A wonderful combination of tangy taste and crunchy texture, sweet bell peppers are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world with their beautifully shaped glossy exterior that comes in a wide array of vivid colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. Despite their varied palette, all are the same plant, known scientifically as Capsicum annuum. They are members of the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavor, while the red, orange and yellows are sweeter and almost fruity. Paprika can be prepared from red bell peppers (as well as from chili peppers). Bell peppers are not ‘hot’.
- Vitamin ANecessary for the function of the four sense organs: hearing, vision, smell and taste. Necessary for the development of healthy muscles, bones, tooth enamel, skin, hair.
- Vitamin B1Has a positive effect on digestive organ function, promotes stomach movement and secretory function and accelerates the emptying of its contents, normalizes heart function.
- Vitamin B2Plays an important role in the “burning” of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Promotes a more complete breakdown of carbohydrates. The need for this vitamin highly increases with a fatty diet.
- Vitamin B6Has a positive effect on the metabolism, stimulates the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. An average of 110 disease stem from a lack of this vitamin.
- Vitamin B11Vitamin B11 functions in the DNA and RNA syntheses, essential for the body. It is necessary for cell division. By this way, it helps growth. It is necessary for the development of the fetus nervous system.
- Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that’s crucial for addressing adrenal fatigue, multiple metabolic functions — including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance — and maintaining healthy nervous and cardiovascular systems.
- Vitamin CStabilizes the psyche and strengthens the immune system. Blocks the formation of toxic compounds in the body, contributes to bone and cartilage formation, takes an active part in the metabolism of protein, sugar and fat.
- Vitamin DResponsible for normal bone and tooth development. Promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D protects the body from various types of cancer.
- Na sodiumAn important substance for muscle and nerve cell function, regulates stomach acid levels and the amount of fluid in the body’s cells.
- Ca calciumStrengthens teeth and bones, promotes blood supply to tissues, strengthens the heart and nervous system.
- P phosphorusSupplies the body with energy, participates in building bones and teeth, regulates calcium levels in the blood and metabolic processes.
- Fe IronResponsible for normal bone and tooth development. Promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D protects the body from various types of cancer.
- Mg magnesiumStrengthens the heart and kidneys, promotes and regulates metabolic processes, regulates calcium, phosphorus and potassium levels in the blood. A particularly important element for athletes and physical workers.
- Cu copperRequired in red blood cell formation. Helps prevent depression and low moods.
- Zn zincHas a positive impact on wound healing and tissue elasticity, promotes the formation of insulin and enzyme function, regulates carbohydrate processing and body growth. Stimulates the immune system.
Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. A recent study from Spain took a close look vitamin C, vitamin E, and six of these carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) in all commonly eaten foods and found that only two vegetables contained at least two-thirds of all the listed nutrients. One of these foods was tomato, and the other was sweet bell pepper! Bell pepper alone provided 12% of the total zeaxanthin found in the participants’ diets. (Bell pepper also provided 7% of the participants’ total vitamin C intake.)
While bell peppers are a very popular vegetable, they have not always shared the health research spotlight with other members of the pepper family due to their very minimal content of the phytonutrient capsaicin, the well-researched pepper compound that gives hot peppers their “heat.” Once active in the body, capsaicin can bind onto nerve cell receptors and change pain sensation, and it may also have important anti-cancer and blood-sugar balancing properties. However, the lack of “heat” or significant amounts of capsaicin in bell peppers does not mean that this vegetable should be denied the health research spotlight!