Adding the palette of peppers to your grocery list will come with a slew of tasty benefits.
Some of the notable benefits are:
- Anti-oxidants – high in Vitamins A and C, which reduce the effect of free radicals inside the body
- Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease – Folic acid, Vitamin B6, and Fiber help decrease cholesterol and protect from blood vessels being damaged
- Healthy Eyes – the vitamins in bell peppers help protect against cataracts. Yellow and red bell peppers are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been found to protect against macular degeneration
- Reduce Inflammation – the Vitamin C in bell peppers helps prevent inflammation from arthritis or muscle damage
In case you’re wondering (because I did), the definition of caroteniod according to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Carotenoids is:
Noun 1. carotenoid - any of a class of highly unsaturated yellow to red pigments occurring in plants and animals
carotene - yellow or orange-red fat-soluble pigments in plants
lycopene - carotenoid that makes tomatoes red; may lower the risk of prostate cancer
beta-carotene - an isomer of carotene that is found in dark green and dark yellow fruits and vegetables
lutein, xanthophyl, xanthophyll - yellow carotenoid pigments in plants and animal fats and egg yolks
zeaxanthin - yellow carotenoid (isomeric with lutein and occurs widely with it) that is the main pigment in yellow Indian corn
antioxidant - substance that inhibits oxidation or inhibits reactions promoted by oxygen or peroxides
phytochemical - a chemical substance obtained from plants that is biologically active but not nutritive
pigment - dry coloring material (especially a powder to be mixed with a liquid to produce paint, etc.)
- roast your favorite color, peel the skin, and puree with other veggies or beans, garlic, and some spices for a great go-to dip anytime of day. Also works great as a cold or hot soup.
- put on skewers with other veggies of choice, a lean meat (if desired), and grill to bring out the sweetness of the veggies
- stuff with quinoa, salsa, beans, and other ingredients for a healthy Mexican inspired dish to wow your friends and family.
- spread thin pizza crust and bake instead of sauce for a great and easy snack or add more toppings for a meal.
The bell pepper is a very versatile food to use in cooking, see what you can create in the kitchen to start reaping the benefits of bells!
I will leave you with a quick fact – pimentos and the spice paprika both come from red bell peppers.