Bell peppers are packed with antioxidants that help keep the body healthy and strong. Bell peppers are botanically a fruit, but nutritionally they are considered to be a nightshade vegetable. While other peppers boast spicy flavors due to the capsaicin they contain, bell peppers have a sweeter flavor. They grow in several different colors, including green, red and yellow. Thanks to their high Vitamin C and Vitamin A content, bell pepper health benefits include improved eye health, a reduced risk of heart disease, a strengthened immune system and more.
Bell Pepper Health Benefits
1. Aid in Weight Loss
Bell pepper health benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss. Bell peppers are low in calories and packed with nutrients. They work as a healthy alternative to potato chips to satisfy a crunch craving. You can cook bell peppers or eat them raw as a healthy snack.
2. Reduce Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
Bell pepper health benefits include a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. They contain carotenoids – plant-based antioxidants that help reduce cell damage caused by oxidation. Red bell peppers in particular contain high amounts of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which help reduce free radical activity in the body that can cause cancer, heart disease and other health issues. (1)
3. Support Healthy Eyes
Thanks to the lutein and zeaxanthin they contain, bell pepper health benefits include improved eye health. Green bell peppers are particularly high in these antioxidants. Lutein has the ability to help protect the eyes against macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin can help reduce eye fatigue and glare sensitivity. (2)
4. Improve Immunity
Bell pepper health benefits include improved immunity. The many antioxidants that bell peppers contain work to strengthen the immune system and fight off bacteria and viruses that cause illness and infection. (3)
5. Maintain Mental Health
Thanks to the Vitamin B6 they contain, bell pepper health benefits include improved mental health. Vitamin B6 increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. These hormones are often called “the happy hormones,” thanks to their ability to release feel-good chemicals into the brain. They work to naturally improve mood and concentration.
6. Promote Skin Health
Bell pepper health benefits include improved skin health. Bell peppers contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which helps promote collagen production in the skin. Low Vitamin C levels can cause dry skin and wrinkles. Consuming bell peppers on a regular basis can help keep the skin soft and hydrated.
7. Promote a Healthy Pregnancy
Bell pepper health benefits include the ability to promote a healthy pregnancy. They contain folate, which is a vital nutrient for pregnant mothers. Thanks to the folate they contain, bell pepper health benefits also include a reduced risk of birth defects. A folate deficiency is often linked to problems with neural tube development in infants.