October 27, 2011

Healthy Eats: Bell Peppers

I'm starting a new segment of the blog: Healthy Eats. These posts will highlight healthy foods that are tasty and good for you! In the future I hope to post recipes that go co-incide with my Healthy Eats posts. Stay tuned!


I love to eat bell peppers as a snack, because they are tangy and full of flavor, while also being good for you. As I was eating some slices of green bell pepper at lunch the other week, a coworker told me that the red bell peppers are the most nutritious for you. I decided to research to find out if this was a rumor or if it was actually true. Here are some interesting facts I learned:
  • All bell peppers are of the same plant, and their colors vary based on how ripe they are! Green peppers are picked before they are ripe, and then are ripened off the stem. Red peppers have been ripened fully before being picked. Yellow and orange are somewhere in between. This explains why green peppers are the cheapest to buy.
  • Because they are ripened fully, red peppers do have the most nutrients. This veggie is LOADED with vitamin C - 209 mg as opposed to the 70 mg found in an orange. (So if you want to build up your immune system, eat a red pepper instead of an orange!)
  • Green peppers are slightly bitter, and a lot of people don't really like them raw. Red, yellow, and orange peppers however have a very different taste - they are much sweeter and almost fruity. These are great to eat raw!*
  • Nutrients found in all bell peppers (levels varying based on color) include: vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene, folic acid, chemicals stimulating antioxidant activity.
  • Bell peppers help prevent blood clots, risk of heart attack and stroke, and according to some studies, cancer. They also help lower cholesterol.
  • Like all vegetables, cooking bell peppers at higher heat will cause them to lose some of their nutrients, which is why eating them raw is such a great snack option. :)

*Bell peppers can also be purple in color, but I omitted them because they are less common and I never see them in the grocery store. If you'd like to find out more about them, check out my sources.

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