Red bell pepper or sweet pepper(as they lack the lipophilic chemical “capsaicin” which gives hot peppers their “heat”. ) is a fruit pod of a small perennial shrub in the genus family of Capsicum.
They have a beautiful bell shape with three to four lobes, a vivid red color when fully ripe, a tangy taste, fleshy and crunchy texture that makes them an outstanding and versatile ingredient in any meal plan where they can be enjoyed when raw, cooked, grounded, roasted, sautéed or even boiled.
They grow well in warm climates and in soil that does not hold water. Red bell peppers are harvested green and allowed to ripen and mature taking on a red color and a sweet mild flavor. Amongst other bell pepper varieties (green, orange, purple and yellow bell peppers), red bell pepper is the most nutritious and so far the sweetest. Let us learn more about;
- Red bell pepper nutrition
- Red bell pepper health benefits
- How to Select, Prepare and Store.
Red Bell Pepper Nutrition
What nutrients are found in red bell pepper. How do these nutrients useful to your body? Read on to learn more about red bell pepper nutrition.
Carbohydrates and Dietary Fiber
Red bell pepper nutrition comes with fiber and carbohydrates. Without carbohydrates your day to day activities will be put to a stop. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, a simple sugar your body can use for fuel. This energy supports essential physiological processes — including brain cell function and body temperature regulation.
Well, how many carbs in red bell pepper? ½ cup chopped red bell pepper contains 3 grams while ½ cup sliced red bell pepper contains 2 grams
Red peppers are an excellent source of fiber, a special type of carbohydrate that supports your digestive system, and also helps lower your cholesterol to fight cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that a cup of red peppers also contains 3.1 grams of dietary fiber. One serving of chopped red pepper provides 8 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake for men and 12 percent for women.
Red bell pepper a good source of Vitamins A and E
Red peppers’ nutritional profile also includes ample amounts of vitamins A and E. Each serving contains 2.4 milligrams of vitamin E –16 percent of your recommended daily intake — and all the vitamin A you need in a day. Why do you need vitamin A? Enough vitamin A protects your vision — not only does it help you see at night ( especially for the aged), but the vitamin A in your diet also lowers your risk of cataracts. In addition Vitamin E protects tissue health. Its antioxidant function means it neutralizes free radicals, which would otherwise contribute to heart disease and cancer.
Some laboratory studies have shown that Red bell pepper nutrition contains analkaloids (capsaicin) which has some anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The killer cells in Red bell pepper nutrition destroy circulating cancer cells as well as bacterial cells and helps protect the body from infections. Red bell pepper nutrition has also been shown in recent studies to prevent cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes
Vitamin C and Folate
Red peppers come packed with folate and vitamin C — two nutrients that support cardiovascular health. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen it needs to keep blood vessels strong. Folate helps you metabolize homocysteine, an amino acid that increases the risk of heart disease when found at high levels in the bloodstream. Each cup of chopped red pepper provides 69 micrograms of folate and 190 milligrams of vitamin C. This contributes 17 percent toward your daily recommended folate intake, and provides your entire daily vitamin C requirement.
In addition, collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of the skin, organs and bones. Therefore regular intake of foods rich in vitamin c such as is found in Red bell pepper consumption helps to protect the body from skin conditions such as scurvy. It also boosts immunity by scavenging harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body. Since vitamin C is also needed in the absorption of Iron, it helps take care of iron deficiency in the body thus preventing development of anemia
Vitamin B complex and Minerals
It is a great source of vitamin B complex and many minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iron. Vitamin B complex is a very essential vitamin in the body, it comprises of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B 6, B12, and these vitamins are necessary for a healthy skin as well as stabilizing of nerves that transmit impulses to all the body parts. Dietary value has been proved to be excellent especially in vitamin B6 found in the Red bell pepper nutrition with a nutrient amount of 0.27mg and dietary value of 15.9 percent and a nutrient density of 6.7. Magnesium found in Red bell pepper nutrition is also a good nutrient with an amount of 0.10mg giving a daily dietary value of 5.0 percent and a nutrient density of 3.2, Magnesium combined with vitamin B6 shows a decrease in anxiety especially one associated with pre-menstruation, giving peace and calmness to ladies during this cycle
Supportive sulfur compounds
Red bell pepper nutrition is a valuable source of health supportive sulfur compounds. Some studies have shown that presence of enzymes in the red bell pepper called cysteine-s-conjugate beta-lyses have a role in sulfur containing metabolic pathway. These enzymes are involved in some anticancer benefits especially on risk reduction for gastric, esophageal, prostate and lung cancer. Cancer being one of the lifestyle non -communicable diseases and one of the global health epidemics it’s advisable to take advantage of Red bell pepper nutrition to keeps these cancers away
Red bell pepper health benefits
From the above discussion we have seen red bell peppers nutrition. Well, what is red bell pepper good for? In this section let us see the red bell pepper health benefits. We are going to derive the benefits from the various nutrients that the red pepper has. Below is a summary of red bell pepper health benefits
- One of the most obvious red peppers health benefit is that red peppers are good for eye sight.
- Red peppers are good fora healthy and beautiful skin
- Red pepper support cardiovascular health while reducing the chances of heart diseases
- Anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. This red bell pepper health benefit is derived capsaicin in red sweet peppers.
- Carbs in red sweet peppers support essential physiological processes including brain cell function and body temperature regulation.
- Fiber content in red pepper is good for digestion. It supports your digestive system, and also helps lower your cholesterol to fight cardiovascular diseases.
- Weight loss and fitness – Research has shown that Red bell pepper can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolism rate without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure. It’s very low in calories and fats and this assists greatly in weight control. It has also been found out that it reduces triglycerides and low density lipids (LDL) cholesterol levels in obese individuals. It is an easy and cheap way of keeping fit and regulating weight and hence lives healthy.
- Red bell pepper reduces anxiety and keeps one happy and calm- Vitamin B 6 and magnesium found in Red bell pepper nutrition decreases anxiety especially one that is related to pre-menstrual symptoms. Vitamin B6 is also a natural diuretic and reduces boating and helps prevent hypertension. This helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases especially those related to high blood pressure. It also helps improve on memory and reduces stress from the body
- Red bell pepper nutrition improves fertility and increases libido- Not a lot of folks are aware of this red bell pepper health benefit.According to chatelaine.com, the vitamin A in red pepper has been shown to improve sperm quality, It stimulates heat that increases blood flow making it a popular remedy for libido. For those men who have an infertility problem due to poor quality of spermatozoa then red bell pepper nutrition is recommended for them. And for those partners who suffer low libido, they can raise it up by making sure their diet is well spiced with Red bell pepper nutrition daily
How to Select, Prepare and Store Red Bell Pepper
To rip maximum benefits from red sweet pepper, you should be careful when selecting, preparing and storing the
pepper. Poor storage s and preparation can lead to loss of vital nutrients from the fruit. A right color for selecting is a real deep red colored ripe Red bell pepper which is already rich in nutrients that are healthy and required by the human body. When selecting red pepper, avoid soft and lusterless pale color peppers as well as Red bell pepper with surfaces cut, punctured bruised or with spots and shriveled stems. See more on bell pepper selection criteria
On preparation, the pepper should be washed thoroughly with cold water and chopped into small pieces for ease of cooking. After washing and cutting while preparing, discard the stem end, then remove the central core with seeds to avoid contamination and a bad taste after cooking. See details on how cut or chop bell pepper before cooking.
Red bell pepper should be stored in a refrigerator in a plastic bag, this makes them stay fresh for about 4 days, and if stored for many more days they may sustain the chili injuries and will not be good for human consumption.
Serving Tips and Suggestions
To reach your red bell peppers as healthful and nutritious snack for the whole week, be sure to store the sliced peppers in the fridge, submerged in water. They pair well with healthful dips such as homemade salsas, guacamole or hummus. On the other hand, you can add a handful of sliced red peppers to your sandwiches and wraps, or grill them, along with other vegetables, as a nutritious side dish. You can also roast red peppers in your oven or on your barbecue. Roasted red peppers freeze well for later use, and make tasty additions to soups, sandwiches and quesadillas
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