9 surprising health benefits of bell pepper
The bell pepper is sweeter than its spicier brethren, which might be the reason it is so popular.
Bell pepper come in green, yellow, red and orange varieties. The red bell pepper contains the most nutrients of the group, but all are great for your health.
Here are the 9 health benefits of adding bell pepper to your diet.
1. Eye health
Bell peppers contain over 30 different types of carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Researchers have found that they help heal eyes and ward off eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light as it enters the eye.
2. Prevent cancer
Carotenoids also have powerful antioxidant effects that can prevent certain types of cancers. Carotenoids deactivate free radicals, which are the cell-damaging oxygen atoms that react with other molecules in your body. Make sure to let bell peppers ripen to maximize the amount of antioxidant benefits they possess- ripening increases the carotenoid content in bell peppers.
3. Boosts immunity
The amount of vitamin C increases with ripening as well, and bell peppers are full of vitamin C. 1 cup of sliced red bell peppers gives you 157% of your daily vitamin C content, making them a great way to stay healthy.
4. Balances mood
If you are feeling blue, try to increase the amount of vitamin B6 you consume. Naturally occurring in bell peppers, B6 helps your brain produce serotonin and norepinephrine, two chemicals that affect your mood.
5. Natural sleep aid
Not able to fall asleep at night? Eat some bell peppers! The vitamin B6 found in bell peppers also aids in melatonin production, which your body needs to regulate its internal clock.
6. Weight loss
Bell peppers are very low in fat and calories- about 1 gram of fat and 29 calories per cup- which makes them an ideal snack option, or a great supplement for a main meal. This small amount of fat is enough to provide a reliable storage for bell pepper’s fat-soluble nutrients.
7. Beautiful skin
Bell peppers contain a solid amount of Vitamin E, which helps keep skin looking fresh and young, and hair strong and vibrant.
8. Lowers cholesterol
Although bell peppers contain less capsaicin than their spicier cousins, they do have some. And that’s good news for those with high cholesterol, because capsaicin is a nutrient that lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in your system.
9. Helps with pain
The bell pepper relieves chronic pain in a couple ways. Vitamin C and vitamin K, both found in bell peppers, have anti-inflammatory properties, which reduces swelling and protects against osteoporosis. Capsaicin also relieves chronic pain.
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