Nutrition

6 surprising health benefits of green peppers

Green peppers or bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) are generally considered vegetables, although they are technically a type of fruit. Bell peppers are thick-walled, bell-shaped, and come in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, and orange. Green peppers are simply unripe peppers. They tend to be less sweet than red and yellow peppers and have a slightly bitter taste. They are very nutritious and a great addition to your diet.

6 surprising benefits of green peppers.

1. A Rich Source of Nutrients

Green peppers provide an array of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber and relatively low in carbs. Here is the nutritional composition of one cup (150 grams) of raw green bell pepper:

Calories: 30
Protein: 1.3 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams
Fiber: 2.6 grams
Vitamin A, EAR: 3% Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
Vitamin K: 9% DV
Potassium: 6% of DV
B6 (Pyridoxine): 20% of the DV

In addition to the nutrients listed above, green peppers contain smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals, including thiamin (B1), magnesium, copper, and vitamin E.

Green peppers are particularly high in vitamin C. As this vitamin is water-soluble, your body cannot store it well, so you need to get it regularly from your diet. Vitamin C is needed for many essential functions in your body, including immune function, collagen synthesis, and nutrient metabolism.

It also acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects your cells from harmful oxidative damage. Peppers are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is involved in nutrient metabolism, immune function, and neurotransmitter synthesis (the creation of chemical messengers). It also helps create hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells.

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This crunchy vegetable also contains provitamin A, which your body can convert into vitamin A. Provitamin A is found in the form of beta-carotene, a plant compound with a vibrant color and many health benefits. Additionally, green peppers are low in calories and relatively low in carbs. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber.

2. Good for Gut Health

Bell peppers are a good source of fiber, which is essential for gut health. Adding fiber-rich foods like bell peppers to your diet can help you reach the recommended fiber intake of 30–35 grams per day for men and 25–32 grams per day for women. One cup (150 grams) of raw green pepper contains 2.5 grams of fiber.

Studies show that increasing your fiber intake may protect you against digestive system diseases like colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Eating fiber-rich foods can also help your digestive system function optimally by preventing constipation and supporting a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Try snacking on slices of green pepper with hummus or adding chopped green pepper to salads, chilies and stir-fries for an extra fiber boost.

3. Contains Health-Boosting Plant Compounds

Peppers contain a variety of plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For example, this vegetable provides flavonoids, vitamin C, phenolic compounds and carotenoids, all of which have health benefits. A 2019 study that analyzed the levels of bioactive compounds in peppers found that compared to red, orange, and yellow peppers, green peppers contained more phenolic acids, including a potent type called p-coumaric acid.

Studies have shown that diets high in phenolic acids may protect against certain health conditions, such as insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, mental decline and heart disease. What’s more, a 2013 study found that green pepper extract had higher antioxidant activity than red, orange, and yellow pepper extracts.

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4. May Support Heart and Eye Health

Adding more fruits and vegetables, like green peppers, to your diet is a smart way to promote your heart and eye health. Many studies have linked diets high in fruits and vegetables to a lower risk of heart disease. For example, eating more fruits and vegetables may improve heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

Plus, green peppers are high in lutein, a carotenoid nutrient essential for eye health. Lutein helps protect the photoreceptor cells in your eyes from damage caused by exposure to light. Thus, a diet rich in lutein may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that can lead to vision loss.

5. May Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight

Eating more fruits and vegetables like green peppers can help you maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight. Green peppers are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with other nutrients your body needs to function optimally. They are therefore an excellent addition to any diet. However, it is better to eat several different fruits and vegetables than to increase your consumption of peppers. This is because people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to have lower body fat and weigh less than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables.

Studies also show that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables tend to have less visceral fat, a type of deep abdominal fat that’s strongly linked to an increased risk of disease, than people who eat fewer fruits and vegetables. So, to improve the overall quality of your diet and promote a healthy body weight, try incorporating not only green peppers but also other fruits and vegetables into your meals and snacks.

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6. Versatile and tasty

In addition to being very nutritious, green peppers are versatile and tasty, both raw and cooked. Remember that green peppers are less sweet than red, yellow and orange peppers. The green version also contains less carotenoids and flavonoids, but is higher in phenolic acids. So, you can add all colors of peppers to your diet to reap the benefits of their varied nutrient compositions.

Whatever color of bell pepper you choose, there are almost countless ways to enjoy them, for example:

– Add them to vegetable and chicken stir-fries.
– Cut them into slices and serve them with hummus as a dip.
– Dice them and use them as a crunchy salad garnish.
– Use them in soups, stews
– Add them to rice and beans,
– Sauté them with onions and spices to enjoy as a side dish.
– Combine them with eggs and other vegetables in an omelet.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Adding bell peppers to your favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes will yield nutritious, colorful, and flavorful results.

* The information and services available on pressesante.com do not in any way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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