Bell peppers are nutritious that not all green vegetables have. Many studies show that the capsaicin compounds in bell peppers have the ability to treat cancer by blocking carcinogens from connecting with DNA. In addition, bell peppers also bring many benefits, together we learn more about this fruit.
1. The origin of bell peppers
Bell peppers are native to Central and South America. Columbus found them and wanted to replicate them in the West Indies market. And it was not until 1943 that bell peppers were exported to Spain and then spread throughout Europe and some other Asian countries.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s records, bell pepper was first commercialized in 1925. In Vietnam, this plant is grown in Da Lat, so it is also known by another name is chili. Da Lat.
In 2017, China was the country with the largest bell pepper production in the world with 17,821,238 tons. Next is Mexico with a production of 3,296,875 tons. Vietnam is not in the top 10 countries with the largest bell pepper production in the world.
Characteristics and varieties of bell peppers
Bell peppers are also known as sweet peppers. The fruit of a plant, the family Solanaceae, the genus Capsicum, and the species Capsicum annuum.
Unlike other chili family members, they are bell-shaped, thick and crunchy. The spicy of bell peppers is also much lower than other peppers like Cayenne, Jalapeno, dangerous chili (bird’s eye chili), African buffalo horn, green chilli (Siamese chili) …
Bell peppers have many types with many different colors. Some varieties of chili belongs to genus Capsicum:
- Red bell peppers
- Yellow bell peppers
- Green bell pepper
- Cherry chili
- Cubanelle chili
- Italian sweet green peppers
- Orange bell pepper
- Purple bell peppers
There are many delicious dishes made from bell peppers such as stir-fried squid with bell peppers, sautéed ribs with bell peppers, stir-fried beef with bell peppers, sauteed chicken with lemongrass, bell peppers, young beans with bell pepper sauce, bell peppers stuffed with meat …
2. Nutritional value of bell peppers
100 grams of peppers contain 120mg of vitamin C and just 50 grams of bell peppers provide 75% of the vitamin C that may be needed for the whole day.
Like other peppers, bell peppers contain pigmentain, a carotenoid that increases the durability of small blood vessels, improves and activates blood circulation. Research in the International Journal of Cancer in 2009 showed that premenopausal women who ate two or more servings of carotenoid-rich foods every day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17%. Just a few slices of red chili in salads will help our body strengthen carotenoids.
Bell peppers contain several types such as potassium, phosphor, magnesium, calcium, sodium, manganese … that are beneficial for general health, especially to help athletes achieve the highest reserves of vitamins and minerals.
Both hot and spicy peppers are high in vitamin B. One cup (250ml) of ground chili peppers provides 36% of the body’s daily vitamin B6 and 10% of folate; red chili 35% vitamin B6 and 7% folate; Yellow chili 20% vitamin B6 and 10% folate.
Bell peppers contain luteolin, an antioxidant that protects neurons by blocking the production of inflammatory cells, age-related memory-lowering factors.
Green bell peppers contain 5 to 8 times more flavonoids of red bell peppers, while red peppers contain betacarotene 9 times more than green bell peppers.
Peppers are rich in vitamins A and C, including powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body and help treat heart disease, osteoarthritis, bronchial asthma, cataracts …
3. The effect of bell peppers
The most common eye diseases that cause rapid vision loss are macular degeneration and cataract due to age or genetics.
On the other hand, malnutrition can also weaken eyesight, which is also an important factor in the formation and development of these diseases.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid pigments that protect the eye’s macula from the harmful effects of blue light, help improve vision and fight oxidative damage to the retina. (first)
Currently, zeaxanthin is found to be found in red bell peppers, orange bell peppers and most in green bell peppers. According to AAO, a person should consume 2 mg of zeaxanthin per day. (2)
In addition, red bell peppers also provide about 75% of the vitamin A needed to enhance vision, help better see at night and prevent night blindness.
Anemia will lead to a lack of oxygen supply to the tissues of cells in the body. This condition can make you look pale, pale, ringing in the ears, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Severe manifestations such as digestive disorders, fatigue, heart palpitations.
Sweet peppers contain a good amount of iron, which helps to improve iron deficiency anemia. Besides, they provide up to 300% of the vitamin C needed daily. Vitamin C is both a powerful antioxidant and helps enhance the absorption of iron in the gut.
You can eat raw bell peppers as a fruit to nourish the body. Combine with other iron-rich foods like red meats, liver, spinach to ensure the body is full of iron, avoiding the risk of anemia.
Good for heart health
Sweet peppers have a lot of powerful antioxidants that help neutralize and prevent the effects of free radicals that damage the body’s cells. They also work to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, avoiding the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer.
According to a study by the University of Urmia (Iran), at a temperature of 35 ,C, the phenols and flavonoids found in red bell peppers are capable of reducing free hydrogen peroxide radicals. These radicals are one of the causes of ischemic heart disease. (3)
The phytonutrients found in sweet peppers both reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They are also good for patients with high blood pressure, increased immunity, metabolism of hormones, reduce inflammation and detox.
Phytonutrients in green bell peppers also have the ability to relax the airways and reduce rapid breathing in people with asthma, thereby reducing the number and severity of illness.
Help sleep well, balance the mood
The combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 in bell peppers helps reduce anxiety, nervous tension and boosts the body’s natural immune system.
Vitamin B6 also contributes to melatonin production, helps with better quality sleep and supports the balance of your “biological clock”.
In particular, they are very helpful for women in reducing premenstrual symptoms such as fatigue, aches or mood swings.
Support to lose weight, stimulate digestion
Sweet peppers are low in calories, fat and cholesterol free. Eating these peppers will help you burn more calories because of the ability to generate heat and speed up the metabolism in the body.
Red bell peppers do not contain capsaicin which causes heat in the body like other types of peppers. They produce only the right amount of heat to help boost metabolism, not increase blood pressure or heart rate.
Moreover, the fiber in these sweet peppers helps stimulate digestion, promoting bowel movement. They also protect the colon from harmful bacteria, prevent colon cancer risk, help treat constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
According to a research report published in Nutrients 2014, eating a variety of carotene-rich vegetables like sweet peppers will directly reduce the risk of throat, oral cavity, prostate and cancer. Lung cancer (only for non-smoking cases). (4)
Brightens and increases skin elasticity
With abundant vitamins and minerals, bell peppers have powerful antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals, which cause skin aging. In particular, vitamin C promotes the formation of collagen, which helps your skin firm and stay healthy against harmful agents from the outside environment.
Phytonutrients also help treat rashes, bruises, acne and other skin infections effectively.
Reduce hair loss, make hair strong and healthy
A menu with the right amount of bell peppers every day will help stimulate blood circulation on the scalp better, help hair grow naturally, quickly.
Your hair will also reduce the breakage when eating bell peppers regularly. They will strengthen collagen for strong hair and protect hair follicles from the harmful effects of di-hydrotestosterone (DHT).
Bell peppers are an excellent source of nutrition and are an ideal choice for special diets. Quite rare cases of allergy to them. However, some people may have an allergic reaction due to a cross chemical reaction with other foods.
Therefore, to ensure that bell peppers promote their health benefits, you should consult a dietitian if the body shows signs of allergic reaction after eating.