Vegetables

Health Benefits of Peppers

The  Bell Pepper , whose scientific name is Capsicum annuum , is a type of sweet pepper, so called because it has no capsaicin and other capsaicinoids in fruits. Furthermore, they are not spicy, as these are the substances that give peppers a burning sensation.

Originally from the Americas, pepper is widely used in cuisines around the world and gives a special flavor to salads and recipes, in addition to bringing health benefits. It is rich in vitamin A, C and B complex, in addition to flavonoids, iron, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese and fiber.

Among the pepper’s properties are its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and improving immunity and bowel function. These properties are best preserved when it is consumed raw.

The best known and most easily found peppers in supermarkets and fairs are green, yellow and red, which differ in their degree of ripeness, which ranges from green, yellow, passing through an orange color until turning into red, when it is mature. Green peppers, as they are not yet ripe, have a slightly more bitter taste, less vitamin A and C when compared to red peppers. There are also other more exotic varieties of peppers, such as white peppers, purple peppers, bluish and black peppers.

PEPPER BENEFITS

Chili is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, flavonoids and tannins that work as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant and improve the immune system. When harvested ripe, ie red, peppers have higher concentrations of these beneficial nutrients.

-Anti-inflammatory action:  the alkaloid components of pepper have been shown to relieve the pain of the inflammation of Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammation of the intestine. It has its action also when related to skin pain, where creams and balms containing peppers are applied topically, relieving pain. Studies suggest that pepper would also have an effect on relieving pain associated with arthritis.

-Helps to prevent and fight cancer:  the tannin present in pepper has been shown to be effective in inhibiting the growth and destruction of cancer cells. These antitumor effects have been seen in cases of lung, liver and gastric cancer. Another property of chili that is beneficial for the prevention of some types of cancer is its antioxidant power that fights free radicals that can trigger mutations and cancer.

– Beneficial for the Cardiovascular System:  pepper has vasodilating substances that improve blood pressure, decrease heart rate and improve tissue oxygenation. Flavonoids also lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

-Antioxidant action: Vitamin A, vitamin C and other bioactive compounds from chili have an antioxidant action that protects the body from the harmful action of free radicals, helping to prevent cancer and chronic diseases and also combating premature aging.

-Controls glucose levels: peppers have hypoglycemic properties, which control the level of glucose in the blood and stimulate the production of insulin. Its consumption is beneficial, especially for people with diabetes, as well as in the prevention of type II diabetes.

-Improves the Immune System:  peppers contain Vitamin C, important to strengthen the immune system and thus leave the body better prepared to fight infections and repair tissues.

-Analgesic action: Studies have shown that pepper is effective to reduce pain when applied topically. It deadens the cutaneous nerve endings and reduces pain. It can be used topically to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy.

CHILI PLANTING

To know how to plant bell peppers, you must first choose to buy bell pepper seeds and sow them directly in the definitive location or buy bell pepper seedlings, these are relatively fragile. The pepper plant can be grown in pots, but for the plant to grow well, choose one with a depth and diameter of at least 35 cm.

When planted in the garden, the recommended spacing between one foot and the other is 40 to 60 cm. The ideal soil for planting is deep, well drained, fertile and rich in organic matter with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5.

Bell peppers grows best in hot climates, with temperatures between 18°C ​​​​and 30°C during the day. If it is planted in very cold places, it is ideally grown in greenhouses. It needs high brightness and direct sun. As for irrigation, it is necessary to irrigate to keep the soil always moist, but without soaking it.

PEPPER RECIPES

No matter the color, all have their benefits and flavors that can be used in various recipes with chili, which are easy, simple and delicious. Some examples are peppers stuffed with ground beef, peppers stuffed with rice and variations of vegetarian or vegan stuffed peppers, pepper pate, antipasto, salads, there are many options, just choose the one you like best and enjoy its benefits .

CHILI PATE

Ingredients

  • 4 red peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper powder to taste
  • ricotta or greek yogurt

preparation mode

Wash the pepper, remove its seeds and cut it into pieces. Heat it with a little oil, add the chopped garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute over low heat, stirring constantly.

When the peppers are shriveled, remove them from the heat. Beat them in a mixer and add the Greek yogurt or ricotta in the amount that gives the consistency of the pate. Add black pepper to taste, refrigerate and serve cold.

STUFFED PEPPERS WITH GROUND BEEF

Ingredients

  • 2 medium or large peppers
  • 300 g of ground beef
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 small piece of bacon (optional)
  • 1 small carrot (optional)
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 2 slices of cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of curd

preparation mode

Wash the peppers and make a hole in the foot of each pepper. Remove all seeds from inside to clean everything and set aside.

For the filling, saute the chopped onion and garlic, add the diced bacon and let it brown. Add the minced meat and stir well. Mix the carrots, a glass of water and cook until the water dries.

Cut the ham and cheese slices into small pieces, add to the meat and turn off the heat. Add the curd and stir well. The filling is ready. Now take the peppers and place the stuffing inside, filling it completely.

Wrap the bell peppers, one by one, in a piece of aluminum foil, place them in an aluminum or refractory tin and place in a preheated oven at 220º for 20 minutes.

PEPPER APPETIZER

Ingredients

  • 2 big red peppers
  • 1 big yellow pepper
  • 1 big green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 6 big cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup (of tea) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (of tea) of white vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaves

preparation mode

Wash the pepper, remove its seeds and cut it into pieces. Cut the onion and garlic.

Grease a baking sheet with a little oil and add the peppers, sliced ​​​​onions and stir. In a skillet, fry the garlic with a little oil. When golden, pour the peppers into the pan, add the bay leaves, vinegar, salt and half the remaining oil.

Mix very well, cover with foil and bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and mix a little more, leave another 10 minutes in the oven. Once dry, remove from oven and place in a glass with a lid. Cover with remaining oil and let cool. Once cold, cover and store in the refrigerator.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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