Health

Surprising Benefits of Green Peppers

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Sweet Pepper

Green sweet peppers or bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) are commonly thought of as vegetables, though they’re technically a type of fruit.

Bell peppers have thick walls, are bell-shaped, and come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, and purple.

Green bell peppers are simply unripe bell peppers. They tend to be less sweet than red and yellow peppers and have a slightly bitter taste.

  1. Rich source of nutrients

Green bell peppers provide an array of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber and relatively low in carbohydrates.

In addition to the nutrients listed above, green peppers contain smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals including thiamine (B1), magnesium, copper, and vitamin E.

Green sweet peppers are particularly rich in vitamin C. Because this vitamin is water-soluble, your body can’t store it well, so you need to get it from your diet regularly.

Vitamin C is needed for many essential functions in your body, including proper immune function, collagen synthesis, nutrient metabolism, and more. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects your cells from harmful oxidative damage.

The peppers are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is involved in nutrient metabolism, immune function, and neurotransmitter synthesis (the creation of chemical messengers). It also helps create hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen within red blood cells.

This crunchy vegetable also contains provitamin A, which your body can transform into vitamin A. Provitamin A is found in the form of beta carotene, a plant compound with a vibrant color and many health benefits.

What’s more, green sweet peppers are low in calories and relatively low in carbs. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber.

  1. Good for gut health

Peppers are a good source of fiber, which is essential for gut health.

Adding fiber-rich foods like peppers to your diet can help you meet the recommended fiber intake of 1.1–1.2 ounces (30–35 grams) per day for men and 0.9–1.1 ounces (25–32 grams) per day for women.

One cup (150 grams) of raw green pepper contains 0.08 ounces (2.5 grams) of fiber.

Studies show that increasing your fiber intake can protect against digestive system conditions like colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Eating fiber-rich foods can also help keep your digestive system functioning optimally by preventing constipation and promoting a healthy gut bacteria balance.

Try snacking on sliced green bell pepper with hummus or adding chopped green bell pepper to salads, chili, and stir-fries for an extra boost of fiber.

Green sweet peppers are a good source of fiber. Adding fiber-rich foods to your diet can promote healthy gut function and protect against conditions that affect the digestive system.

  1. Contains health-benefiting plant compounds

Bell peppers contain a variety of plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

For example, this vegetable provides flavonoids, vitamin C, phenolic compounds, and carotenoids, all of which have health-promoting effects.

A 2019 study that analyzed the bioactive compound concentrations in sweet peppers found that compared with red, orange, and yellow peppers, green sweet peppers had more phenolic acids, including a powerful type called p-coumaric acid.

Studies have shown that diets high in phenolic acids may protect against certain health conditions, such as insulin resistance, fatty liver, mental decline, and heart disease.

What’s more, a 2013 study found that green bell pepper extract had higher antioxidant activity than red, orange, and yellow bell pepper extracts.

Eating a diet high in antioxidants — like vitamin C and carotenoids from green peppers — benefits your health in several ways.

For example, a large 2018 review of 69 studies found that either consuming more vitamin C and carotenoids and/or having higher blood concentrations of these antioxidants was associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality.

Green sweet peppers are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. Eating foods high in these compounds may promote your overall health and reduce your disease risk.

  1. May promote heart and eye health

Adding more fruits and vegetables like green sweet peppers to your diet is a smart way to promote your heart and eye health.

Numerous studies have linked diets rich in fruits and vegetables with a lower heart disease risk.

For example, eating more fruits and vegetables can improve heart disease risk factors like elevated cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

Furthermore, green bell peppers are rich in lutein, a carotenoid nutrient that’s essential for eye health. Lutein helps protect against light-exposure-induced damage to photoreceptor cells in your eyes.

As such, eating a lutein-rich diet may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that can cause vision loss.

  1. Could help you maintain a healthy body weight

Eating more fruits and vegetables like green sweet peppers can help you maintain a healthy body weight or even lose weight.

Green sweet peppers are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with other nutrients your body needs to function optimally. This makes them an excellent addition to any diet.

Still, it’s better to eat many different fruits and vegetables rather than only cranking up your intake of peppers.

That’s because people who eat more total fruits and vegetables tend to have lower body fat levels and weigh less than those who eat low amounts of produce.

Studies also demonstrate that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables typically have less visceral fat — a type of deep belly fat that’s strongly linked to increased disease risk — than people who eat less produce.

So, to improve your overall diet quality and promote a healthy body weight, try incorporating not just green sweet peppers but also other fruits and vegetables into your meals and snacks.

  1. Versatile and tasty

In addition to being highly nutritious, green sweet peppers are versatile and taste great both raw and cooked.

eep in mind that green sweet peppers are less sweet than red, yellow, and orange peppers. The green version also has fewer total carotenoids and flavonoids but is higher in phenolic acids.

Thus, you may want to add all colors of bell peppers to your diet to reap the benefits of their varied nutrient compositions.

No matter the color of the bell pepper you choose, there are almost countless ways to enjoy them, for example:

Add them to vegetable and chicken stir-fries.

Slice and serve them with hummus or baba ganoush for dipping.

Dice and use them as a crunchy salad topping.

Use them in soups, stews, and chilis.

Add them to rice and beans,

Sauté them with onions and spices to enjoy as a side dish.

Combine them with eggs and other vegetables in an omelet.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Adding bell peppers to your favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes can create nutritious, colorful, and tasty results.

Source: www.healthline.com

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