Banana vs Apple - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
Table of contents
Apples 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. Check the GI chart to find glycemic index values for more foods.
Apples have 41 calories per 100g, and bananas have 59 calories per 100g. Both can be considered low-calorie foods.
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 fiber it contains. Unripe bananas, similar to ripe, contain 23g of carbohydrates, but dietary fiber and sugars are different. In unripe bananas, 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.
Apples and bananas have similar amounts of dietary fiber. 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 fiber as the ripening level differs.
Apples have lower sugar amounts than bananas, as apples contain 10.4 g of sugar, whereas bananas contain 12.2g of sugar. As previously mentioned, as the ripening of the banana progresses, the number of sugar increases.
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 value, which is 56g on average for a sedentary person.
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.
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.
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.
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 anti-diabetic 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 number of absorbed sugars from the digestive tract and 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)
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. Also, they can be used to prepare different juices if you consider keeping a juice-fasting diet. (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)
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)
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.
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.
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in Sodium||Equal|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||3µg||3µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|