Bell Peppers Nutritional Facts
Bell peppers come in a wide range of vibrant colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. They all belong to the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines. Bell peppers are available all year long, but they are at their ripest and tastiest during the summer and autumn.
Studies have shown that the vitamin C and carotenoid content of bell peppers increases dramatically when they are allowed to ripen naturally on the plant – as does their antioxidant capacity. This provides us with added health benefits, as antioxidants help mop up the free radicals that can damage our cells and cause us to age faster.
Like broccoli, garlic and onions, bell peppers are a rich source of sulphur-containing compounds. These compounds are generating much interest in the scientific community due to their possible anti-cancer benefits.
Cooking bell peppers at high temperatures can damage some of their health-promoting nutrients. So whenever possible try to eat them raw or cooked at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time. We’re always hearing that we should eat a rainbow of colours – what better way than with bell peppers?
Here is a wonderful summer gazpacho recipe that uses bell peppers.