Bell peppers belong with the chili pepper family, but they have a mild taste that is perfect for salads. They are used in pizzas and are many people’s favorite when they are roasted. The appeal though is not just because of their good looks and perky crunchiness, but also because they are good for the health:
1. Bell peppers are low in calories. Even if you eat a cup of bell peppers, you will only get around 45 calories.
2. Bell peppers are rich in vitamins A and C. When you eat a cup of bell peppers, you already get more than the recommended daily intake of these two vitamins.
3. Bell peppers are rich in carotenoids. It is known that bell peppers are an excellent source of this nutrient, but what many don’t realize is that they also have other members of the carotenoid family. In fact, a study conducted in Spain took a closer look at the carotenoid content including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and lutein in different foods. The researchers found out that bell peppers have the nutrients listed with 12% of total zeaxanthin content.
4. You can take advantage of bell pepper’s high carotenoid and vitamin C by waiting for it to ripen. The riper this vegetable is, the higher carotenoids and vitamin C you get. When these two are taken in high amounts, the antioxidant capacity is increased.
5. Bell peppers have luteolin. Luteolin is a flavonoid that has the potential to prevent cancer. Bell peppers have around 46 milligrams of the antioxidant per kilogram. Unfortunately, if you grill this type of peppers, they will lose a part of their nutrients. Avoid cooking them in high heat to take advantage of the nutrients they offer.
6. Bell peppers have capsaicin. Capsaicin is very beneficial to our health as it can reduce the bad cholesterol in the body. If you have diabetes, bell peppers are good for you because capsaicin is said to control diabetes. These claims are all backed by studies.
7. Bell peppers contain sulfur compounds. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables as well as onions and other allium veggies are best known for sulfur compounds. However, bell peppers have them too, which makes them even more valuable to our health. Sulfur compounds can help prevent different types of cancers, including esophageal and gastric cancers.
Fresh, crisp bell peppers are tasty and with their health benefits, you can safely add them as a part of a healthy diet.