Bell peppers in all their bright and beautiful hues are staples in many kitchens. Many of us enjoy eating them raw or love to add them to all sorts of dishes that include soups, salads, stews, casseroles, and more. Bell peppers not only add taste and crunch to popular meals like fajitas and stir-fries but also a surprising number of health benefits. Low in calories, these peppers are uber-rich in vitamins and nutrients that appear to have the power to enhance your health in a myriad of ways. As you plan your upcoming grocery list and meal menu, be sure to include green peppers so you can enjoy all the benefits that these peppers afford.
Boost Your Immune System Health
Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which is essential to your immune system. According to nutritionists, bell peppers have double the amount of vitamin C that citrus fruits have. They also report that of all the hues, the red bell peppers contain the most vitamin C, so when topping your pizza, pita, or pasta sauce, reach for some red peppers. Also, bell peppers are rich in beta-carotene. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene can give your immune system a welcome boost.
Support Eye Health
Since bell peppers are rich in nutrients like beta-carotene, it’s not surprising that they provide excellent support for eye health. The fact is, bell peppers contain more than thirty carotenoids, including beta-carotene, so they are among the best foods you can eat to support eye health. Red and yellow bell peppers are exceptionally rich in beta-carotene but also contain vitamin and other enzymes that may even reduce your risk for age-related conditions that affect vision like macular degeneration. Because there are so many novel ways to add bell peppers to your meals, you should include them in your weekly diet.
Many people want to enjoy a diet that offers some protection against the development of cancer. Nutritionists suggest that foods rich in antioxidants are good places to start. Bell peppers are high in antioxidant protection. Some cellular processes, as well as environmental toxins like cigarette smoke and air pollution, can lead to the development of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are potentially harmful molecules that can disturb healthy cells even causing them to mutate. These mutations can be dangerous and lead to serious health conditions. Antioxidants have the power to rid the body of excess free radicals before they can do their harm. To ward off dangerous conditions like cancer, be sure to eat your green peppers every week.
High levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with a risk for heart disease. Not to be confused with beneficial HDL cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol can build up on the walls of blood vessels, which causes their openings to narrow. This narrowing reduces and can even block essential blood flow. Consequently, it’s vital to maintain low levels of bad cholesterol to ensure healthy blood flow. You can achieve a heart-healthy diet by including foods that lower levels of bad cholesterol. Bell peppers, with their capsaicin, can do just that. Add bell peppers to your favorite pasta sauce or enjoy them as an afternoon snack to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Enhance Your Mood
There are a variety of foods that appear to have the power to boost your mood. Bell peppers appear to be among them. Bell peppers contain vitamin B6. This B vitamin is associated with the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that can enhance your mood. Bell peppers can also support melatonin production, and if your blue mood is leading to sleep issues, the boost in melatonin can ensure that your sleep routine is at reduced risk. Not getting enough sleep is a factor in depression, so be sure to include those bell peppers in your diet if you’re feeling stressed.
Many people suffer pain either temporarily or chronically. Powerful opiate-based pain medications and even over-the-counter pain meds are associated with many unwanted side effects. People who are suffering from mild pain may be able to reduce their symptoms with the help of diet. Bell peppers feature vitamins like K and C that can reduce inflammation levels to provide relief from pain. The capsaicin contained in bell peppers is also helpful for reducing pain levels.
If you are trying to lose or simply manage your weight, bell pepper slices are a smart snack choice for dieters. Bell peppers are low in calories and low in fat. A single cup of bell peppers contains less than thirty calories. Plus, if dieting stresses you out, just consider that the vitamin C contained in bell peppers is known to counteract the stress hormones that are associated with fat storage triggers. Bell peppers can also boost metabolism so that you can keep your body burning up those calories.
Maintain Skin and Hair Health
You can keep your skin and hair looking its best by adding more foods that are rich in vitamin E. Bell peppers contain vitamin E, so they have the power to enhance the look and feel of skin and hair. Bell peppers also contain vitamin C, which is needed to produce collagen. Collagen enhances the elasticity of skin and can keep it looking more youthful. The nutrients contained in bell peppers can also promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Anemia can prove to be a serious condition as it involves the reduction of the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia. Fortunately, bell peppers contain iron as well as other nutrients that support iron absorption. Eating iron-rich foods like bell peppers can help you reduce your risk of developing anemia.
Good for Pregnancy
If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or just found out you’re pregnant; it’s vital to ensure that you’re getting the folic acid you need to support fetal health. Bell peppers contain folate, so they can be a big part of your pregnancy diet. Be sure to discuss diet with your healthcare provider to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you and your developing infant need for optimum health.