Health Benefits of PeppersPeppers don't have that spicy image for nothing. This vegetable is an excellent way to spice up otherwise bland dishes. Peppers come in a beautiful array of colors and shapes. They add flavor, color, and crunch to many low-calorie dishes.
Health Benefits of Peppers
All peppers are a good source of
vitamins A, C, and K.
Red peppers are a good source of the carotenoid called lycopene, which is earning a reputation for helping to prevent prostate cancer as well as cancer of the bladder, cervix, and pancreas. Beta-cryptoxanthin, another carotenoid in red peppers, is holding promise for helping to prevent lung cancer related to smoking and secondhand smoke.
Besides being rich in phytochemicals, peppers provide a decent amount of fiber.
Hot peppers' fire comes from capsaicin, which acts on pain receptors, not taste buds, in our mouths. Capsaicin predominates in the white membranes of peppers, imparting its "heat" to seeds as well. The capsaicin in hot peppers has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers. It used to be thought that hot peppers aggravated ulcers. Instead, they may help kill bacteria in the stomach that can lead to ulcers.
Both hot and sweet peppers contain substances that have been shown to increase the body's heat production and oxygen consumption for about 20 minutes after eating. This is great news; it means your body is burning extra calories, which helps weight loss.
Red Sweet Bell Pepper, Fresh
Serving Size: 1/2 cup sliced
|Saturated Fat||<1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|
|Vitamin A:|| |
|green pepper||170 IU|
|red pepper||1,440 IU|
|Vitamin C:|| |
|green pepper||37 mg|
|red pepper||87 mg|
Hot Chili Pepper, Fresh
Serving Size: 1 pepper
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||<1 g|
|Vitamin A:|| |
|green pepper||538 IU|
|red pepper||428 IU|
|Vitamin C||64 mg|
Want even more information about sweet and hot peppers? Try these links:
- Bell Pepper Garnishes: Learn to make fun and attractive garnishes with bell peppers.
- Nutrition: Find out how tomatoes fit in with your overall nutrition plans.
- Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
- Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.