Bell peppers are most often considered as a colourful garnish or to add that bit of additional topping to any dish. But what very few people are aware of is the many health benefits and uses of bell pepper.
Bell peppers although come in green color but there are many ripened versions of it. The ripened version of bell peppers is available in yellow, red, purple and orange colors.
Bell peppers are also packed with several nutrients, antioxidant properties and fibre that have been proven to treat several health concerns.
Nutritional Value of Bell Peppers
Bell peppers contain multiple vitamins and health essential nutrients as follows:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- And Dietary Fibres
Apart from these vitamins and nutrients bell peppers are also a rich natural source of carotenoids like:
- Alpha Carotene
- Beta Carotene
Now that we have gained the basic nutritional facts of bell peppers let us now discover some amazing and multiple health benefits and uses of bell pepper.
Health Benefits of Bell Pepper
According to several types of research conducted on bell peppers, it has been proven that the nutrients present in this vegetable are rich in health promoting and disease preventing qualities.
Bell Peppers for Prevention of Diabetes
Regular consumption of vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and antioxidant properties helps in reducing the risk of chronic illness like diabetes.
For this, bell peppers can be considered as the perfect vegetable as it has a high content of vitamin C and using it in salads on a daily basis is probably the best way to prevent your body from a chronic illness like diabetes and heart problems.
The cryptoxanthin and the dietary fibre present in bell peppers act as a shield against the risk of getting diabetes. The antioxidant rich bell peppers also help in lowering the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Bell Peppers for Boosting Immunity
Whether it is the red bell peppers or the green bell peppers both of them contain a high amount of vitamin C in them. Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins in our body as it helps in maintaining the smooth functioning of skin, organs, blood vessels and bones.
Regular consumption of bell peppers because of its high vitamin C content can help in developing resistance against infections and diseases. By including bell peppers in the daily diet it helps in boosting immunity and preventing the body from disease.
Bell Peppers for Preventing Birth Defects in Unborn Children
This will have to be one of the best health benefits and uses of bell peppers. Bell peppers are a natural source of folate and this mineral helps in the smooth functioning of the red blood cells in the body.
This makes bell peppers the best vegetable, especially for the pregnant women. Regular consumption of bell peppers in and as salads will help in preventing birth defects in unborn children.
Bell Peppers for Cancer Prevention
Vegetables and fruits that are rich antioxidant properties are considered as cancer prevention. Bell peppers being one of the best vegetables for the same as it contains a rich amount of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, vitamin C and folate.
Apart from this, the presence of Apigenin in bell peppers is another quality that helps in lowering the risk of breast cancer in women.
All of these health beneficial properties present in bell peppers acts as cancer prevention. Regular intake of bell peppers helps in lowering the chronic inflammation and this result in preventing the body from cancer.
Bell Peppers for Good Skin
Yes, this may sound absolutely unbelievable but regular intake of bell peppers can also benefit the skin in many ways.
The reason for this is the high content of vitamin C in bell peppers and this helps in protecting the skin from infections and several skin disorders.
How to Use Bell Peppers for a Good Skin
Bell Peppers & Feta Cheese Salad
This probably is the most delicious and healthiest way to use bell peppers in the everyday diet.
It’s a quick recipe and is packed with loads of nutrients and calcium. Try this recipe to gain maximum health benefits of bell peppers.
Things you need
- Red Bell Peppers – 1 Nos.
- Feta Cheese – ½ Cup
- Chicken Broth – 4-5 tbsp
- Garlic Cloves – 2
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Mixing Bowl
- Serving Bowl
- Kitchen Knife
- Firstly using a kitchen knife chop the bell peppers into thin slices.
- Next, chop the garlic into small pieces.
- Now take a saucepan and place it over medium heat.
- Now to this saucepan add the chicken broth and cover it with a lid.
- After 3-4 minutes check if the broth has reached the steaming stage.
- Once it starts to steam add in the chopped bell peppers and cover it with a lid for another 2-3 min.
- Later take the lid off and let it cook again for another 3-4 min.
- Take it off the heat and transfer it into the serving dish.
- Add in the chopped garlic and the extra virgin olive oil to the cooked bell peppers and toss it.
- Finally, add in the feta cheese and toss it again and serve it.
- This is an extremely healthy dish and can be either consumed as a salad for lunch or as a late evening salad too.
Bell Pepper for the Prevention of Anemia
Anemia is a serious health condition where the person experiences a reduced flow of oxygen in the blood. The common most symptoms of anemia are overly tired and weakness.
Bell peppers are a great natural source of iron, folate, and the vitamin B6. These vitamins and minerals are extremely helpful in the prevention as well as for treating Anemia.
Regular consumption of bell peppers either as a vegetable or as a garnish on the regular food helps in restoring these anemia prevention vitamins and minerals in the body.
Bell Peppers for Cardiovascular Health Benefits
Several medical studies have proven that a regular consumption of foods that are rich in folate and anti-inflammatory properties is highly beneficial for the overall heart health.
Bell peppers are probably the best vegetable as it is rich in both folate and anti-inflammatory properties. So eating bell peppers on a regular basis even lowers the risk of heart attacks as well as prevents the heart from any other cardiovascular diseases.
Bell Peppers for a Better Eye Health
Bell peppers are packed with the two best carotenoids that are very important for the eye health and also help in improving the eyesight.
The two carotenoids present in bell peppers are lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help in preventing the eyes from cataracts and various other eye disorders.
Regular consumption of bell peppers even helps in protecting the eyes from the damage caused by the ultraviolet light or sun damage.
Bell Peppers for Losing Weight
According to several studies conducted it has been proven that the red bell peppers can actually help in increasing the metabolic rate of the body and eventually help in burning more calories as you work out.
The red bell peppers don’t contain the compound capsaicin in them and this makes it the spiciest pepper of all kinds. Consuming this on a regular basis increase the metabolic rate in our body and makes us sweat more than usual.
Another proven fact that makes bell peppers the ideal vegetable to lose weight is that it is lowest in calories.
How to Use Bell Peppers to Boost the Metabolic Rate for Weight Loss
Wrapped Red Bell Pepper Salad
This wrap with red bell peppers is packed with protein and vitamin C and all the health goodness that bell peppers are known for.
So try this amazingly delicious recipe to boost your metabolic rate before a workout!
Things you need
- Tortilla or Ezekiel Wraps – 4-5
- Sliced Red Bell Peppers – ½ Cup
- Goat Cheese – ¼ Cup
- Sliced Green Zucchini – ½ Cup
- Sliced Snap Peas – 4
- Olives – 4
- Basil Pesto – 1 tbsp
- Chopped or Dried Rosemary – ½ tsp
- Parsley Flakes – 1 tsp
- Mixing Bowl
- Serving Dish
- Firstly place the tortilla or the Ezekiel wraps on a cookie sheet and let it low broil for 2 mins on both the sides.
- Now add the goat’s cheese all across the wraps and broil for another min.
- Now using a spoon spread the basil pesto over the cheese on the wraps.
- Then garnish these wraps by adding the zucchini, olives, snap peas and the sliced red bell peppers.
- Add the dried rosemary and the parsley and serve it on a serving dish.
- This red bell pepper wraps can be a great power and protein packed lunch alternative or a late evening snack.
- The heat from the red bell peppers will help in increasing the metabolic rate before workouts and the cheese cover up for the daily protein requirement.
Apart from the above-mentioned recipes, there are a few other alternate and delicious ways that one can use the beautiful and healthy vegetable bell peppers in their everyday diet.
Alternate Ways of Consuming Bell Peppers:
- Consuming raw bell peppers as a salad accompaniment is a great way for a daily intake.
- One can even add chopped bell peppers to any sauce like salsa or as a garnish to your favorite pasta recipe.
- Bell peppers are also a great dietary accompaniment for breakfast as it is packed with all the health beneficial nutrients and vitamins. One can choose to add bell peppers in their favorite scrambled egg recipe or even as a topping on omelettes.
- One can even choose to use the red bell peppers instead of the regular chillies for that extra spice in the everyday food.
- One can even choose bell peppers as a side dish along with the chicken and all one needs to do is to just stir fry them with little oil and salt, pepper and some garlic for that extra taste.
Selection & Storage:
- Fresh bell peppers are easily available almost everywhere.
- Make sure to buy bright colored peppers.
- Always make sure to buy bell peppers only if they feel firm enough.
- Avoid buying soft and mushy bell peppers.
- Once you buy them to make sure to store them in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic bag.
- They can remain fresh for about 3-4 days so make sure to use them before that.
Preparation of Bell Peppers
The best part about consuming bell peppers is that you don’t need to cook it for a while and they can be consumed even raw.
In fact, bell peppers taste their best when eaten raw. They can be used as a salad or as a stuffed vegetable as they don’t take very long to cook and maximum time required for them to cook is not more than 4-5 mins.
So the next time you are out buying healthy vegetables or planning to switch your diet to a more healthy diet then make sure to buy bell peppers.
There are plenty of health benefits and uses of bell pepper that are mentioned above but make sure to use them in your daily life to lead a healthier life.
Just in case if the recipe suggestions mentioned above don’t work in treating any health issue then it is best suggested to consult some specialist for the same.
But before switching to over the counter drugs it is best advised to try simple and natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables to treat health concerns in a safer and more affordable way.