Red peppers are the belle of the ball at any buffet table. Crisp and incredibly sweet, these ladies in red are an easy sell to anyone who is not fond of vegetables. The only limiting factor is that they can be costly.
Did you know that green peppers are just unripe red peppers? Because they are not fully mature, they have a bitter after taste, and half the vitamin C and 1/10th the vitamin A compared to their red or orange siblings. Vitamin A is important for eye health, and vitamin C may prevent the common cold.
Paprika and chili peppers offer the same benefits, but with extra capsaicin, a chemical that can produce a strong burning sensation in the mouth. It’s not in red peppers because a recessive gene eliminates it.
Here are five reasons to increase your red pepper consumption:
1. Red peppers contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps the proper absorption of iron. If you are iron deficient, try combining red peppers with your iron source for maximum absorption.
2. Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate. Both these vitamins and minerals can help prevent anaemia.
3. Red bell peppers help support healthy night vision. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. So when it comes to bell peppers, seeing red is a good thing!
4. Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants. The combined effects of vitamin A and C create a great antioxidant capacity, and with lycopene in the mix, the red bell pepper becomes a top notch superfood. Lycopene is what makes tomatoes and peppers red. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent many cancers including prostate and lung.
5. Burn more calories with red bell peppers. Recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate. Red bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is what makes peppers hot and causes us to sweat, but they do have a mild thermogenic action that increases our metabolism without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure like the hot peppers do.