What Are the Benefits of Eating Green Bell Peppers?
A green pepper is a highly nutritious vegetable. This bell shaped vegetable with a green, glossy exterior adds a dash of color to any dish. It is also referred to as a bell pepper. It has a tangy taste that enhances food flavor. The inside has a small, white foam-like core with tiny seeds attached to it. This pepper isn’t “hot”? due to the absence of capsaicin which gives pepper the characteristic “hot”? taste. Orange, yellow and red variants also exist. The pepper is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
One cup of chopped green pepper, about 150 grams, has 30 calories. It provides the following nutrients:
· Protein – 3 grams
· Dietary fiber – 10 grams
· Vitamin A – 11 percent of recommended daily value
· Vitamin B1 – 7 percent of recommended daily value
· Vitamin B6 – 20 percent of recommended daily value
· Vitamin B9 – 5 percent of recommended daily value
· Vitamin C – 200 percent of recommended daily value
· Vitamin K – 14 percent of recommended daily value
· Iron – 0.5 micrograms
· Magnesium – 14.9 micrograms
· Phosphorous – 30 micrograms
· Potassium – 260 micrograms
· Calcium – 14.9 micrograms
Vitamin C Content
When you think of foods that provide vitamin C, citrus fruits and oranges are often the first ones that come to mind. Though both are high in vitamin C, the fact is that a 1-cup serving of chopped green bell pepper supplies 120 mg of vitamin C, or 200 percent of the recommended daily intake, while a 1-cup serving of orange juice provides 96.9 mg, according to nutrition data released by the USDA National Nutrient Database. Vitamin C is helps maintain a healthy immune system, skin, mucous membranes and strong bones. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it is not stored in the body and needs to be replaced daily.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Although vitamin C is the predominant vitamin in green bell peppers, they are a source of other vitamins as well. The same 1-cup serving that delivers 120 mg of vitamin C offers more than 10 percent of the RDI for vitamins A, K and B-6. Other vitamins available in lesser amounts are vitamin E and the rest of the B family, with the exception of B-12, which is only naturally available from animal sources. The mineral content of green bell peppers includes manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and a trace of fluoride.
The higher your dietary intake of dietary fiber, the lower your risk of heart disease, according to a report in the February 2011 issue of "Current Opinion in Lipidology." Researchers state that fiber lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and has a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Green bell peppers contain a fair amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, with 2.5 g or 10 percent of your RDI in a 1-cup serving. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber, as found in pepper skins, can not be digested. Both types of fiber have a positive effect on cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk, while insoluble fiber creates bulk in the intestines that helps prevent overeating and cleans out the colon, which may contribute to a decreased risk of colon cancer.
Green peppers are a rich source of vitamin C. They contain double the vitamin C content of oranges. Green peppers are also rich in flavonoids and phytochemicals. These reduce the formation of blood clots, thereby lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack. The pepper is also a good source of vitamins B6 and B9 which reduce levels of homocysteine, a toxic by-product of biochemical processes in the body. High levels of homocysteine can damage blood vessels which increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Vitamins B6 and B9 convert homocysteine into beneficial molecules which provides more safety for blood vessels.
If you want to promote the health of your colon, fiber is a vital element in the diet. Luckily, green peppers are loaded with fiber. Fiber reduces the degree of exposure of colon cells to bacteria and toxins. This is because it speeds up the transit time of waste matter through the gut. Research has shown that vitamins A, C and B9 significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer. Green peppers are an excellent source of these vitamins.
Green bell peppers are low in calories, with only 30 in a 1-cup serving. Fat-free and low in carbohydrates, they make a great addition to any diet plan. Adding chopped green pepper to salads or eating them alone as a snack is a way to help get your daily intake of vitamin C and other necessary vitamins and minerals. If you prefer your peppers to be cooked, the June 2008 issue of "Nutrition Research" reports that steaming green peppers improves their ability to lower your cholesterol levels. While cooking may be beneficial in some areas, heat will decrease the vitamin content of green bell peppers.
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