Read up on these fantastic bell pepper benefits first, then go out and buy as many as you can.
Bell peppers are a delicious part of many different meals, whether you’re sautéing them to throw in a stir fry or making this low-carb pizza recipe. Bell peppers also make great on-the-go snacks and a healthy way to enjoy your favorite dips and sauces. Fortunately, in addition to being convenient and delicious, numerous bell pepper benefits directly impact your health.
While bell peppers have unique qualities that provide a beneficial combination of health benefits, it’s also essential to focus on getting enough of a variety of vegetables in your diet because there isn’t just one miracle vegetable that can provide everything your body requires.
If you like bell peppers and want to incorporate them into your meals, we recommend reading our list of science-backed bell pepper benefits from snacking on this nutrient-rich vegetable.
1. Bell peppers contain lycopene, which may help fight cell damage.
Bell peppers contain lycopene, a natural pigment in watermelon, tomatoes, guava, and pink grapefruit. The red variety of bell peppers contains the most lycopene of any color. But what is the benefit of this natural plant compound to your health?
According to a report published in Nutrients, lycopene is one of several plant pigments found to help the body fight free radicals potentially. Free radicals can cause cell damage in your body, resulting in oxidative stress and disease. According to the report, lycopene helps keep free radicals at bay and may thus help reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues.
2. Their carotenoids could be beneficial to eye health.
Yellow and orange bell peppers contain the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein, which are natural pigments. Carotenoids, also found in many naturally yellow and orange foods such as cantaloupe, carrots, eggs, and salmon, have been shown to benefit your health in various ways.
These naturally occurring pigments, for example, can help your eye health, according to a report published in Nutrients. According to the report, lutein and zeaxanthin are components of the pigment found in the yellow spot around your retina, which is known to help protect against blue light. Furthermore, these pigments may help to protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
3. Vitamin C is abundant in red bell peppers.
Bell peppers are high in vitamin C. Bell peppers have more vitamin C than oranges! Many people are unaware that vitamin C, besides its health benefits such as immunity building and blood pressure management, has been shown to help cognitive function as we age.
4. Bell peppers may improve your immune system.
Maintaining your immunity is an essential part of keeping your body healthy. Bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which is known to boost the strength of our immune systems.
Most researchers agree that adequate vitamin A levels can help protect us from infectious diseases, but the reason for this remains unknown. Vitamin A deficiency may impair our ability to absorb nutrients by preventing the regeneration of specific intestinal barriers following infection. Vitamin A is also required to form critical cells that fight infectious diseases.
5. Bell peppers are a high-quality source of vitamin B6.
Another benefit of foods like bell peppers that some people may not expect is that they can improve your mood. Red bell peppers have more than 35% of your daily value of vitamin B6, which is known to improve mood and lower the risk of depression. Vitamin B6 can be taken as a supplement to alleviate the symptoms of depression. However, it’s important to note that we can’t get enough B6 from bell peppers alone, so it should never be used to treat depression.
6. They contain a nutrient that can aid in metabolism.
Capsanthin is a natural compound found in bell peppers, specifically red ones. This compound gives food a red color and is also found in cayenne peppers, chiles, and paprika. Although more research is needed, scientists are beginning to discover that capsanthin consumption can help with inflammation and weight loss.
Capsanthin’s effects on weight loss. The mice in the study lost weight, and their glucose and cholesterol levels dropped significantly. Capsanthin aids in potentially causing a minimal increase in metabolic rate, and you are unlikely to get the entire amount you require from bell peppers alone.
7. They contain another nutrient that helps lower blood pressure.
Bell peppers contain quercetin, a natural color pigment. This pigment is a flavonoid that functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Quercetin has been linked to various health benefits, including anti-inflammation, cancer cell fighting, heart disease prevention, and blood pressure reduction.
Over five weeks, rats were given different levels of quercetin in a study. As a result, the rats’ blood pressure dropped by approximately 23% on average. Although these are encouraging findings, Goodson notes that “this particular study used a dose of 10 milligrams of quercetin and 3.5 ounces of green bell pepper only has 2 milligrams.” So, while bell peppers can help us get beneficial nutrients into our systems, which may lead to lower blood pressure, we can’t expect them to do it independently.
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