamin B6 0.041mg 0.367mg Banana
Folate 3µg 20µg Banana
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 2.2µg 0.5µg Apple
Tryptophan 0.001mg 0.009mg Banana
Threonine 0.006mg 0.028mg Banana
Isoleucine 0.006mg 0.028mg Banana
Leucine 0.013mg 0.068mg Banana
Lysine 0.012mg 0.05mg Banana
Methionine 0.001mg 0.008mg Banana
Phenylalanine 0.006mg 0.049mg Banana
Valine 0.012mg 0.047mg Banana
Histidine 0.005mg 0.077mg Banana
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.028g 0.112g Apple
Monounsaturated Fat 0.007g 0.032g Banana
Polyunsaturated fat 0.051g 0.073g Banana

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Apple Banana
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
5
Apple
16
Banana
Mineral Summary Score
4
Apple
13
Banana

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
2%
Apple
7%
Banana
Carbohydrates
14%
Apple
23%
Banana
Fats
1%
Apple
2%
Banana

Comparison summary

Which food is richer in minerals?
Banana
Banana is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is cheaper?
Banana
Banana is cheaper (difference - $0.3)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Banana
Banana is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Apple
Apple is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.84g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Apple
Apple is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.084g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Apple
Apple is lower in glycemic index (difference - 12)
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (1 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Apple - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171688/nutrients
  2. Banana - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173944/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.