The traffic light of the culinary world, bell peppers come in red, yellow and green colors that mostly taste very similar. For those that don’t like too much heat in their peppers, bell peppers are the best way to go since they are considered the sweet variety of this food. The name is a bit misleading, however, as bell peppers are not actually in the pepper family and are considered to be a fruit.
Most people aren’t eating bell peppers on their own, but they can be added with meals to make it more well rounded. The good news is that you can find bell peppers in just about any part of the world, including China, Mexico, Spain and many more. These popular “peppers” also have more nutritional value than you might think, though it shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore after finding out that they are a fruit. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown and the amazing health benefits you can get from eating bell peppers more often.
Nutrition of Bell Peppers
If you’re looking for a food that’s high in nutrition while being low in calories and fat, bell peppers are the way to go. In one cup of chopped green peppers, there are only about 30 calories, 0.3 grams of fat and 6.9 carbohydrates. Those are tremendous numbers considering that there’s a little bit of protein and 10 percent of your recommended amount of fiber in each serving. As for the vitamins, bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, giving you 200 percent of your daily recommended value.
While other nutrients might not be as abundant, there is still between 10 and 20 percent of recommended amounts of vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin B6. Some of the other vitamins and minerals that come in at lower amounts include vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, folate, potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Lastly, there are helpful phytosterols in each serving, and we’ll touch on the benefits that those can bring, as well.
Going back to the vitamin C content found in bell peppers, your immune system will be getting a huge boost from the 200 percent daily recommendation. Whether you are looking to get through an illness faster or just prevent them overall, you have to be adding more vitamin C to your body. Bell peppers are a delicious and simple way of doing that.
Even for more serious diseases that many of us are trying to avoid, bell peppers will help in that department. Because this food is loaded with antioxidants, you can help to fight off the free radicals found within the body that attack your cells to cause serious damage. This also means that bell peppers can help reduce your chances of cancer, especially when they are at their most ripe. Not enough people are getting the right amount of vitamin C, so look to this food to add more to your diet.
Not only can you feel better when eating bell peppers due to the antioxidants and nutrients, you can also look better in a couple of different ways. Starting with weight management, bell peppers are one of the best foods that you can add for a diet based on calorie content alone. With only around 30 calories per serving, bell peppers make for a great part of a well balanced meal to be used in a weight loss (or management) plan.
Eating raw bell peppers as a snack might not be all that common in the United States, but it certainly should be. In addition to being low in calories, bell peppers are also very filling and the small amount of capsaicin satisfies a lot of different cravings without packing on a lot of unnecessary sugar or fat. The extra kick of fiber doesn’t hurt, either, and even boosts metabolism.
The incredibly high vitamin C content found in bell peppers not only help with your immune system, but also make your skin look great. Vitamin C allows your body to produce more collagen, which increases the elasticity in your skin. That will make it so that you don’t have early signs of aging such as wrinkles.
On top of that, the vitamin E content gives your skin a glowing and more natural look that also translates to your hair, keeping it thick. Many oils, lotions and creams are filled with vitamins C and E because of the great benefits it has for your skin. Bell peppers make it so that you can look slim and trim with great skin and hair while getting the other internal health benefits that come along with it.
While many people probably don’t even know it, any amount of capsaicin is going to be good for your heart. This is the spicy property found in most peppers, and it’s in a small amount in bell peppers. Capsaicin has been linked with lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood by breaking it down.
The anti-inflammatory property of bell peppers also help to prevent heart diseases linked to inflammation in the blood stream. Bell peppers won’t be spicy for many people compared to other peppers out there, which is good news for people that need to lower their cholesterol levels. Right now it’s estimated that 102 million people in the United States alone have high cholesterol, so bell peppers should be added more often.
One of the most important vitamins that you can be getting for your brain is vitamin B6, which can be found in significant amounts in bell peppers. This vitamin has been shown to not only help balance your mood, but also help you get more restful sleep at night. With a lot of us struggling to fall and stay asleep, that’s a good sign. In turn, it will even help your eyes because of the nutrients, which can help reduce chances of diseases such as glaucoma or cataracts.
Summing it Up
All of the benefits seem great with no strings attached, so are there really any negatives that can be found about eating bell peppers? Thankfully, doctors and researchers have found nothing dangerous about eating a fresh bell pepper. Some people that are very sensitive to capsaicin might have problems because there is still a low amount in bell peppers. That could lead to an uncomfortable burning sensation, and might even cause acid reflux issues. Almost all people, though, are able to handle bell peppers just fine.
Other than that, there is practically nothing to worry about when eating bell peppers. You could potentially get too much vitamin C in your system, which may cause temporary problems such as diarrhea, but nothing too serious. Because of these lack of side effects and the great benefits, feel free to add more bell peppers to your diet. They really are one of the most underrated healthy foods around.