Why green apples are better than red?

Apples come in a variety of colors, but the most common are green and red. Many people prefer the sweet taste of red apples, but green apples actually have some advantages that make them the healthier choice.

Nutritional Differences

Green and red apples have subtle nutritional differences that give green apples the edge. Here is a comparison of some of the main nutrients found in a medium-sized green apple versus a medium-sized red apple:

Nutrient Green Apple Red Apple
Calories 77 95
Fiber 3.6g 3.3g
Vitamin C 9.8mg 8.4mg
Vitamin A 138IU 64IU
Potassium 195mg 195mg

As you can see, green apples have fewer calories and more fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A than red apples. The extra fiber and vitamins give green apples a slight nutritional advantage.


Along with vitamins, green apples also contain powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. Red apples contain some flavonoids as well, but green apples have a wider variety:

  • Quercetin – helps reduce inflammation and allergy symptoms
  • Catechin – helps protect cells from damage
  • Chlorogenic acid – helps lower blood sugar levels
  • Phloridzin – provides antibacterial and antifungal properties

These antioxidants give green apples extra health benefits not found in red apples. The mix of flavonoids is one reason green apples sometimes appear lighter in color than red apples.

Fiber Content

As shown in the nutrition comparison earlier, green apples contain more fiber than red apples. On average, a medium green apple provides about 4 grams of fiber, while a medium red apple provides about 3 grams.

The extra gram of fiber makes a difference. Fiber moves through the body undigested, helping promote fullness and regular bowel movements. It also feeds the good bacteria in your gut linked to health benefits like reduced inflammation and improved immunity.

Blood Sugar Control

The extra fiber is one reason green apples help stabilize blood sugar levels better than red apples. Foods high in fiber slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, preventing spikes and crashes in energy.

Green apples also rank lower on the glycemic index, which measures how foods affect blood sugar. Green apples score around 39, while red apples score around 44. The lower glycemic index indicates green apples do a better job controlling blood sugar.

Dental Health

Both red and green apples promote dental health since their crisp texture helps clean teeth. But green apples may have a slight advantage due to their higher vitamin C content.

Vitamin C keeps connective tissue in the gums healthy. It’s also needed for collagen production, which assists in wound healing in the mouth. The vitamin C in green apples helps protect against gum disease and other dental issues.

Help with Weight Loss

Green apples support weight loss efforts better than red apples. As mentioned earlier, green apples are lower in calories and higher in satiating fiber. This nutrient combo helps you feel fuller while consuming fewer calories.

In one study, women who ate three apples a day lost 1.22 kg over 12 weeks, while women who ate oat cookies instead gained 1.17 kg. Apples promoted weight loss, likely due to their fiber content and ability to satisfy hunger.

Skin Health

Both varieties of apples provide antioxidants that benefit skin health, but green apples have a couple advantages:

  • The antioxidant quercetin protects skin cells from damage and helps reduce inflammation.
  • The extra vitamin C in green apples supports collagen production for youthful, wrinkle-free skin.

Vitamin C also helps protect skin from sun damage, which can lead to discoloration and sagging over time. The vitamin C and antioxidants in green apples keep your complexion looking its best.

Taste Preferences

Ultimately taste is a personal factor when choosing between red and green apples. Some people prefer sweeter red apples like Fuji, Gala, or Red Delicious. Others like the balanced sweet-tart flavor of green apples like Granny Smith.

It may take some taste tests to determine your preference. Keep in mind green apples tend to be crisper, while red apples are generally softer. Green apples also hold their shape better when cooked or baked. Consider how you’ll be eating the apples to determine the best variety.

Cost Comparison

During peak season, red and green apples typically cost about the same per pound. But during the off season, green apples imported from New Zealand may be pricier than red apples stored from the fall harvest. Here are some average prices:

Apple Variety Peak Season Off Season
Gala (Red) $1.50/lb $1.99/lb
Fuji (Red) $1.50/lb $1.99/lb
Granny Smith (Green) $1.49/lb $2.49/lb

As you can see, green apples may cost up to $1 more per pound than red varieties in the off season. Consider pricing when shopping for apples out of season.

Pesticide Concerns

Many people choose organic apples to avoid pesticides. But research shows even conventional apples have low levels of pesticide residue compared to other produce.

The Environmental Working Group publishes an annual “Dirty Dozen” list ranking fruits and vegetables by pesticide contamination. In 2022, apples ranked number 12 for the produce containing the least pesticides.

So both conventional and organic apples are considered relatively low risk for pesticide exposure. Still, organic apples provide extra peace of mind for those concerned about chemicals.


Red and green apples are both widely available year-round. Red apples dominate fall harvests, but cold storage keeps them on shelves through spring.

Green apples are imported during the warmer months to continue supply. So both varieties can be found at any time of year, though the specific types may rotate.

Uses in Cooking and Baking

In cooking, green apples hold their shape better than red apples. Their crisp texture makes them ideal for baked goods like pies, tarts, muffins, and breads. Red apples work better in sauces, compotes, and other dishes where a softer fruit breaks down.

When baking, green apples add moisture without creating a mushy texture. Their tart flavor provides a nice contrast to sweeter ingredients like sugar or honey. Keep these qualities in mind when selecting apples for recipes.

Growing Conditions

Apples require a certain number of chill hours below 45°F during dormancy in winter. Red apple trees need around 800-1200 chill hours, while green apple trees need 1000 or more.

Green apple trees also have a longer ripening period in fall and different pollination needs. Talk to local growers or agriculture extension offices for tips on which apple tree types grow best in your area.

Storing Fresh Apples

With proper storage, fresh apples last 3-4 weeks in the fridge. To extend shelf life, store apples in a perforated plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge away from ethylene-producing fruits like bananas.

Green apples generally last a little longer than red apples in storage. Their denser flesh resists bruising and moisture loss better. But both types keep well with minimal storage guidelines.

Preventing Browning

Once cut, apples brown quickly when exposed to air. This browning is mostly superficial, but can be unappealing.

To slow browning while prepping apples, use a solution of 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts water. Slice apples into the solution as you work. The acid from lemon juice deactivates the enzyme responsible for browning.

Other anti-browning solutions include pineapple juice, orange juice, or commercial products like Fruit-Fresh®. Refrigerating cut apples also slows the browning process.


While both red and green apples have merits, green apples edge out red apples in a few key areas. Green apples are slightly healthier thanks to their higher antioxidant, fiber, and vitamin C content. They also promote better blood sugar control and have a crisp texture great for cooking.

Ultimately taste preferences should guide your apple choices. But if you want maximum nutrition from your apples, going green is the way to go. The old adage of “an apple a day” certainly applies – just consider making some of those apples green.

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