Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
Buy the #EatForThePlanet book



Ripe vs. Unripe Bananas: Which are Better for You?


When it comes to bananas many of us go well … literally “banana’s” for them; after all, they are the nation’s favorite fruit and the original 100-calorie snack! Sometimes we often look at fruit and think “oh, it’s far too ripe” or “oh dang, that fruit is too green!” which is a shame because quite often different stages of a fruits maturity have different benefits.




  • Benefits: One benefit of green bananas is the high resistant starch content. For anyone trying to avoid food with high sugar content, green bananas are an option whereas yellow bananas are not. So those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes can eat the unripe fruit while maybe ripened bananas are not as compatible. Unripe bananas also have probiotic bacteria, a friendly bacterium that helps with good colon health. In addition, green bananas also help you absorb nutrients better, particularly calcium.
  • Drawbacks: Because antioxidant levels actually INCREASE as bananas age, unripe bananas are lower in this category.  Also green bananas may cause some bloating and gas due to the higher resistant starch content.


  • Benefits: Because the resistant starch changes to simple sugar when a banana ripens, yellow bananas are easier to digest.  The higher glycemic index of ripe bananas shows that they are digested quickly. Bananas also have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen.
  • Drawbacks: Studies show that there is some micronutrient loss that happens as a banana ripens. To lessen the number of vitamins and minerals lost, it’s better to store and ripen bananas in the refrigerator.  Also, the high sugar content makes ripe bananas something Type 2 Diabetics should avoid.

The Bottom Line: There are benefits on both sides.  You could eat unripened bananas or ripened bananas and get the benefits of either one.  The only difference is that for Type 2 Diabetics and anyone trying to avoid excess sugar.

Recommendation: Download the Food Monster AppBreakfast Banana Split

If you enjoy articles like this and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

Lead image source: Ian Ransley/Flick

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

15 Ginger-Based Recipes That Are Great for Cold and Flu Season

Food Labels 101: Top 10 Ingredients You Need to Know About For Optimal Health

Boost Your Immune System With These 12 Amazing Garlic Supplements

Breaking Down the Ketogenic Diet for Plant-Based Dieters

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

15 comments on “Ripe vs. Unripe Bananas: Which are Better for You?”

Click to add comment
9 Months Ago

Thanks for the clarification between green and yellow bananas.
Note to author and proofreader: "its" is possessive; "it\'s" is a contraction of "it is"
(e.g., "it\'s better to store and ripen bananas..."; not "its better to ....").

11 Months Ago

Google Very handful of internet websites that come about to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out.

11 Months Ago

Google Here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to since we believe they may be worth visiting.

1 Years Ago

It should also be noted that the possibility of bloating and gas can be avoided by starting with a smaller amount of Green Banana initially. If you get gas and bloating from a whole Green Banana, then cut back to 1/2 to start with (or ones that are not so green, which will have more sugar and less of the Resistant Starch). As the good bacteria within your microbiome increase, they will be able to consume more of the Resistant Starch. So, as the "good" bacteria increase within your system you will find that any gas or bloating you initially experienced will go away, and you can increase the amount of Green Banana you can eat, and feed the "good" bacteria with.

One article I came across mentioned that there is no need to eat more than 2 Green Bananas a day, as no additional benefit has been found (no increase in "good" bacteria) by ingesting more than that. So, after the initial acclimation period of a week or two, allowing for the increase in "good" bacteria to digest the Resistant Starch, 1 or 2 Green Bananas a day should be able to be eaten with no problems at all, and with great benefit to your GI tract. (it took me less than a week to adjust to 2 Green Bananas a day, which my tummy is very happy with these days).

1 Years Ago

Apparently you\'ve misunderstood something you read somewhere along the line about Green Bananas. Green Bananas do not contain Probiotic bacteria. Green Bananas contain Resistant Starch, which is a Prebiotic.

Prebiotic\'s are what feeds the "good" and "friendly" (Probiotic) bacteria that lives within your GI tract. Because the Resistant Starch is not digested or absorbed within the small intestine, it makes it through to the large intestine where it then feeds the "good" (Probiotic) bacteria.

You need to understand the difference between Prebiotic and Probiotic. Bananas do NOT contain Probiotic bacteria. They contain Resistant Starch, which is a Prebiotic which the good bacteria (Probiotics) feed on and need to flourish and grow.


You may want to consider updating your article...

Dude who doesn\'t like bullshit
1 Years Ago

Can we have some sources for this, my bullshit alarm is wailing like a motherfucker.

1 Years Ago

In case you need to know if your banana is ready: https://nixsensor.com/?ref=3

Chris Walshe
2 Years Ago

Congratulations on the grammar elucidation . Unhappily for every corrected grammatical idiocy , a thousand ( or ten thousand ) go through unchallenged. Couple that with opinions expressed on matters politic , and my personal take is - I\'ve lived too long . Keith Richard had it correct at the week-end .He goes into a restaurant . an adjoining table has ten people ( at least half of them are on the phone . What is that about ?

Millenials, \'phones, Trump - I\'m checking out . Come Friendly Bombs - as Betjeman said !

2 Years Ago

I like bananas with a little bit of dark spots on them. But I\'m not in agreement with most people on that. I came across this interesting poll. It polls people on what banana type they like best: http://www.wordbloopers.com/banana-poll/

13 Mar 2017

Im Trang, i already read your cmmt. I want to know more that the difference between banana seed green and ripening. Could you tell me more information about it if you know. Thanks you so much !

3 Years Ago

"Bananas" does not need an apostrophe.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×