Bell Pepper Rx:Bell peppers are packed with several nutrients. They are a good source of vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene, and folic acid. Bell peppers also contain a large amount of phytochemicals that have exceptional antioxidant activity. Thosephytochemicals include chlorogenic acid, zeaxanthin, and coumeric acid. Whencomparing the nutrient values of the different bell peppers, studies have shown that redbell peppers have significantly higher levels of nutrients than green. Red bell peppersalso contain lycopene, which is a carotene that helps to protect against cancer and heart
Possibly due to their vitamin C and beta carotene content, bell peppers have been shownto be protective against cataracts. Just like other nutrient-dense vegetables, bell pepperscontain many different powerful phytochemicals. Bell peppers have also been shown toprevent blood clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes probablydue to their content of substances such as vitamin C, capsaicin, and flavonoids.
Although chili peppers contain a higher amount of those substances, bell peppers shouldstill be promoted especially for individuals with elevated cholesterol levels.
All fruits and vegetables offer outstanding health benefits. Nutritional research shows that each one contains its own set of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. To get the maximum health benefits, experts recommend eating avariety of fruits and vegetables along with other natural foods.
Why should you eat them-These extremely versatile vegetables are not only easy to find, store, and prepare, they are also super good for you! One pepper containsyour entire days worth of vitamin C and A. They’re also high in fiber, vitamins K, B6, E, Potassium and Manganese. The bright colors assure you that they are high in antioxidants which are important to fight free radicals. Red peppers are very high in lycopene. You’ve probably heard of lycopene in relation to tomatoes. It is essential for fighting all types of cancer.
One word of advice- try to buy organic! Bell peppers are on the list of the top 12 fruits and vegetables which pesticide residues are most frequently found (peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes, and grapes). If you are not able to find decent organic peppers, at least make an extra effort to wash them thoroughly with a vegetable wash.
What to look for- Look for deep vivid colors. The skin should be taught with no bruises or soft spots. The stems should be green and fresh looking.
To store- Peppers can be kept whole in the fridge for up to one week. I like to slice them up and keep them in a bag for a handy snack. Having them presliced also makes it convenient to add an omelet or stir-fry.
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