The benefits of red bell pepper can be attributed to its rich nutritional content. These mild peppers have a crispy, juicy flesh with a unique, mildly sweet flavor. Their name is because of their shape, which resembles a bell. Bell peppers originated in Mexico and Central and South America. However, they are consumed all over the world for their distinct flavor. They are green when they are unripe and turn bright red as they ripen completely. Botanically, red bell peppers are fruits. But they are termed and used as vegetables in many cuisines worldwide. They add a unique crisp and sweet flavor to delicacies. They are usually the size of a softball, but they can also be smaller, depending on the growing time. Red bell peppers are loaded with many beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins K, C, A, B6, and E. They are also rich in potassium and folate (1).
Organically grown red bell peppers are a better choice than conventionally grown peppers. As bell peppers are generally eaten with the skin, conventionally grown peppers may have a residue of harmful pesticides. Hence, they should be avoided. Learn more about red bell peppers and their benefits from the article below. Keep reading!
In This Article
Red Bell Pepper Benefits
For your benefit, we have divided the various benefits of red bell pepper under connected subheadings.
Red Bell Pepper: Health Benefits
Apart from making the dishes attractive and delicious, these bright and glossy veggies are a storehouse of nutrients. Though green bell peppers are widely consumed, red bell peppers are much more nutritious and have a comparatively sweeter taste. Some of the health benefits of red bell peppers are given below:
1. Red bell peppers are a healthy option that can form part of your daily diet as they contain phytonutrients that have powerful antioxidants in them. These antioxidants counteract environmental toxins and cell degradation. They protect your body from free radical damage that causes the development of cancer (2). Thus, bell peppers help in preventing different types of cancers in the stomach, colon, breast, prostate, and lung.
2. Red bell peppers provide a significant amount of vitamin C to the body. Apart from being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is vital for the proper absorption of iron. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency can consume red bell peppers with their iron source to facilitate maximum absorption (3), (4).
3. Snacking on red bell peppers helps in treating and preventing inflammation in the body (5). It is a great option for energizing yourself if you are overwhelmed with stress or feeling fatigued.
4. The combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium in red bell peppers aid in decreasing anxiety, especially due to premenstrual symptoms (6), (7), (1). Being a natural diuretic, vitamin B6 is great for reducing bloating and preventing hypertension (8), (9).
5. Red bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing about 13 percent daily requirement of vitamin A per half-cup (10). Vitamin A is a nutrient that supports healthy eyesight, particularly night vision as it aids in the function of the retina and prevents the development of cataracts (11), (12).
6. Red bell peppers aid in weight loss. A cup of sliced red bell pepper provides around 23 calories and no fat or cholesterol (13). Moreover, you can burn more calories by consuming red bell peppers as they can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate. Red bell peppers don’t contain capsaicin, therefore, they are not spicy or hot as chili peppers. Consequently, they have a mild thermogenic action that boosts your metabolism without increasing the heart rate or blood pressure like other varieties of peppers (14), (15).
7. Red bell pepper contains fiber which facilitates healthy digestion and maintains cholesterol levels. It may also offer protection against colon cancer and help in the treatment of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (16), (17).
8. Red bell peppers can form part of a healthy diet containing a variety of fruits and vegetables which reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as stroke, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some types of cancers.
9. Red bell pepper is a decent source of potassium (13).This mineral is needed by the body for regulating the level of fluid inside and outside the cells, contraction of heart muscle, and intestinal peristalsis which helps in elimination of waste from the body (18).
Red Bell Pepper: Skin Benefits
Red bell peppers contain plenty of vitamin C which make them extremely beneficial for your skin. Some of their benefits for skin are as follows.
11. Vitamin C contained in red bell peppers helps to form collagen, a structural fiber that is needed to hold everything together. Collagen is required by your skin to remain healthy and even minor deficiencies in vitamin C can cause skin problems (20).
12. Red bell peppers are great sources of three cancer-fighting carotenoids: lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. Apart from being excellent for skin, these carotenoids help in reducing swelling caused by arthritis because of their high silicon content. Red bell pepper juice is also known for its healing qualities.
Red Bell Pepper: Hair Benefits
Apart from their health and skin benefits, red bell peppers are beneficial for your hair in the following ways.
13. As pointed out earlier, red bell peppers are great sources of vitamin C which is involved in the formation of collagen. Hair follicles require collagen to stay healthy and for optimum growth. Deficiencies of vitamin C can cause dry, splitting and brittle hair.
14. Red bell pepper can be very beneficial in preventing hair loss as it improves blood flow to stimulate hair growth and protects the hair follicles from the effect of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
15. The spiciness of red bell pepper can help speed up hair growth by over 50 percent. Boil a few slices of red bell pepper in water for 10 minutes and cool it for 15 minutes. Then apply it to your scalp for 30 minutes and rinse away. Doing this regularly will stimulate hair growth.
Red bell peppers are a healthy option provided that you are not allergic to them. Also, ensure to store the red bell peppers away from meat to avoid them from getting infected by bacteria.
Red bell pepper benefits you in multiple ways. It may reduce cancer risk and combat iron deficiency, inflammation, bloating, and hypertension. It also promotes retina function and prevents cataracts. In addition, red bell peppers also aid in weight loss, promote healthy digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Try including them in your diet regularly to reap all the mentioned benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is eating raw red peppers good for you?
Yes, eating raw bell peppers is generally considered safe and beneficial to your health. Ensure that you remove the stalk and seeds before consuming them.
How much red pepper is too much?
You can eat half a cup of red pepper every day. To ensure that you do not consume too many bell peppers and consult a nutritionist for a better idea.
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- Bell Peppers (Capsicum annum L.) Losses and Wastes: Source for Food and Pharmaceutical Applications
- Antioxidant Potential of Bell Pepper (Capsicum annum L.)-A Review
- Determination of Vitamin C in Various Colours of Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) by Titration Method
- The role of vitamin C in iron absorption
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Capsicum baccatum: from traditional use to scientific approach
- The Association between the Risk of Premenstrual Syndrome and Vitamin D Calcium and Magnesium Status among University Students: A Case Control Study
- Intake of Selected Minerals and Risk of Premenstrual Syndrome
- Effect of red pepper on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: preliminary study
- Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: systematic review
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin A and the eye: An old tale for modern times
- Night Vision and Carotenoids (NVC): A Randomized Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial on Effects of Carotenoid Supplementation on Night Vision in Older Adults
- Peppers sweet red raw
- Dihydrocapsiate supplementation prevented high-fat diet–induced adiposity hepatic steatosis glucose intolerance and gut morphological alterations in mice
- Effect of dihydrocapsiate on resting metabolic rate in humans123
- Effect of red pepper on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: preliminary study
- Benefits of dietary fibre to human health: study from a multi-country platform
- Potassium and Health
- The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health