The red bell pepper, also known as the sweet pepper or red capsicum, is a ripened green bell pepper. It has a sweet taste and flavor to it because of which it is widely used in cooking in various cuisines. The red pepper belongs to the family of Capsicum annuum, which also includes jalapeno, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, and others. Capsicum annuum is a native of Central and South America.
Bell peppers originated in Mexico. But now they are grown around the world and are easily available in all seasons. They are consumed on such a large scale because they provide nutrients (rich in Vitamin A and C) with low calories, zero cholesterol, and zero fat, making them a suitable choice for promoting healthy skin, eyes, hair, weight loss, heart health, etc.
Red bell pepper benefits are many, which we will describe later, but before that, let’s study the nutritional value of red bell peppers:
|NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR RED BELL PEPPERS (Per 100 Grams)|
|Carbohydrates 6 grams|
#dietary fiber 2.1 grams
#sugars (glucose, fructose) 4.2 grams
|Protein 1 gram|
|Fat 0.3 gram|
|Cholesterol 0 gram|
|Vitamin C 212% of daily value|
|Vitamin A 56% of daily value|
|Other vitamins include Vitamin E, K and B6|
|Minerals like Iron, Potassium, Magnesium|
Carbohydrates in red pepper are divided into fiber and non-fiber (sugar). Non-fiber carbs are glucose and fructose, which are natural sugars. Red bell peppers are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids (lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin). So, on the basis of the above values, we can say red bell pepper benefits include a super rich source of vitamins and minerals with antioxidants and a low calorie, carb, fat, and cholesterol. These are some of the key points that make red bell peppers a very popular choice among health-conscious eaters. That’s why it is recommended by dieticians and nutritionists all over the world.
Red Bell Pepper Health Benefits
1. Boosts Immunity
Red bell peppers are one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which is an integral component of our immune system. A 100gm raw red bell pepper contains more than 200% of the daily value for vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes wound healing by producing connective tissue. Vitamin C helps in reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals in our body. Vitamin E is also important for immunity and keeps blood vessels healthy.
2. Anti-Inflammatory – Red Bell Pepper Benefits
Well, bell peppers, including the red ones, are found beneficial in many inflammatory diseases like arthritis, rhinitis, etc. This is achieved by the presence of beta-cryptoxanthin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Beta-cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid that decreases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, whereas vitamin C helps in decreasing the risk of osteoarthritis.
3. Promotes healthy Skin
Red bell peppers, or for that matter, peppers in general, are widely recommended for healthy and glowing skin as bell peppers are rich in vitamins C and E, both of which are essential for skin repair and regeneration. They help in fighting anti-aging, keeping skin firm by producing collagen.
4. Excellent for Night Vision
One of the red bell pepper benefits includes night vision enhancement. This is possible due to the presence of vitamin A as well as carotenoids like lycopene, which not only imparts the color of red bell pepper but also supports healthy night vision, aids retinal functions, and reduces the risk of cataract development.
5. Good For Hair Health – Red Bell Pepper Benefits
It has proven beneficial in cases of hair loss as it improves the blood flow to stimulate hair growth and also protects the hair follicles from the effect of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). Red bell pepper benefits for hair include prevention of brittle, dry, and weak hair. Collagen production is governed by vitamin C, and hair follicles need collagen for proper growth. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to dry and brittle hair. As red bell peppers are a super rich source of vitamin C, they therefore prevent bad hair and hair loss too.
6. Anti-Cancerous In Nature
Being rich in antioxidants, red bell peppers tend to eliminate the oxidative stress caused by free radicals in our body. Free radicals promote cancerous cell growth as they have the capability to alter and damage the genetic information present in DNA. The three main cancer-fighting agents found in red bell peppers are lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. They help in fighting various kinds of cancer, like stomach, colon, breast, prostate, lungs, and others.
7. Helps In Weight Loss
Red bell pepper benefits are incomplete without this point. As we know, they are low in calories, have zero fat and zero cholesterol, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. So, they are an apt choice as a part of your daily meals in salads, soups, sandwiches, vegetables, etc. Red bell peppers help in losing weight by activating thermogenesis and increasing BMR. They contain fiber too, which helps in better digestion and also helps in maintaining cholesterol levels too.
8. Aids in Heart Health – Red Bell Pepper Benefits
Well, red bell peppers work on different layers for the prevention of heart diseases. The anti-inflammatory substance reduces the risk of cardiac inflammatory diseases. Potassium in bell pepper regulates fluid levels, thus maintaining the blood pressure and contraction of the heart muscles. The combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium in bell peppers helps in the prevention of hypertension as vitamin B6 is diuretic in nature.
9. Helps In Treating Anemia
Along with being a good source of iron, vitamin C in red bell peppers helps in the absorption of iron in the blood circulation, without which iron deficiency anemia is not curable.
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10. Helps In Reducing Anxiety
A healthy diet is always a good way to beat anxiety and depression. Red bell peppers contain magnesium and vitamin B6, which together help in reducing anxiety and stress. Its effects are more prominent during the premenstrual syndrome in women.
So, we have come to the conclusion that red bell peppers are indeed a great addition to your healthy lifestyle. Easy to access, easy to use, can be used easily in sweet and savory dishes. So, for the above mentioned benefits, have red bell peppers from today onwards.