Health Benefits of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers have plenty going for them. They are nutritionally rich and low in calories.

All colors are useful sources of fiber, folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Plus; the peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green) are canned, dried, frozen, or fresh. Red peppers contain the highest nutritional content (1.5 times more vitamin C and 11 times more beta-carotene compared to green) because of the longer growth cycle. The peppers harvested the earliest are the green variety, with the longer growth cycle seeing the peppers turn a shade of yellow, orange, and finally red.

What are bell peppers good for health wise?

Here are five health benefits of bell peppers:

1 – Arthritis

Low vitamin C has the potential to increase the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis compared to someone who gets at least the daily recommended limit. Use the sweet yellow or red bell peppers to help up the vitamin C intake. A ½ cup serving of these peppers has about twice the required daily dose of this essential nutrient.

Bell peppers come from flowering plants and have seeds which make them fruits, and not vegetables.

2 – Breast cancer

Eat the red pepper (sliced) as part of a healthy diet can help to introduce about 1/3 of the daily carotenoid intake. Carotenoids rich food has the potential to lower the risk of developing breast cancer. Evidence-based research indicates this might be as much as 17% for those eating 2-3 servings of these foods daily.

Beside the common bell peppers in green, they also come in purple, white, yellow, orange, and red. Others include brown and black, but those are more difficult to find.

3 – Cholesterol

One more of the health benefits of bell peppers is the ability to slow the build up of cholesterol compared to those that usually eat a quite bland diet.

The bell pepper is one of the highest sources of vitamin C with a large red pepper having 2-3 times more vitamin C than an orange.

4 – Heart-friendly

Whether sweet or slightly bitter, all varieties of bell peppers contain a lot of B vitamins. A yellow pepper has 20% of the daily dose of vitamin B6 and 10% of folate, while red peppers are more nutritious with 35% vitamin B6 and 7% folate. A diet rich in pyridoxine (B6) and folate has the potential to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

Eating the bell peppers raw makes it possible to benefit from more of the delicate nutrients which can be destroyed by heat.

5 – Weight loss

Eating sweet peppers has the potential to help improve the weight loss efforts. The mild peppers can also include a compound known as CH-19 Sweet, which has a positive effect on the metabolic rate.

 

Bell peppers nutrition facts

  • Bell peppers are low-calorie and contain about 45 calories per 1 cup serving.
  • A 1 cup serving of bell peppers has the potential to provide more than the recommended daily dose of vitamin A and vitamin C (red pepper has the highest concentration).
  • Red bell peppers are rich in carotenoids and phytochemicals including beta-carotene.
  • Cook the bell peppers on a low heat to maintain a higher percentage of flavonoid content and its fruity flavor.
  • Peppers are a great source of vitamin E which is beneficial for its ability to maintain the youthful skin and hair.
  • Bell peppers contain enzymes like lutein which are good for eye health and prevent the development of macular degeneration and cataracts in later life.

 

Bell peppers – FAQs

Q. What vitamins are in red bell peppers?

A. Red bell peppers are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C (69 micrograms per cup) and folate (190 milligrams per cup). The nutritional profile of red peppers has plenty of vitamin A and vitamin E (2.4 milligrams). Plus, there is a lot of dietary fiber packed into each red pepper.

Q. Which color bell pepper is the healthiest?

A. The red bell peppers are the healthiest option because it’s more mature compared to the yellow, orange, and green varieties. The longer growth cycle results in a higher concentration of beta-carotene, carotenoids phytonutrients, and vitamin C. The red peppers are left with a fruity, sweet taste.

Q. Are green bell peppers spicy?

A. Bell peppers are not hot. The taste varies from slightly bitter to a fruity, sweet finish.

Q. Is bell pepper good for you?

A. All varieties of the bell pepper are a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet and have the ability to provide the daily nutritional intake. The nutrient content will vary with the different colors and have a more sweet-tasting flavor unlike the fiery taste of the habanero, jalapeno, or other spicy peppers.

 

Roasted Bell Peppers (Videos)

 

Further reading:

  1. Physiology of Pepper Fruit and the Metabolism of Antioxidants
  2. USDA National Nutrient Database
  3. Growing Peppers
  4. Bell Pepper Recipes

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