Bell Peppers provide more than just color and crunch to dishes. These vibrant vegetables are a source of valuable nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. They are available year-round but are at their peak in August and September. All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, B6 and K, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Antioxidant vitamins A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer, diseases related to aging and support immune function. They also reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and asthma. Vitamin K promotes blood clotting, strengthens bones and helps protect cells from oxidative damage.
Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lycopene. Lycopene helps to prevent prostate cancer as well as cancer of the bladder, cervix, and pancreas. Beta-cryptoxanthin, another carotenoid in red peppers has shown promise helping to prevent lung cancer related to smoking and secondhand smoke. Beta-carotene provides you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Yellow and Orange peppers are also rich in carotenoids, which might protect your heart from cardiovascular disease.
Capsaicin in bell peppers has multiple health benefits. Studies show that it can reduce bad cholesterol, control diabetes and eases inflammation. Enzymes in bell peppers like lutein help protect eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
All colors of bell pepper are high sources of potassium. Potassium helps keep your fluids and minerals balanced… enhancing muscle function and regulating blood pressure. One cup of green pepper contains 261 mg of potassium, while red and yellow peppers offer more than 300 mg per cup. Besides being rich in phytochemicals, peppers are also a good source of fiber. Bell peppers provide 3 g of fiber per cup, which can help regulate digestion and cholesterol levels.
Peppers offer a sweet flavor and satisfying crunch and are low in calories 🙂
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