Bell Pepper Nutrition And Health Benefits
You might not need a vitamin C supplement if you have a few bell peppers in your refrigerator. This is an interesting one. Let’s get started!
Bell peppers, also called sweet peppers or capsicum, are known for their brightly colored appearance and distinct flavor, which is rather sweet and tangy despite their name being pepper.
Belonging to the capsicum annuum group, these bell-shaped delicacies are often thought of as vegetables, but are they vegetables, or are bell pepper fruits? What are the health benefits of bell peppers? Where did they come from? We will learn the answers to these questions today.
Peppers originated in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorers brought them to Europe. From there, they were brought to Africa and Asia, with many types of bell peppers existing today. 1https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/school-nutrition/pdf/fact-sheet-bell-pepper.pdf
With time, different cultures added bell peppers to their culinary portfolio, making bell peppers part of their heritage in terms of cuisine. Some examples include Moroccan rice pilaf or Indian stuffed Shimla mirch (the Hindi name for bell peppers).
Are Bell Peppers Fruits?
Bell peppers are indeed fruits. They grow as a flower and form into a bulbous shape, which by structure, formation and function is the spreading of seeds from the ovary of a flowering plant. This classifies them as a fruit.
Types Of Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are most commonly red, green or yellow, though some are orange, and there are mini peppers as well. Other varieties of bell peppers are colors including brown, white, lavender, and even dark purple.
The main three colors occur when green bell peppers ripened further and turn red, which some believe to be the most nutritious color of the lot. Yellow bell peppers are somewhere between red and green.
Bell Pepper Nutrition Facts
Low Glycemic Index
Bell peppers have a low glycemic index rating of 32. 2https://foodstruct.com/food/bell-pepper A low rating on the index means that eating this delicious fruit will give your taste buds the tingle you expect but will not flood your bloodstream with sugar.
Related Article: What Is Glycemic Index | Food List With Glycemic Index
High In Vitamin C And Other Antioxidants
Bell peppers are among the richest sources of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin also known as ascorbic acid. Medium red bell pepper contains around 95.68 mg of vitamin C. Most adults only require 75 – 90 mg per day. 3https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/
Low Net Carbs
For all weight watchers who have decided to go low carb, 100 g of bell pepper can contain up to 1.7 g of fiber with just 2.9 g of net carbs. More reason to enjoy this fruit!
A 100 g serving of bell peppers can have around 7.10 µg of Vitamin K, approximately 6 – 9 % of our daily requirement. Bell peppers have other compounds and vitamins to help us. Other health benefits include nutrients like thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), folate, magnesium, and potassium. Read on to find out more.
Health Benefits Of Bell Peppers
Supports Collagen Synthesis
As mentioned above, a medium bell pepper alone can provide over 90 g of vitamin C. The vitamin C in bell peppers helps synthesize collagen, the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is present in bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin.
Helps With The Absorption Of Iron
Fights Oxidative Stress
Bell peppers have a good amount of antioxidants, which may help fight heart disease, prevent cancer, protect against liver disease, and combat oxidative stress and inflammation. 6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26234792/, 7 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26540040/
Bell peppers also contain a flavonoid called quercetin. Another fighter in the battle to protect our body, quercetin has been known to reduce pain and inflammation and control blood pressure. 8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28146071/
Does Not Contain Capsaicin
Unlike other peppers, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, the compound that makes other peppers spicy and hot. While capsaicin has benefits, a lot of people, especially those with hypersensitive bladder or high blood pressure, cannot tolerate capsaicin.
Works In Favor Of The Gut And Heart
Bell peppers are not just delicious; they also contain a good amount of fiber. Fiber has been known to not only improve heart health but also act as food for our gut bacteria, which is the source of most of our immunity. It is a good idea to feed gut bacteria.
Some studies also show that fiber can help prevent certain types of cancer. That’s a big plus for the red, green, and yellow bells. 9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731843/, 10https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9895396/
Various studies suggest that a lack of dietary fiber can be devastating to the body, leading to issues like constipation—and you definitely do not want that. 🙂
Are Bell Peppers Good For Fat Loss?
Considering that bell peppers are low in calories and contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, they can curb hunger and add flavor to a diet, making food more palatable and pleasing to the eyes.
There is no shortage of recipes for bell peppers. One can have them raw in salads, bake them, sauté them, stuff them, or even make sauces or chutneys with them. They can be eaten stuffed, peeled, roasted, or as pizza toppings.
Bell peppers offer immense benefits, so it makes sense to put a few in your fridge and consume them in various forms throughout the week. Remember, though, that organic produce is generally better than genetically modified crops.
So, reach out to your local farmer’s market or the organic section of your supermarket and treat yourself to these colorful bells of goodness.
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About Kunal Arora
Kunal is someone who faced all sorts of health issues between 2015 and 2018. In his own words, he emerged victorious over his conditions after graduating from multiple courses from Fabulous Body in the field of nutrition, diet planning and fitness. He went on to help many people as a solopreneur as a nutrition & fitness expert and is very compassionate and empathetic with people, having gone through a tough time of poor health himself. Today he is a part of Fabulous Body and helps change lives as a part of the core team.