Is There a Difference Between Red, Yellow, Orange, and Green Bell Peppers?

The Difference Between Green, Yellow, and Red Bell Peppers
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Actually, yes. We were surprised to learn green, yellow, orange, and red peppers differ. It all comes down to ripeness, says Columbus, OH, dietitian Lindsay Livingston, of the Lean Green Bean healthy-living blog.

“Green peppers are simply peppers picked before they’re fully ripe,” Livingston says. “If you waited, they’d turn yellow, then orange, then red.”

That’s key, because when peppers are picked early, they’re less sweet (sweetness develops as they ripen) and contain fewer nutrients—in this case, vitamins A, C, and B6. Green peppers are the most bitter, and have the fewest nutrients; orange and yellow peppers fall in the middle; and red peppers hit the sweet, vitamin-packed jackpot.

This also makes a difference when cooking with peppers, Livingston says, so be sure to use the color of pepper a recipe calls for.

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