Synonyms: Sweet pepper, Bell pepper, Green pepper, Paprika, Sweet bell pepper.
Pepper is the fruit of the plant (‘Capsicum annum L), a herbaceous plant in the Solanaceae botanical family that grows to a height of 60cm.
The fruit comes in a variety of colors, including red, green, yellow, orange, purple, and even black.
Pepper contains provitamin A (beta-carotene), which the body converts to vitamin A.
Other carotenoids found in pepper, such as lycopene, are strong antioxidants that protect your body from malignant cell degeneration.
Red peppers provide nearly four times the vitamin C content of lemons or oranges.
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Other Nutritional Composition
Flavanoids- They are potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants that protect the circulatory system.
Vegetable fiber- Contributes to the laxative action of pepper.
Capsaicin- This is the substance that contributes to the hotness of pepper.
How Does Bell Pepper Benefit Your Health?
Pepper is known to stimulate the flow of gastric juice and reduce inflammation.
Stomach disorders such as indigestion are caused by scanty digestive juices or digestive atonia.
Thus, pepper is highly recommended for people suffering from dyspepsia (indigestion).
Pepper is a natural laxative, and also an anti-flatulent thus preventing excessive intestinal gas.
Prevent cancer of the digestive system
The presence of antioxidant vitamins (A and C) makes pepper capable of protecting cells from the mutagenic action of carcinogens.
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Pepper promotes your heart’s health by lowering blood serum cholesterol and reducing lipid deposits.
It also protects you from heart related diseases by thinning your blood vessels.
Pepper aids in reducing weight since it contains capsaicin, a compound that destroys nerve fibers that send messages from the stomach to the brain.
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Fights colds and flu
Pepper is rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants which are known for their power to fight colds and flu.
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Fights fungal infections
Research has shown that consuming pepper may help your body fight reduce fungal pathogens.
Eating pepper may aid in reducing bad breath since it acts as a disinfectant to the air you breathe.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes red itchy scalpy patches.
Capsaicin, a compound present in pepper may aid in relieving this skin condition.
The capsaicin found in pepper is a powerful pain reliever which can be applied on the skin to inhibit the chemical P that sends pain messages from the skin to the brain.
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Preparation and Usage
- Raw: Pepper may be eaten raw when they are young and tender by using them in salads. Make sure you chop them thinly and chew them well.
- Cooked: It is advicable to roast pepper in the oven since fried peppers contain large amounts of oil which make them indigestible.
- Paprika: This is dried pepper in powder form which is very rich in provitamin A. It may be sweet of slightly piquant and gives a pleasant red color to sauces, rice, potatoes and other foods. It is mostly used as a healthful coloring.
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