Sweet Pepper Health Benefits
Sweet pepper is also known as capsicum, bell pepper, red pepper, cayenne, hot pepper, green pepper, Tabasco paprika pepper. The origin of sweet pepper can be traced back to Northern South America, Central America and Mexico. The scientific name of sweet pepper is Capsicum annum. Unripe sweet peppers are green and when they mature they turn purple, red, orange, yellow and so on. A sweet pepper is bell shaped and has fleshy but crunchy skin.
As compared to other members of the capsicum family, they are not very spicy. More on nutrition benefits of pepper
Let us look at some more information and facts about the sweet pepper. As mentioned above, sweet pepper was originally grown in Mexico and parts of America but it is now found in most parts of the world. This vegetable is readily found all through the year in all major markets. The sweet pepper contains many important minerals and vitamins and thus offers many health benefits. Do keep in mind that the nutritional value of the sweet pepper differs and depends on the variety of the pepper.
The nutritional benefits of sweet pepper are listed below:-
As can be seen from the above information, there are many health benefits of sweet peppers. The main health benefits of sweet peppers are given below.
- Sweet pepper contains vital vitamins such as A, B6, C, E and K. The red pepper contains the highest amount of Vitamin C, yellow the next highest and then the green.
- Sweet pepper also contains essential minerals. The main minerals found in sweet pepper include zinc, iron, copper, potassium, selenium, magnesium, and manganese.
- Sweet pepper is low in cholesterol content and saturated fats as well. It can therefore unwarily be included in diet and even those who have cardiovascular problems.
- The sweet pepper is also high in beta carotene content. Of all the sweet peppers, the red sweet pepper (bell pepper) has the highest amount of beta carotene.
- Weight loss: As surprising as it may sound, eating sweet peppers can aid weight loss. The reason behind this is that sweet peppers contain substances such as capsaicin, which helps in burning calories. These substances increase the body’s heat and help to burn the calories.
- Skin care: Research has shown that sweet peppers contain capsiate, a component of capsaicin. This capsiate helps to protect the skin against the harmful effects of UVB rays. It is a well known fact that UVB rays age, burn and damages the skin and could also cause skin cancer.
- Pain relief: Studies have shown that eating sweet peppers can help with pain relief, in particular with illnesses like arthritis. As mentioned above, the capsiate that sweet peppers contain is anti inflammatory in nature and thus is used for both pain relief and to obtain relief from inflammation. Topical creams made from capsiate help to relieve the pain and can be rubbed on sore muscles and joints in order to be pain free.
- Cancer: Sweet peppers contain many antioxidants and inflammatory properties and have anti cancer benefits as well. Do bear in mind that research on the anti cancer benefits of sweet peppers is still ongoing and large scale studies on human beings are yet to be carried out to test the effectiveness and potential support of sweet peppers in the treatment of cancer. Studies carried out on animals and in laboratories show that sweet peppers do help to reduce the risk of getting cancers of the digestive tract such as esophageal cancer and gastric cancer.
Side Effects Of Sweet Pepper
Now that we have discussed the health benefits of sweet peppers at length, let us look at some of the sweet pepper side effects. Do keep in mind that there are no known (detrimental) effects of eating fresh sweet peppers.
- The ill effects on health after eating sweet pepper have been linked to cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper when used in a cream form or as a topical ointment to treat arthritis related pain, may cause allergies. Many people also report of having a burning sensation after using such a cream.
- Studies have also shown that long term and excessive consumption of cayenne could lead to stomach cancer as well. Do consult your medical practitioner before consuming cayenne as it can react with other prescribed medications such as aspirin, blood thinners and antacids.
- If you are thinking of using cayenne pepper as a herbal treatment, check with your health care provider before doing so. This will help you to avoid any problems that might develop due to the use of this cayenne.
- Sweet peppers contain less capsaicin than other chill peppers; however, they may cause a burning sensation in one’s hands and irritate the nasal passages, eyes, mouth and throat. Caution should be taken if this is the case and gloves could be worn so as to avoid these problems from occurring.