Red Grapes vs Green Grapes: What is the Difference
The difference between green and red grapes is more than their color. They can differ in their taste and health benefits, too. Learn more about these differences so you will know which type of grape to include in your next trip to the grocery.
There are many varieties of grapes all around the world. While they may come in different colors, most people will only classify them into two. These are dark-colored varieties and light-colored varieties. Examples of dark-colored grapes are red, dark blue, black, and crimson or purple. Light-colored varieties are green, yellow, pink, and orange grapes. There are also grapes that have ‘white’ color. However, people still consider them as a member of the family of green grapes.
The difference in color is a function of plant pigments known as anthocyanins. These pigments give dark-colored grape varieties their characteristic red, black, deep blue, or purple color. The intensity of the pigmentation is dependent on the pH of the grape. Anthocyanins are the same compounds that give other fruits their dark color. Examples of these are raspberries, blueberries, black soybean, and black rice.
Green grapes do not have anthocyanins because of a mutation in one or two of their color genes. These mutations prevent the grape from producing anthocyanins. Hence, they have a lighter color.
At first glance, there are no obvious differences in the nutritional profile of red and green grapes. Both contain a good number of vitamins and minerals to go along with their low-calorie content. A cup of either green or red grapes will yield about 104 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrates. Green grapes contain slightly more dietary fiber than red grapes, 1.4 grams versus 1 gram.
Both are also excellent sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B6. They also have iron, copper, manganese, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
The main difference between red and green grapes in terms of nutrition is their antioxidants. In general, red grapes are richer in antioxidants than green or light-colored varieties.
We know that the dark color of red grapes is a function of anthocyanins. Green grapes do not have anthocyanins. However, the difference does not stop there. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants. They have anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. They can be very useful among persons who are at risk for oxidative stress.
Anthocyanins can help improve the health of the cardiovascular system. There are researches that show this plant pigment is important in improving the levels of good cholesterol. It can also help lower blood pressure, which is one of the major risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins can also help improve the metabolism of sugar. This can lower a person’s risk for diabetes.
There are also experimental studies highlighting the ability of anthocyanins in preventing the growth of tumor cells of the breast. While these are animal studies, the implications for human health are significant.
Not only are red grapes rich in anthocyanins. They are also rich in resveratrol. This is another phytochemical that has excellent antioxidant properties. It can help protect against prostate and colon cancer. Resveratrol can also reduce the risk of degenerative nerve disease, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Its antimicrobial properties can also help protect you against fungal and viral infections.
Resveratrol exerts its effects on angiotensin. This helps prevent blood pressure from increasing. This phytochemical also stimulates the production of nitric oxide. This substance promotes the relaxation of the blood vessels.
Green grapes also contain resveratrol. However, the amount is not as high as what you can get from red grapes.
Quercetin is another phytochemical that also contributes to the dark color of certain fruits like red grapes. It is an antioxidant that can provide the same benefits as anthocyanins and resveratrol.
This antioxidant can help reduce inflammatory responses. It can also protect the cells of the human body from mutation which can lead to the formation of cancerous cells. There are also research studies that point to the benefit of quercetin among people with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
Quercetin can also help fight bacteria that cause infections of the digestive system, the skin, the respiratory tract, and the urinary tract. It can also be beneficial against certain viruses. These can include Herpes Simplex Virus, Adenovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and Japanese Encephalitis Virus.
Red grapes contain quercetin. Green grapes may also contain it. However, the amount may be almost negligible.
These are also antioxidants that you can find in both red and green grapes. However, dark-colored grape varieties tend to have a higher concentration of catechins than light-colored varieties. Catechins are the same flavonoids that you can get from green tea.
These compounds can help improve the function of the brain. This can include memory, problem-solving, and learning. It can also help reduce inflammation of the brain cells, allowing them to perform at their optimal levels.
Grapes also contain other flavanols that can have antioxidant activities. These include syringetin, laricitrin, myricetin, kaempferol, and ellagic acid. You can find many of these compounds in red grapes and other dark-colored varieties of grapes. They are not found in white or green grape varieties. If ever there are, these are often in negligible amounts.
Ellagic acid is essential in lowering blood pressure. It also has antioxidant properties. Myricetin has almost the same antioxidant properties as quercetin. Laricitrin and syringetin are also phenolic compounds that can protect the body against oxidative stress.
In general, red grapes tend to have a sweeter flavor profile than green varieties. The pulp is sweet and juicy, although the skin can be harder than a green grape variety. This gives red grapes a more refreshing and more sensational bite.
Green grapes are sweet, too. However, they have a hint of bitterness to them that borders on a tarty punch. There are varieties of green grapes that are sweeter or sourer than other varieties.
Green and red grapes differ in color and taste. They also differ in the levels of antioxidants that they contain. Red grapes contain more antioxidants than green varieties, making them a healthier choice.