Bell peppers do not only enhance the flavor of your meal, but they are a source to obtain plenty of nutrients as well. Plus, these peppers are easy to consume. Simply add them to a salad or grill some to serve with chicken or fish fillet. You can also bake peppers and combine them with steak to consume a nutrient-dense meal.
Although these peppers grow in the same plant, there are two significant factors i.e. the degree of ripening and time of harvesting that determine their diversity. The shelf life of each pepper is based on the color.
Apart from this, bell peppers are a great way to treat body inflammation and other health disorders. Overconsumption of the peppers can lead to health issues; so, it is better to watch the quantity you consume. This article will discuss everything you need to learn about bell peppers.
Nutritional Value of Bell Peppers
Each variety of bell pepper contains the following nutrients:
- Carbohydrates 6g
- Capsanthin 9mg
- Dietary fiber2.1g
- Folate 5%
- Lutein 5mg
- Luteolin 2mg
- Protein 1g
- Potassium 3mg
- Quercetin 4mg
- Vitamin A 7%
- Vitamin B6 8%
- Vitamin C 196%
- Vitamin E 9%
- Vitamin K1 8%
- Violaxanthin 5mg
Types of Bell Peppers
1. Green Bell Peppers
These peppers grow as green and turn their color as they mature. Green bell peppers are not pricey as compared to other varieties. It is worth noting that green ones are harvested in a short time so they lack in a few nutrients. This type of bell pepper does not contain sweet flavor like other types.
2. Yellow Bell Peppers
Yellow peppers are harvested in the middle of maturity. They stay between unripe green and ripen red pepper. This type is neither sweet nor bitter. Plus, they are expensive.
3. Orange Bell Pepper
Orange peppers are harvested before they turn red. This variety is sweet in flavor and packed with nutrients. Orange peppers blend in well in various recipes as well.
4. Red Bell Pepper
These peppers stay on the vine for a long time. So, they are sweet amongst other types and contain plenty of nutrients. Nutritionists have revealed that red peppers have a high level of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin A as compared to green bell pepper. However, they have a short shelf life which makes them expensive as well.
Uses of Pepper
You can use bell pepper to prepare mouthwatering dishes. You can opt for any type to enhance the flavor of your meals. Bell peppers are versatile food sources which you can serve as side dish or stuffed with grains.
You have an option to stir-fry the peppers along with other vegetables. If you are a fan of salsa, you need to keep one or two peppers at home. The sweet taste of peppers makes them an ideal ingredient for sauces and dips. You can also garnish your salad, soup, or stew with thinly chopped bell peppers.
Health Benefits of Bell Pepper
1. Improves Eye Health
Macular degeneration and cataracts occur due to the adverse effects of free radicals. These eye disorders are common in senior people which get difficult to treat. You can incorporate red bell peppers in the diet of a senior person to prevent further eye deterioration. The compounds like zeaxanthin and lutein are effective and protect the retina from the damaging effects of oxidation.
2. Boosts Immune System
Foods rich in vitamin C are an excellent source for increasing immunity. This way, you can prevent the risk of chronic diseases. Health experts have revealed that a strong immunity keeps health-damaging factors at bay. You can find a considerable amount of vitamin C in bell peppers. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which boosts your immunity and protects organs.
3. Maintains Cognition
Bell peppers are one of the brain-friendly foods due to the content of nutrients in them. The enzymes in the peppers trigger happy hormones in your brain. Moreover, they also promote concentration and mental clarity which ultimately improve cognition.
4. Improves Heart Health
Many external and internal factors affect your cardiovascular health and increase the risk of heart problems like hypertension. You need to consume more nutrient-dense foods like bell peppers. These peppers provide plant-based antioxidants and carotenoids, which are essential to keep your heart healthy. However, do not overcook the peppers as it might destroy the nutrients.
5. Smooth and Spotless Skin
Vitamin C and vitamin E are two secret vitamins that improve the condition of your skin significantly. That is why many brands add them to beauty products. However, obtaining vitamins from natural sources is a great way to combat skin problems without causing any damage to it.
When you eat bell peppers regularly, they provide an adequate level of vitamin E and vitamin C. These vitamins strengthen skin cells and repair the dead ones. As a result, your skin becomes smooth and baby-soft.
6. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
It is true that bell peppers provide antioxidants which avert many health-damaging factors including free radicals. Eating yellow, orange, and red bell peppers will provide a considerable amount of anti-oxidants which ultimately lowers risk of cancer and reduces radical activity in your body.
7. Boosts Metabolism
A boosted metabolic rate is necessary for your body to carry out bodily functions without any hindrance. This increased metabolism keeps your energy levels high and helps you lose some weight. However, achieving a boosted metabolic rate is not possible without sufficient doses of vitamins and minerals.
You can consume bell peppers so the nutrients in it will increase your metabolism. Plus, they contain fewer calories; therefore, do not hesitate to add them in various recipes.
Although natural food sources do not contain adverse effect, you need to avoid over-consumption to steer clear of adverse effects. There is no question that bell peppers are nutrient-packed food source, but their over-consumption can lead to unwanted health conditions as well.
For instance, you might develop bell pepper allergy if you are allergic to pollen. If you have skin issues like eczema, do not consume bell pepper without consulting with your dermatologist.
Moreover, it is quite rare but people often develop diarrhea after consuming excess bell peppers. Adverse effects of bell peppers also include itching, bloating, cramping, or nasal congestion as well.
Bell peppers can surely do wonders for your health; so, you should add them to your diet. However, do not overlook the fact that everything works best in moderation.