Orange vs. Banana — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Bananas and oranges have very different nutritional profiles. In small amounts, bananas contain more protein, calories, and fats, whereas oranges are higher in vitamins. Bananas contain two times more carbohydrates and Potassium. Generally, oranges are more affluent in some vitamins, containing higher Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin E, and folate levels. Bananas, on the other hand, are richer in sugar.
Table of contents
Bananas and oranges are the most used fruits in daily life. Although these two products are different in appearance and taste, they still have certain similarities. To understand that, we should look at each of them individually.
Nevertheless, bananas and oranges are incredibly healthy and delicious. Bananas grow in tropical climates. The plants look like trees but are giant herbs related to lilies. Oranges grow in subtropical and tropical climates; plants look like trees․
Bananas (Musa acuminate) belong to the Musa genus; therefore, they are known as fruits and vegetables . Oranges (Citrus X Sinensis) belong to the Citrus genus; it is the fruit of various citrus species . There are hundreds of different types of these fruits.
The most well-known orange species are Navel Orange and Blood Orange. Navel oranges are the most popular kinds of oranges. You can use navel oranges in salads, lemonades, etc. Blood oranges are sweeter than other oranges. Their juice is delicious, but it is sweeter than classic orange juice .
The most well-known banana species are Cavendish Bananas and Lady’s Finger Bananas. Cavendish bananas are the most common variety. They are the long, yellow, slightly sweet bananas at supermarkets around the world. Lady’s Finger bananas are smaller and sweeter than the other types of this fruit. They can be used similarly but make particularly portion-controlled snacks, especially for kids .
As shown in the chart below, banana is lower in water than orange. Bananas are significantly richer in carbs. Please read the more detailed information in the corresponding sections.
Overall, bananas contain more calories due to their higher carbohydrate content; each 100g of banana has about 89 calories, while orange contains 47 calories and almost no fat.
The amount of food energy in each banana is 371 KJ per 100g, while in each orange is 197 KJ per 100g.
Next, let’s take a look at vitamin density. Bananas and oranges contain different vitamins in different amounts and have very little in common.
Bananas are richer in vitamin B2, B3, B5. The amount of vitamin B6 in bananas is five times more than in oranges. Bananas also contain a low level of Vitamin K.
At the same time, oranges have more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Oranges are also rich in vitamins A and E.
Both fruits have no vitamin D, Vitamins B12 and B9 .
Overall, bananas are rich in minerals, containing more Potassium, Manganese, and Selenium . These two fruits contain a similar level of Iron and Zinc. Studies show that each orange contains eight times more Calcium than bananas .
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps muscle and nerve cells to respond. It reduces the risk of kidney stones. Bananas are richer in Potassium. One medium-sized banana contains almost two times more Potassium: 422 mg; meanwhile, oranges contain 237 mg of this mineral.
Banana is 2 times richer in carbs than orange. It contains 22.8g of carbohydrates per 100g, while orange has only 11.8g. The fiber content is nearly the same: 2.5g per 100g.
Now let’s look at the total amount of sugars, including glucose, fructose, and galactose. Bananas contain a little more sugar than oranges. Each banana contains 12.23g of sugar per 100 g, while oranges contain 9.35g per 100 g .
The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels . The glycemic value of oranges is 43. Banana has a higher glycemic index; it is about 51. Find more information about the GI values of other foods on our glycemic index chart page.
Depending on growing conditions, the acidity of fruits can change. On average, oranges have a pH of between 3 and 4.
The acidity of oranges depends on the region in which they are grown ․ The acidity of foods can also be portrayed by the potential renal acid load (PRAL), which shows the acid production of the food inside the organism. Bananas have a pH of about 5, making them a mildly acidic food; however, orange’s acidity is higher .
Bananas and oranges are both used in different diets. They both are middle calories fruits but hold fewer proteins and no fat. Although eating bananas can’t directly lead to weight loss, in this case, some of the components of these fruits can help reduce bloating and replace processed sugars.
As mentioned before, oranges contain a high amount of vitamin C, reducing inflammation and working against disease. Besides, orange contains fewer calories than what your body requires to burn it. That means you burn more than you eat, which helps you with weight loss .
The nutrients and phytochemicals found in these fruits deliver many preventative health benefits. However, they differ in the chemicals and effects they provide.
These fruits are rich in potassium and other electrolytes, which are important for the regulation of the heartbeat, especially for people with arrhythmias and heart failure .
According to this study, long-term use of oranges may reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure due to the hesperidin contained in them. Oranges also may improve blood lipid profile by increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the blood [12,13,14].
Banana consumption in pregnant women may decrease blood pressure. Still, it should be noted that norepinephrine and dopamine, which are present in the ripe peel and pulp of bananas, may elevate blood pressure [15,16]. To fully understand this result, more research is necessary.
Carotenoids are plant pigments. People who eat foods containing carotenoids get protective health benefits as well . Carotenoids can also act as antioxidants in the human body. In general, like every citrus fruit, oranges may have a role in preventing certain cancers. Oranges contain colored and colorless carotenes, such as phytoene and phytofluene, and different groups of xanthophylls, such as monohydroxy carotenoids. Carotenoids of citrus fruits have been associated with a decreased risk of cancers, specifically in the digestive and upper respiratory tract .
Some studies suggest that the role of bananas in the fight against cancer has not been established, and some studies emphasize the positive effects of bananas. Nevertheless, a Swedish study found that women who ate four to six bananas a week cut in half their risk of developing kidney cancer.
Bananas may help prevent kidney cancer because of their high levels of antioxidant phenolic compounds .
Good eye health
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, it is time to make some changes. “A banana a day may keep blindness away” . Both fruits are good for eye health. According to previous research, oranges and bananas are rich in carotenoids. The Vitamin A present in these fruits plays an important role in keeping the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy.
Unripe bananas contain some nutrients that may be beneficial for digestive health. The first one is resistant starch - a type of fiber that is not absorbed into the blood and is used by microbes living in the large intestine. The second one is pectin - it can promote bowel movements and soften stools.
Downsides and Risks
Both bananas and oranges can cause an allergic reaction․
People who are sensitive to latex are more likely to have an allergic reaction to bananas. Citrus fruits, including oranges, do not commonly cause allergic reactions. The symptoms are usually mild and involve irritation and itching of the mouth  .
Other side effects
Both fruits are likely safe in the amounts typically eaten as food. Side effects of bananas and oranges are rare but may include bloating, diarrhea, gas, softer stools, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and insomnia .
- Glycemic index for 60+ foods
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||11µg||3µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Orange - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169097/nutrients
- 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.