You probably think red bell peppers are just another vegetable, right? Wrong. Red bell peppers are a bonafide superfood with a whole laundry list of benefits to boot.
The most significant benefit of red bell peppers is their antioxidant count. While they may not have the robust antioxidant profile of a superfood like blueberries or acai, a single red bell pepper contains about twice your daily allowance of vitamin C.
Antioxidants like vitamin C help protect your cells and DNA from damage done by free radicals. Red bell peppers also contain about half your recommended daily value of vitamin A and a quarter of your daily value of folate and vitamin E. Together, these compounds help to promote a healthier immune system and prevent damage to cells.
Red bell peppers are also packed with B-vitamins, which are essential for stress management, proper growth, and development. Vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6 are used by your body to manufacture neurotransmitters, produce DNA, and metabolize the foods we eat. They are an essential part of our diet and a single red bell pepper has almost all of the stress-relieving vitamin B6 you’ll need each day.
Did you know…that vitamin B6 may even reduce the risk of breast cancer in some individuals? This is supported by a 2012 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. The results of the study suggested a link between adequate intake of B-vitamins and a reduced risk for breast cancer.
You probably don’t keep track of the minerals you consume each day, unless you’re really paying attention to the label on your daily multivitamin. Luckily, the red bell pepper has got you covered.
Another hidden benefit of the red bell pepper is its mineral profile. One pepper has about half your daily value of manganese.
Manganese is important for building and maintaining strong bones and tissues, and may even stave off osteoporosis. Red peppers also contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc in smaller amounts.
A single pepper won’t satisfy all your nutrient needs for a day, but you’d be hard pressed to find a vegetable that packs a bigger punch or can give you so much stress relieving nutrients in a single bite.
One great perk of the red bell pepper is its versatility as a food. You can eat them raw, or add them to whatever you’re cooking. However, if you do cook them, don’t use high heat. Like other vegetables, the nutritional contents of a red bell pepper can be damaged by excessive heat. So, if you want to ensure optimal nutritional content in your peppers, be gentle.