Peppers add a flavourful kick to your meal, plus they’re loaded with vitamins and disease-fighting properties. bell peppers belong to the chili pepper family, bell peppers are mild and can jazz up a salad in an instant, lend a perky crunch to your pizza, and taste fantastic when roasted.Bell peppers, also known as sweet pepper or capsicum are basically peppers of less pungent varieties which are available in different colors such as yellow, red, green, purple and orange. These plump, bell shaped vegetables were cultivated more than 900 years ago in south and central America and were given the name pepper by the European colonizers of North America. These can easily grow in different types of climate.
The substance ‘capsaicin’ which controls hotness in peppers is present in very small amounts in bell peppers making it less ‘hot’. Though, they are available throughout the year, they are most abundant and tasty in the summers. The content of vitamin C and carotenoid also increases when the pepper is at the peak of its ripeness.
These colorful and attractive vegetables are enjoyed all over the world in a variety of cuisines. Other names of capsicum are ‘Shimla Mirch‘ in Hindi, ‘Pedda Mirappa‘ in Telugu, ‘Kuda Milagai‘ in Tamil, ‘Parangi Mulagu‘ in Malayalam, ‘Donne Menasinakai‘ in Kannada, ‘Bhopli Mirchi‘ in Marathi, ‘Simla Marchan‘ in Gujarati and ‘Simla Mirch‘ in Bengali.
Healthy benefit of Bell Pepper(capsicum)
A fresh, crisp green bell pepper is a tasty vegetable that can be a regular part of your healthy eating plan. This vegetable is low in calories and contains 0 grams of fat and a good supply vitamins and minerals. Their mildly sweet flavor makes green bell peppers versatile enough to include a wide variety of nutritious recipes.
Red bell peppers are harvested green bell peppers that have ripened and matured, taking on a red color and a sweeter, milder flavor. They are rich in vitamins and can supplement your diet with essential minerals. To get the most nutritious, best-tasting product choose brightly colored red bell peppers with firm, tight skin, and avoid those with dull, shriveled skin.
Green bell peppers are the most common color on produce shelves, but the yellow variety contains much more of certain vitamins. The peppers also contain fiber, protein and iron. Yellow bell peppers taste sweet and they pair well with a variety of other ingredients. They are available at most large supermarkets year-round, which makes it easy for you to add them to your diet.
.Keep Healthy Heart :
The anti-inflammatory properties in bell pepper also lowers inflammation in arteries. That means that bell peppers help prevent heart disease and diabetes.
.Good for Eyes :
Being high in vitamin A, red bell peppers help to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. They are a rich source of a carotenoid called lutein that helps in lowering the risk of macular degeneration of the eyes. Macular degeneration of eyes is the most common cause of age related visual loss. Bell peppers also protect your eyes from cataracts due to their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
.Lower Cholesterol :
Although bell peppers contain less capsaicin than their spicier cousins, they do have some. And that’s good news for those with high cholesterol, because capsaicin is a nutrient that lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in your system
.Burn more Calories :
Red bell peppers help in activating thermogenesis and increase the metabolic rate. Capsaicin which is responsible for increasing the hotness of other peppers is found in bell peppers in very small amounts. Thus, they have a mild thermogenic action that increases the metabolism without increasing the heart rate and blood pressure unlike hot peppers. Hence, they can support weight loss.
.Weight Loss :
Bell peppers are very low in fat and calories- about 1 gram of fat and 29 calories per cup- which makes them an ideal snack option, or a great supplement for a main meal. This small amount of fat is enough to provide a reliable storage for bell pepper’s fat-soluble nutrients.
.Diabetic Neuropathy :
A disease that often produces this type of neurogenic pain is diabetes. Capsicum is shown to have a beneficial effect on diabetic neuropathic pain when applied topically.Capsicum works to deaden cutaneous nerve endings and reducing the pain.
.Anti cancer Benefits :
Carotenoids also have powerful antioxidant effects that can prevent certain types of cancers. Carotenoids deactivate free radicals, which are the cell-damaging oxygen atoms that react with other molecules in your body. Make sure to let bell peppers ripen to maximize the amount of antioxidant benefits they possess- ripening increases the carotenoid content in bell peppers. They also have sulfur which helps prevent cancer.
Being rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, bell pepper provides several anti-cancer benefits. The risk of cancer increases due to chronic excessive inflammation and chronic unwanted oxidative stress. These factors can be offset with regular intake of phytonutrients having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, bell peppers also contain health supportive sulphur compounds. The enzymes in bell pepper help to prevent gastric cancer and esophageal cancer. The carotenoid lycopene is found to be effective in the prevention of prostate, bladder, cervix and pancreas cancer.
.Natural Sleep Aid :
Not able to fall asleep at night? Eat some bell peppers! The vitamin B6 found in bell peppers also aids in melatonin production, which your body needs to regulate its internal clock.
.Cardiovascular Benefits :
Red bell peppers are rich in lycopene, thus making them excellent for a healthy heart whereas green bell peppers are a good source of cholesterol lowering fiber. Increased homocysteine levels can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Bell peppers contain vitamin B6 and folate which help to lower homocysteine levels. In addition to these, the powerful antioxidants vitamins A and C present in these vegetables help to wipe out free radicals. Potassium contained in bell peppers lowers about 162 milligrams of blood pressure which is also beneficial for heart.
.Balances Mood :
If you are feeling dull, try to increase the amount of vitamin B6 you consume. Naturally occurring in bell peppers, B6 helps your brain produce serotonin and norepinephrine, two chemicals that affect your mood.Serotonin is a brain chemical that is known to impact your mood. Keeping levels in balance can help promote a feeling of calm, well-being, mental alertness, control and an increased ability to deal with stress
.Support the Immune System :
The amount of vitamin C increases with ripening as well, and bell peppers are full of vitamin C. 1 cup of sliced red bell peppers gives you 157% of your daily vitamin C content, making them a great way to stay healthy.
Vitamin C is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system and for building strong collagen to support skin and joints. It is instrumental in lowering the risk of arthritis and reducing inflammation. Vitamin K aids in the formation of blood clots. It is important for developing strong bones and protection of cells from oxidative damage.
.Menopausal Symptoms :
Menopausal symptoms may also be relieved by the consumption of flavonoid containing fruit such as the capsicum chili.
.Great source of Vitamin B6 and Magnisium :
The combination of vitamin B6 and the mineral magnesium leads to decrease in anxiety levels, particularly due to pre-menstrual symptoms. Being a natural diuretic, vitamin B6 helps to reduce bloating and prevents hypertension.
.Cures Iron Deficiency :
Red bell peppers provide almost 300 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is essential for the proper absorption of iron. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency should consume red peppers.
.Benefits of Capsaicin :
Capsaicin is found in the white membranes of peppers which is responsible for imparting heat to the seeds as well. It lowers the cholesterol levels and triglycerides. It kills the ulcer causing bacteria in the stomach and boosts immunity.
.Antioxidant properties :
Many of the bioactive compounds of capsicum provide antioxidant effects. Improved vasodilatation allows for these antioxidant phyto chemicals to circulate through regions of the body that may already been effected as well as healthy tissue. This allows capsicum to have a beneficial effect in repairing tissue protein’s and possibly even DNA. As well, the healthy tissue receives protection from the antioxidant effect of the capsicum chili pepper.
With the world wide prevalence of diabetes, the consideration of capsicum as hypoglycemic medicinal has provoked research into this matter. Some studies have indicated, though not yet concluded that capsicum may stimulate insulin production which results in lower blood glucose. This would determine a possibility of capsicum to beneficial in preventing onset of type II diabetes and its potential complications. The hypoglycemic benefits of capsicum are most concentrated when the capsicum chili is green.
.Detoxifying Properties :
Bell peppers help in clearing out the congested mucus membranes in the nose and lungs and eliminate toxins through sweating.
.Benefits of Potassium :
Bell peppers are good sources of potassium. This mineral helps in keeping the fluids and minerals balanced in the body. It enhances muscle function and regulates blood pressure.
.Helps with Pain :
The bell pepper relieves chronic pain in a couple ways. Vitamin C and vitamin K, both found in bell peppers, have anti-inflammatory properties, which reduces swelling and protects against osteoporosis. Capsaicin also relieves chronic pain.
.Other Benefits :
Bell pepper juice has proven to be effective in curing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, diarrhea and dyspepsia. It also lowers the incidence of several respiratory problems such as emphysema, asthma and infections in the lungs. Drinking bell pepper juice is an effective remedy against sore throats and nose bleeds.
.Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy :
Bell peppers contain 14 percent of the daily recommended amount of folate, a vital nutrient for pregnant mothers. In fact, the daily recommendation for folate goes up approximately an additional 50 percent in pregnant women because of its role in preventing birth defects and keeping unborn children healthy.
Not only does folate help reduce birth defects, it also promotes healthy neural tube development, helps in a child growing to an appropriate birth rate before delivery, and causes the face and heart to develop properly.
Skin Benefits of Bell Pepper :
1. Clears Skin Blemishes and Rashes
A mixture of carrot and green bell pepper juice can be very effective in clearing blemishes and rashes on the skin.
2.Reverses signs of Ageing
Consumption of bell pepper juice helps in reversing the signs of ageing due to its high antioxidant levels. Bell peppers protect the skin from damage-causing free radicals, thus promoting healthy and younger looking skin.
3.Heals Shingles and Athlete’sFoot
Due to their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, bell peppers can alleviate infections like shingles and athlete’s foot in combination with proper medication.
4.Turns Skin Healthy and Youthful
The antioxidants and phytochemicals present in bell pepper juice makes the skin healthy and youthful.
5. Fights Oxidative
Red, green and yellow bell peppers are rich in vitamin C which helps in the production of collagen. Collagen keeps the skin firm and protects the cells from further damage. It increases the ability of the skin to fight against oxidative damage.
Hair Benefits of Bell Pepper
1. Enhances Hair Growth and Health
Applying bell pepper on hair can be effective in triggering hair growth through the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. Boil a few dry red bell peppers in water and leave it for 5 to 6 minutes. After cooling it, massage it on your scalp with the help of a cotton pad and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wash off the hair. This should be done twice a week for best results. The spiciness of bell pepper enhances the growth and health of the hair.
2.Strengthens Hair Follicles
One of the reasons why bell peppers plants and the fruits are good for hair is the fact that they are excellent sources of vitamin C which is essential for hair health. Vitamin C helps in proper absorption of iron, thus ensuring that there is enough iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen to hair follicles. Vitamin C is also used in the formation of collagen. Collagen is required by hair follicles, blood vessel and skin to stay healthy and for their optimal growth. Vitamin C deficiency can cause dry, splitting hair that breaks easily.
3. Stimulates Hair Growth
By stimulating circulation, bell peppers improve the effectiveness of other herbs. Red bell pepper is a natural hair growth stimulator and is highly effective in curing hair loss. In case of hair loss, capsicum improves blood flow which is vital for proper growth of hair and protection of hair follicles from the effects of dihydro testosterone (DHT).
4.High Sillicon supports Hair and Nails
Green bell pepper has a high content of natural silicon, which may support healthy hair and nails.
Nutritional value and Facts of Bell Peppers
Intake of fiber is vital for digestion and reduces the risk of constipation and hemorrhoids. The daily recommendation of fiber is 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. A cup of green bell pepper provides about 2.5 grams of fiber.
Bell peppers are low in calories, providing around 30 to 40 calories per cup of chopped pepper. Due to their sweet and crunchy flavour, they can be a good substitute for high-calorie chips.
Different types of carotenoid nutrients like lycopene, luteine, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are present in bell peppers. Yellow, red and orange bell peppers are rich in carotenoids. The availability of carotenoids depends upon the ripening of this vegetable.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is vital for vision, red blood cell production and a healthy immune system. A cup of chopped bell peppers provides more than a day’s requirement of vitamin A. Green bell peppers contain 551 international units of vitamin A per 149 grams whereas red bell peppers provide 4666 IU of vitamin A which is almost equivalent to a day’s requirement based on a 2000 calorie diet.
5. Vitamin C
Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C. In fact, they contain more than double the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits. A cup of chopped bell peppers provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of antioxidant vitamin C which is essential for tissue health and immunity.
They are a very good source of folate, molybdenum, vitamin E, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, niacin and potassium. Additionally, they are a good source of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus and magnesium.
Buying your bell peppers organic is not only important because of the presence of pesticides, but because organic bell peppers contain a much better antioxidant load. As with most fruits and vegetables, try to choose bell peppers without any obvious damage. The brighter the flavor, the fresher your peppers will be.