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The Health Benefits of Red Bell Peppers

What are you able to sprinkle on salads or soups, roast on the grill or stuff with cheese and rice? The candy and versatile crimson bell pepper is at your service.

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No matter the way you take pleasure in it, this pepper delivers a powerful diet profile. Registered dietitian Lara Whitson, RD, LD, explains why crimson bell peppers deserve a spot in your plate.

Are crimson bell peppers wholesome?

Red bell peppers (also called capsicum peppers) are a nutrient-dense meals, which means they’re excessive in nutritional vitamins and minerals, include no unhealthy fat and are low in energy. One cup of chopped crimson bell pepper has solely 46 energy and three grams of fiber. In phrases of the really useful day by day quantity of nutritional vitamins and minerals, you additionally get:

Red bell pepper advantages

The nutritional vitamins, minerals and different plant compounds in crimson bell peppers add as much as some substantial well being advantages. Research suggests these vitamins can:

Help forestall most cancers

Red bell pepper accommodates beta-cryptoxanthin, a compound that your physique turns into vitamin A. Some research suggests meals wealthy in beta-cryptoxanthin could assist decrease the danger of bladder, lung and colon cancer.

“Beta-cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant, which protects your cells from changes that can lead to cancer,” says Whitson. “And we know that people who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of cancer overall.” 

Protect mind well being

Red bell peppers include anthocyanins — pure compounds chargeable for their crimson colour. These pigments, discovered in lots of darkish crimson or purple fruit and veggies, could have a protecting impact on mind cells. Research shows that anthocyanins might assist decelerate reminiscence issues and cognitive impairment as we age.

“Eating a diet rich in anthocyanins is linked to better memory in older adults,” notes Whitson. “There’s no surefire way to avoid cognitive decline, but eating red peppers will give your brain the nutrients it needs to function at its best.”

Relieve arthritis

Cartilage is rubbery tissue that covers the ends of your bones and retains them from rubbing collectively. Osteoarthritis (OA), the commonest sort of arthritis, is a results of irritation and a breakdown of cartilage.

Many folks develop OA from regular put on and tear. But the suitable vitamins, like some which can be in crimson peppers, might provide help to get some reduction from joint ache.

“Red peppers contain a large amount of vitamin C, which heals and rejuvenates tissues, including cartilage,” Whitson explains. “Research suggests that vitamin C helps reduce pain from knee arthritis. Red peppers also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which could also help relieve OA symptoms.”

Keep your colon wholesome

Adults ought to get 25 grams to 35 grams of fiber every day, however most Americans don’t. A high-fiber diet has many benefits, together with making stool softer and simpler to cross.

“Red bell peppers have an excellent amount of fiber with few calories, so they’re a great way to up your fiber intake,” notes Whitson. “Fiber helps prevent digestive problems like constipation, and it may even help prevent colon cancer.”

How to make use of crimson bell pepper

Bell peppers are technically a fruit — a berry, to be particular — however you don’t normally see them on the dessert menu. Red bell peppers are the sweetest bell peppers as a result of they keep on the vine the longest. Green bell peppers are unripe bell peppers and have a extra bitter style, whereas yellow and orange are normally midway between crimson and inexperienced.

Many folks affiliate the phrase “pepper” with spicy, however bell peppers don’t have that kick. “Bell peppers are the only pepper that contains no capsaicin, which is the ingredient that makes foods spicy,” says Whitson.

Its mildly candy, veggie-like taste works properly in:

  • Pastas: Roast crimson peppers and add them to cream-based sauces or macaroni and cheese.
  • Salads: Cut into lengthy slivers or bite-sized chunks and make your salad pop with some further colour, crunch and sweetness.
  • Sandwiches: Roasted crimson peppers make an important addition to grilled cheese or deli sandwiches.
  • Snacks: Make roasted crimson pepper hummus or add sliced crimson bell peppers to a veggie tray.
  • Soups: Try dicing them up, sautéing them after which tossing them right into a cream-based tomato soup.

Need some extra inspiration? Try one among these flavorful, wholesome recipes:

Bell peppers are nice in each colour

Although crimson bell peppers have some vitamins particular to their crimson colour, all bell peppers are good for you. So, there’s no have to really feel such as you’re lacking out when you want yellow, orange or inexperienced ones as a substitute. “Eating different colored fruits and vegetables each day is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need,” encourages Whitson. “If red peppers aren’t your thing, try something else red — like chili peppers, red cabbage or beets. Then, add other colors, like leafy greens or sweet potatoes. If your plate is full of color, you’re on the right track.”

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