Grapes are a nutritious and satisfying snack food. When it comes time to choose between red grapes or white grapes, which is healthier?
Fruits are an important part of any healthy diet and with so many varieties to choose from, there’s little risk of boredom. One type of refreshing and satisfying summertime fruit is grapes. Grapes are a fruit that most people enjoy, particularly kids, and they’re a great way to add vitamins and antioxidants to their diet. They provide enough sweet taste to substitute for a decadent dessert and can be great between meal pick-me-ups. There are a variety of types of grapes at most supermarkets with the two main oness being red grapes or white grapes, which are actually green in color. You can also find blue or black grapes which have similar health benefits to red grapes. Some people prefer the taste of one type of grape over the other – but, if you’re looking for the most benefits from a health standpoint, which is healthier red grapes or white ones?
Red or White Grapes – What’s the Difference?
One of the main ways red grapes differ from their white (or green) counterparts is the presence of phenolic compounds known as anthocyanins in their skins which give grapes their characteristic red to almost black color. These anthocyanins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are being studied for their ability to counteract the oxidative damage that results in brain aging. They also appear to have anti-cancer properties in animals. What about white or green grapes? White grapes lack the anthocyanins found in grapes due to mutations that shut off the production of anthyocyanins.
Red or White Grapes – Does Red Win Out?
When it comes to the selection of red grapes or white grapes, it’s disappointing that white grapes lack the anthocyanins which play such an important role in health, but white grapes have phenolic compounds of their own known as flavan-3-ols which are also antioxidants. All in all when it comes to red grapes or white grapes in terms of phenolic compounds, red grapes win out due to their high anthocyanin content.
What About Other Components
Both white grapes and red grapes are a good source of an important antioxidant polyphenol known as resveratrol which is found in the grape skin and seeds. Resveratrol is being studied in humans as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and is thought to have anti-cancer and anti-fungal properties. It’s also being cited for its role in heart disease prevention. It’s thought to account for the so-called “French paradox” referring to the fact that the French eat a relatively high fat diet and still have a low heart disease risk This is believed to be due to the high resveratrol content in the wine they drink.
The flesh of both red grapes and white grapes also contain several other polyphenols including caffeic acid and caftanic acid which have antioxidant properties.
Red or White Grapes: The Bottom Line?
When it comes to red grapes or white grapes, they both have health value. Red and other darker varieties of grapes have a slight edge due to their high anthocyanin content, but both red and white grapes have lots of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Why not enjoy them both?