21 March 2015

Why should you include Bell pepper (Capsicum) in your diet?

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Why should you include Bell pepper (Capsicum) in your diet?

How often do you include Bell pepper (Capsicum) in your diet? Read this and use it as much as you can.

Consumption of Pepper fruit, otherwise known as bell pepper (Capsicum annum L) is gaining significance these days due to better cognizance about its antioxidant properties. They belong to the family of solanaceae which includes eggplant, potato and tomato. There are many varieties of pepper including yellow, orange, red, purple, brown and black with variations in the pigment they contain. Pepper fruit is much noted for its pungent taste. Pepper fruit can be eaten raw as salads, added in curries and pickles. The major products prepared from pepper are paprika, dried chillies and oleoresin.

Nutritional importance

  • 100 grams of raw pepper supplies roughly 30 calories with low glycemic index.
Fibre = 1.85 gm
Vitamin C = 120 mg
Potassium = 195 mg

  • Bell pepper are excellent sources of phytonutrients like carotenoid, flavonoids and cinnamic acid which possess astounding antioxidant properties.
  • Pepper fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C.
  • Matured red pepper fruit contains more carotenoid pigment than raw pepper.
  • Pepper contains Capsaicin, an alkaloid compound which is responsible for its distinct pungent taste.

Pharmacological importance

  • Pepper is much noted for its cardio protective effect by preventing clot formation that causes heart attacks.
  • Capsaicin present in the fruit has thermogenic properties, (burning fat tissues) and thereby helps in weight reduction.
  • Most of the pain relieving gels vended in markets today have capsaicin as its most prominent component. They function by triggering the brain to release endorphins, the natural pain killer.
  • Capsaicin prevents the growth of several cancer cells through stimulation of apoptosis.

Image Credit: Flickr/ Binu Nair

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