While the word 'pepper' is reminiscent of spices, peppers have a milder flavor. They are often used to add flavor and texture to favorite dishes, but are also enjoyed as a snack. With the many health benefits, it's no wonder they are more popular.
If you haven't added bell peppers to your diet regularly yet, now is the time. They are beneficial to your health for more reasons than you can imagine. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle and feel good, consuming them is a great way to go.
Bell peppers come in different colors, including green, yellow, orange, and red. An interesting fact is that the green, yellow, orange and red peppers are all from the same plant. They all start out as green bell peppers, and the more ripe they get, the more they change color.
This vegetable is one that maintains much of its nutritional content even when you freeze them. With that being the case, you can add them to freezer meals or buy in bulk when they're on sale. After reading the great reasons to eat bell peppers, you will want to eat them at every meal.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PEPPERS
1. CONTRIBUTE TO BONE HEALTH
Bell peppers contain a lot of vitamin C. This is a vitamin necessary to produce collagen, which is what helps maintain healthy bones. Without collagen, bones, skin, and blood vessels could lose their strength and what holds them together.
2. PROMOTES EYE HEALTH
This vegetable contains carotenoids, which can help prevent eye diseases. They can also heal eye injuries.
The reason carotenoids are so good for your eyes has to do with blue light. Carotenoids absorb blue light, which is a type of light that is very harmful to the eyes. This can help your eyesight, prevent loss, and prevent macular degeneration in your eyes.
Carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables that are bright red, yellow, and orange. So keep this in mind if you are looking to increase the amount of carotenoids in your diet.
According to the National Institute of Health, these peppers also contain vitamins A and C, which promote healthy eyesight. If you have a hard time driving at night, you'll be happy to know that these vitamins help with that, mostly.
3. REDUCE CHOLESTEROL
Capsaicin is a nutrient that can help lower bad cholesterol in your body. It is found in all bell peppers, but the hottest bell peppers contain more.
This nutrient can decrease hardening of the arteries, reverse obesity, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of stroke. The reason it can help with all those health problems is that it lowers cholesterol. More specifically, it reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in your body.
4. HELPS PREVENT CANCER
In red peppers, you will find high amounts of lycopene. This is a nutrient that helps prevent cancers such as cancer of the prostate, cervix, bladder, and pancreas.
Another way they can help prevent cancer is through the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties they contain. It is important to note that one of the main causes of disease is excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. Both of these problems can be reduced if bell peppers are a regular part of your diet.
Two of the antioxidants that play a role in this are phenolics and flavonoids. Flavonoids have been found to have biochemical and pharmacological effects in the body. This reaction means there will be less oxidative stress and inflammation, so it is one way to reduce risk.
5. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Being packed with vitamin C, this sweet veggie is a good immune system boost. In one cup of red bell peppers, you consume 157% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. Keep in mind that the more mature you are, the higher the vitamin content.
6. HELPS TO INCREASE CAROTENOIDS
This protection is another instance where the number of carotenoids found in these peppers is a benefit. Carotenoids have an antioxidant effect and limit the impact of free radicals. This vegetable also contains sulfur, which is another compound that helps prevent cancer.
7. PROMOTES HEART HEALTH
When your arteries become inflamed, you can develop heart disease or diabetes. Since bell peppers contain vitamin C and vitamin K, which are anti-inflammatory properties, eating them regularly can reduce your risk.
These peppers also contain antioxidants that contribute to heart health. Additionally, bell peppers contain vitamin B6 and folate, which can lower homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels increase your risk of developing heart disease, so dropping them is essential.
8. HELP IN HEALTHY SLEEP PATTERNS
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, increasing the amount of bell peppers you eat may help. This vegetable contains high amounts of vitamin B6, which increases the production of melatonin. An increase in melatonin will help you sleep, and over time it will help regulate your sleep patterns.
9. IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Another vitamin found in this vegetable is vitamin B6. This vitamin promotes the production of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. Both chemicals are directly related to your mood, and a boost can help you be happier.
As if vitamin B6 weren't enough, these peppers also contain vitamin C. This vitamin helps your neurotransmitter work properly, which improves cognition. In turn, your mood will improve and you will feel less stressed.
10. KEEP SKIN AND HAIR HEALTHY
The vitamin E found in bell peppers will help keep your skin healthy and fresh. It will allow you to have younger skin for longer, and it will also help keep it blemish-free.
It also has the same effect on the hair, making it longer-lasting and more vibrant. If you are willing to mess up your hair, you can apply the vegetable directly to your hair.
To apply it to your hair, you boil the peppers in water for 5 minutes and then wait for them to cool. Then you need to use it on your hair and scalp, massaging it as you go. Leave it on your head for 15 minutes and then wash your hair with water.
This hair treatment will promote hair growth and health. It will also improve the blood circulation in your head. You can do it as often as you like, but twice a week you will have the best results.
EASY WAYS TO ADD PEPPERS TO YOUR DIET
Bell peppers are one of the easiest vegetables to add to your regular diet. They are delicious, smooth, and go well with most foods. They can be eaten as a healthy snack, side dish, or even as part of the main dish.
Another idea to increase your intake of peppers is to double. If a recipe calls for only one color of bell peppers, change it and add all the colors.
Other ways to enjoy bell peppers include:
- adding them to a pizza
- Add them to a stovetop recipe
- include them in your favorite soup or pasta dishes
- put them in a salad
- add them to sandwiches or wraps
- include them in your chili
- dip them in a vegetable sauce
- Fill and put them on the grill
- add them to a burger
- dice them and put them in your hot dog
One of the best ways to eat bell peppers is on the grill, and filling them with other delicious foods is key. Grilled stuffed peppers are a delicious lunch or dinner meal and can be made to serve just one person.
All you have to do is cut the top off a bell pepper and scoop out the seeds. Then fill them with other things you like to eat with peppers. There are a wide variety of foods that go well with bell peppers, so try experimenting so you can change them sometimes.
You can fill them with taco meat, shredded chicken, beans, rice, other veggies, cheese, or a mixture of all. Remember to cook any raw meat before adding it though, because it won't take long for the pepper to roast.
Then once everything is inside the grilled stuffed peppers, place them on the grill until the pepper is soft. This part can be left to personal preference because everyone likes their peppers to cook for different amounts of time.
FINAL REFLECTIONS ON HEALTHY REASONS TO EAT PEPPERS
Peppers are extremely healthy and are also very versatile. This flexibility makes them easy to add to your favorite foods and opens up many ideas for new foods.
You can eat the peppers as a garnish, cooked in the main dish, or as the main dish itself. No matter which option you choose, you will find many ideas for implementing peppers. If you're stuck with ideas, you can check out the list above or try the grilled stuffed peppers.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring, as these peppers will prove quickly. The possibilities are endless, and you can get creative with the foods you pair with your peppers.