Bell peppers come from the nightshade family, which also include tomatoes, breadfruit, and chili peppers. Bell peppers are also known as capsicums or sweet peppers and are consumed as vegetables, which can be raw or cooked. Unlike chili peppers, they have a mild flavor and can give your salads and pizza that crunch and exceptional taste and color.
Bell peppers can be green (unripe), orange, yellow, and red, but they are all comprised of about 92% water. Nutrients in the veggies include:
But what’s really notable is the high amount of vitamin C in bell peppers. Just one red bell pepper can give 169% vitamin C RDA, which makes it one of the best sources for the vitamin. Aside from that, bell peppers also provide the following vitamins:
- Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine, this vitamin is essential in the formation of red blood cells in the body.
- Vitamin K1: Phylloquinone (K1) is useful for improving bone health and reducing blood clots.
- Potassium: This mineral is good for the heart.
- Folate: Also B9 or folic acid, folate has many uses, including preventing birth defects for pregnant women.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is essential for keeping the muscles and the nerves healthy.
- Vitamin A: Bell peppers have beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, a nutrient that is essential for good eyesight.
There are still more health benefits you can get when you eat bell peppers, especially on a regular basis. Here are some of them:
1. Good for Eye Health
Bell peppers have high amounts of carotenoids, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help people avoid macular degeneration as well as cataracts.
2. Prevents Anemia
When a person has anemia, his/her blood’s ability to carry oxygen is greatly reduced and one reason for this is the lack of iron in the body. Bell peppers not only have good iron content, but are also rich in vitamin C, which actually promotes absorption of the mineral.
3. Good for Weight Loss
Bell peppers have such low calories that are great for people who are counting their calories to lose weight. What’s more, they have vitamin E, which can help keep both your skin and hair looking young, so you not only lose weight, but also look great.
Bell peppers, just like their cousins the chili peppers, also have capsaicin, which is known for its many health benefits. There are several studies that show how it can lower bad cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, and even in diabetes management.