Sweet Bell Peppers are Colourful and Full of Health Benefits

Colourful bell peppers add a sweet, light crunchiness to a meal.  Their bright red, yellow, orange or green adds vibrant beauty to any meal, whether it’s a salad or a stir fry.

The red pepper which is my favourite; I think that is because it is sweeter. The peppers have 2 times as much vitamin C as oranges; red and yellow peppers have 4 times as much.

Health Benefits of Sweet Bell Peppers

1. Excellent Food for Weight Loss

Research has shown, sweet red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increases our metabolism without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure like the hot peppers do.

They are low in calories being 92 percent water (1 green peppers, sliced cup = 18 calories 1 red peppers, sliced cup = 28 calories). Source: USDA

2.  Can Help Protect Against Cancer

The abundant antioxidant, capsanthin, in red peppers are responsible for their brilliant red color. Some studies have shown that this carotenoid may help protect against cancer.

3.  Helps Repair Bones

Collagen is a long, fibrous protein critical to providing your bones with tensile strength. Collagen needs vitamin C to synthesize collagen. U.S. National Library of Medicine note that red and yellow ones have 4 times as much vitamin C as oranges.

4.  Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

In the 12 years of research studies, they found the relationship between vitamin C rich foods, particularly green peppers, lowered the risk of prostate cancer. Prost ate Cancer and Prostatic Disease scientists attributed lycopene, β-carotene, vitamins E, C and A, and retinoids found in the peppers may significantly reduce prostate cancer risk.

5. May Help Prevent Anemia

They are high in Vitamin C which is needed to fully absorb iron.

Bell Peppers
Sweet Bell Pepper Plant

History

Christopher Columbus brought sweet peppers back to Europe where they quickly became a popular ingredient in Spanish cuisine.

Green peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Bell Pepper Trivia

  • They are technically considered a fruit because they grow on a flowering plant and contain seeds
  • Sweet bell peppers come in a variety of colors and can be orange, yellow, red, purple, brown, black, ivory or green, depending on the stage of ripeness and the variety. The green peppers are fully developed, but not ripe.
  • These peppers are not hot! As measured by ‘Scoville Heat Scale’ a they score 0, while a jalapeno pepper scores between 2,500 and 4,000 and those Mexican habaneros 200,000 to 500,000 units!
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Between 2007-2011, China produced 51 percent of the world’s bell peppers making them the largest bell pepper growers, followed by Mexico, Turkey and Indonesia.

Nutrition

  • High in Vitamin C – The green sweet peppers have 2 times as much vitamin C as oranges; red and yellow sweet peppers have 4 times as much. One cup of them chopped provides 119.8 milligrams. Red peppers contain almost 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake.
  • Contain Many Healthy Antioxidants (capsanthin, violaxanthin, lutein, quercetin and luteolin) which are associated with many health benefits. Source: Authority Nutrition

Allergy or Sensitivity to Bell Peppers

They are part of the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.  For those who are sensitive to nightshades, they could trigger inflammation in the body and contribute to arthritis. There are no scientific studies to confirm this, but many health professionals have made the observation that some are sensitive to nightshade produce. It has been suggested that this sensitivity to nightshades is a unique sensitivity to solanine.

There are people with a pollen allergy may also be sensitive to them. When eaten in moderation they don’t usually have any adverse health effects.

Bell Peppers
Sliced Sweet Bell Peppers

Picking a The Best Pepper

All sweet the peppers start out green and change color as they ripen. They also get sweeter.

What can be confusing is that there is also a variety that is green when ripe. The color depends on the specific variety; the most common variety is red when ripe. So there are varieties of green sweet bell peppers that start out green and are green when ripe.

Red, yellow and orange sweet sweet peppers start out green and turn red when fully ripe. What you find in the store are usually either unripe green sweet peppers or unripe red ones.  The skin should be firm without any wrinkles, and the stem should be fresh and green. They should feel heavy for their size. Avoid peppers with sunken areas, slashes or black spots.

How to Ripen Harvested Peppers

You can store green peppers in a box or perforated, plastic bag in a dark room with a temperature around room temperature to ripen them into a red color in about two weeks. Storing them at 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) slows down the ripening process to three or four weeks. Keep an eye on them as they ripen. If they dry out or shrivel, the humidity in the room might be too low. If they begin to mold or rot, the humidity may be too high.

How to Store

It is best to store the peppers unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for about 1 to 2 weeks. Green ones will stay fresh longer than the yellow and red ones.

Here is a Very Delicious Bell Sweet Pepper Recipe

bell peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers Stuffed with Wild Rice Sweet Bell Peppers Stuffed with Wild Rice– This sweet bell peppers recipe with wild rice is a favourite of mine. It’s yummy, beautiful and nutritious! The recipe is vegan and gluten-free too.

And One More Recipe With Red Peppers

Tasty Olive Salad Appetizer for Your Meals and Parties – I created this yummy olive salad appetizer recipe just this week and it truly was tasty. I love the colourful salad it became with the addition of the red peppers and green chives.  Food needs to have a range of colours to be tasty. Also. this is a healthy olive salad that is great as an appetizer or a side for your meal. It is even great for a party.

You can also learn how to plan and prepare super healthy meals with my
2-5-30 Healthy Diet Online Courses.

100+ Superfoods

Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.

READ Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.

Diana Herrington

Diana has been writing about natural health and wellness for over 20 years. Having used foods to heal her own body, she now shares her wisdom with others.

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