Do You Know the Real Difference Between Red and Green Peppers?

March 14, 2016 | Reece Alvarez

Red, green, and yellow bell peppers
Photo credit: KT Ng/

Bell peppers vary in more than just color, with each providing varying levels of nutrition.

What’s the difference between red and green bell peppers? Quite a bit actually!

For starters, all the colors come from the same plant — a red bell pepper is the mature version of a green bell, and orange and yellow versions fall in between.

But it is not color alone that separates these peppers — as they age, their nutritional qualities and flavor characteristics change as well.

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For example, red peppers contain nine times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers and twice the amount of vitamin C, but a serving of green peppers still provides over 200 percent of your suggested daily intake of Vitamin C.

In fact, all bell peppers contain high amounts of vitamin C and are among the best sources of the important vitamin, according to the University of the District of Columbia’s Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health.

According to the university, vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is needed for growth and repair of body tissue. Vitamin C helps to form collagen, a protein used to make skin, scar tissue, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also needed for cartilage, bones, teeth and healing wounds.

In addition to being a good source of antioxidants and fiber, peppers also contain vitamin A and cancer-fighting beta-carotene, but the amount contained in each pepper varies greatly depending on color. In both cases, red peppers contain far more beta-carotene and vitamin A than green peppers and even more than yellow peppers — making them the unofficial champion in the bell pepper color spectrum.

In addition to their high nutritional value, red peppers are known to be sweeter because of their ripeness. This explains why they are often more expensive than green peppers in the grocery store, which take the least amount of time to produce and are thus cheaper.

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