Peppers have important health benefits and properties, as they are rich in vitamin C, E, B2 and B6 and beta-carotene. But, do you know all its qualities?
The pepper becomes almost without a doubt one of the most popular and consumed vegetables, since its use in the kitchen is part of the culinary and gastronomic tradition in much of the world.
In addition, thanks to the different types that exist, and its great versatility, it is an ideal food in many cooking recipes. Which, together with its different qualities and benefits, stands out for being a nutritionally wonderful natural option.
Do you know what pepper is?
The pepper is an herbaceous plant that contains a series of small flowers and is native to America, being ideal for example in a natural diet, since it can be consumed raw, boiled or roasted.
In the particular case of the plant, it belongs to the Solanaceae family, specifically to the Capsicum genus. In turn, within this family we can find around 75 genera and 2,300 different species. In fact, although there are so many species, there are actually few Solanaceae that are edible: not only the pepper, but also the eggplant and tomato, among others, stand out in this sense.
In fact, the part of this plant that clearly interests us on this occasion is its hollow fruit, which is also precisely known by the same name as this wonderful herbaceous plant.
For this main reason, the pepper is a very versatile food as it can be combined in a multitude of healthy recipes, and it becomes an ideal product to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
In particular, there are three varieties of pepper: green, red and yellow, although as a general rule, and certainly commonly, the most widely used are the green pepper and the red pepper.
However, we must know that these are not differentiated by their color, but by their flavor, being sweet and spicy. For all this, the pepper stands out because it has very important benefits and properties for the health of those people who tend to consume it regularly, as we will learn throughout this article.
The main types of peppers
Do you know what are the main types of peppers that are usually consumed? Below we summarize their most outstanding differences:
- Sweet peppers: They are probably the most popular and consumed. They can be red, green or yellow.
- Bell pepper: Thick and fleshy variety, rather large in size. It has a shiny and smooth red skin. Its flavor is smooth and its meat firm.
- Padrón pepper: Originally from Padrón (Galicia), it is green in color, small in size and elongated in shape. They can be spicy as well as sweet.
- Italian sweet pepper: It has an elongated and rather fine shape. Although initially its color is green as it matures it turns red.
What are the benefits of bell pepper?
The main nutritional properties of pepper
The pepper stands out for its high content of vitamin C and vitamin B6, which is essential for both the brain and the central nervous system itself.
It also stands out for its high content of beta-carotene (which when entering the body is transformed into vitamin A) and vitamins of group B2 (in addition to vitamin E). Therefore, it is ideal to prevent the appearance of degenerative and chronic diseases.
Specifically, beta-carotene helps prevent cancer, brain bleeds, cataracts, and heart disease.
Like tomatoes, red peppers have a higher amount of lycopene, which is a carotene with anti-cancer properties.
100 grams of pepper provide:
- Energy (kcal): 19.3 kcal.
- Carbohydrates: 3.7 g.
- Proteins: 0.9 g.
- Water: 92 ml.
- Fiber: 1.4 g.
- Minerals: potassium (210 mg), phosphorus (25 mg), magnesium (13.5 mg).
- Vitamins: vitamin A (67.5 mcg), vitamin C (131 mg), vitamin E (0.8 mg).
An excellent source of fiber, ideal against constipation
Regular consumption of peppers is ideal – and recommended – in people with constipation, thanks to the fact that they provide a very good amount of fiber. In fact, 100 grams of bell pepper provide about 1.4 grams of fiber.
In addition, thanks to this fiber content, the pepper is also interesting for eliminating toxins and purifying our body.
Low caloric content and hardly provides fat
As with most vegetables and greens, the pepper is excellent in a varied and healthy diet, and is especially suitable in weight loss diets that pursue the goal of reducing weight.
Why? Mainly because it has a very low caloric intake, mainly due to the fact that it hardly contributes fat.
A good source of natural antioxidants
As we mentioned a few lines ago, the pepper stands out for its carotene content, among which the presence of capsantin stands out. Capsanthin consists of a pigment that gives this food its characteristic red color.
This has a recognized antioxidant action, which together with the high content of vitamin C (another vitamin that acts as a powerful antioxidant), helps to increase resistance against infections by increasing our defenses.