Unripe vs. Ripe bananas: Which to Choose?

Normally we choose bananas simply on the basis of their look to us. If they appear ‘pretty’ enough, we put them into our shopping bag. As bananas are very popular among all kinds of people, especially dieters, parents of young kids, students and office workers because they are tasty, filling, highly nutritious and easy to get, carry around and eat.

Image Credit: Asociación de Productores y Exportadores de Nicaragua

But one often evaluates bananas’ quality based on their color that, in turn, signifies whether they are ripe or unripe, and often the choice falls on ripe ones as they seem to be more ‘ready’ to go with. However, both ripe and unripe bananas have their advantages and disadvantages, and it may be important for some to know those when they are considering which of the two bunches to pick.

Ripe bananas


Ripe bananas gave bright yellow color (and darken as they become overripe) and are easier to digest, as resistant starch in them converts into sugar, resulting into high glycemic index. Also, ripening goes together with rising antioxidants level. Altogether, these bananas are very much likely to provide immunity boost due to the amount of nutrients and other elements it gains with the ripening process.


However, late stages of ripening naturally lead to loss of some useful nutrients in the fruit. Also, high sugar levels make such bananas undesirable for people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.

Unripe bananas


Still, unripe bananas also possess some significant properties that make them extremely beneficial for one’s health. Firstly, they have high resistant starch levels, thus being perfectly fit for diabetics. Secondly, they are quite rich with pro-biotic bacteria, positively influencing our digestive system’s work by adding to colon’s natural environment. Last but not least, nutrients can be absorbed better by our bodies with help of green bananas.


At the same time, unripe bananas’ high resistant starch levels are known to cause gas and bloating in some cases. Also, they have not that high level of antioxidants, so, if one is interested in this particular factor, yellow banana is the way to go with.

So, there are no any essential restrictions regarding this or that type of bananas, except for sugar level diabetics should take into consideration. But there is also the point after which bananas become overripe. These are of no any benefits to a person, so it is necessary to not let them spoil. For that reason, ripe bananas are recommended to be stored in a fridge to prevent loss of useful elements, and fruit with brown patches is better to be eaten as soon as possible.

Moreover, despite all the pros and cons that have been introduced here, there is always some kind of an interim state in bananas’ ripening process. Remember that fruit that doesn’t seem neither that green, not that yellow?

While there is no solid scientific proof to this, but we can still suppose that such bananas can give us at least some of the benefits of either ripe or unripe kind that are listed above.


STUDIES ON THE BANANA.-I. – Journal of Biological Chenistry

Comparative Study of Ripe and Unripe Banana Flour during StorageJournal of Food Processing & Technology

Green Bananas: Good or Bad? – Healthline.com


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