Bell peppers are the sweet cousins of the capsicum family, which include much spicier chili peppers used in small quantities only for flavoring. They are crunchy to eat and also enticing in appearance—in colors of green, red, orange and yellow, with green being the most commonly found bell pepper. Though all of them are great for your health, red bell peppers have comparatively higher nutritional value.
Below are the 7 reasons why you should include bell peppers in your diet.
1. Good For Vision
Aging has a direct effect on our vision, commonly leading to cataract and macular degeneration (characterized by blurred vision due to deterioration of the retina) with time. An enzyme called lutein, present in bell peppers has been proven to reduce the aging in the eye by preventing these. Red and yellow bell peppers also contain carotenoids, like beta-carotene, which is a provitamin A—they convert to vitamin A in the body, which makes them good for eyes.
2. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
A large number of deaths due to cancer have been linked to an unhealthy lifestyle. Following a healthy diet can reduce the risk of such terminal diseases. Bell peppers are considered one among the many cancer-fighting foods. The red bell pepper contains lycopene, a substance that imparts the typical red color to it. Studies show that lycopene possesses anti-cancer properties.
Note: Bell peppers, like other plants of Capsicum family, also contain capsaicin, a cancer-suppressing agent, but the quantity of capsaicin in bell peppers is not in considerable amounts.
3. Lowers The Risk Of Heart Disease
Eating steam cooking green bell peppers is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Primary bile acids are synthesized by the liver to break down fats and oils and decrease the bad cholesterol from the body. Experiments carried outside the body to replicate the function of bile acid showed that steam cooked green bell pepper helped in lowering the cholesterol by promoting bile acid binding, which utilizes cholesterol to produce bile acid. This, in turn, helps lower the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
4. Boosts The Immune System
Bell pepper contains vitamin C or ascorbic acid, which helps boost immunity. It has been shown to fight off infections, reduce the severity of allergic reactions, and promote wound healing. Red bell peppers have more vitamin C content than other colored capsicums—half a cup of chopped red bell peppers contain 140 milligrams of vitamin C.
5. Promotes Healthy Skin
Keeps The Skin Healthy
Collagen is a connective tissue that holds the body together—it is present in large quantities in the skin. Vitamin C and collagen present in bell peppers keep the skin healthy.
Repairs Antioxidative Damage
Antioxidants in bell peppers prevent your skin from damage caused by free-radicals. Drinking bell pepper juice can reverse skin aging and make you look youthful.
Bell pepper is a natural antibacterial and antifungal. It can prevent skin infections like shingles and fungal infections like athletes foot.
6. Promotes Hair Growth
Studies show that a higher silicon content in the hair prevents hair loss and adds brilliance. Bell peppers contain high quantity of silicon, which keeps your hair healthy. Not only do bell peppers prevent hair fall but they also promote hair growth. Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C—vitamin C derivatives including ascorbic acid 2-phosphate stimulate the growth of hair dermal fibroblast, which plays an important role in the regulation of hair growth.
Healthy Recipe For Bell Peppers
There are a variety of ways to include sweet bell peppers in your diet.
- Eat them raw by making yourself a nice colorful salad. Cook them with a sauce or simply saute them and add some spices for taste.
- You can even make yourself a bell pepper juice—it is known to cure sore throats and nose bleeding. Make yourself a glass full of nutrition by blending these ingredients—3 bell peppers, 1 large stem of red grapes, 1 handful of spinach, and 1 small apple.
Note: Remove the seeds before mixing them in the blender.
Bell peppers have less calories—a cup of chopped bell peppers contains 30-40 calories. Crunchy and sweet bell peppers are a healthy replacement for chips. They are also a good source of fiber—a cup of chopped bell pepper contains 2.5 grams of fiber.