Bell pepper belongs to the Solanaceae family, and refers to an annual plant native to South America. It is a kind of red pepper and has a less spicy taste than red pepper, and has a more crunchy texture and sweet taste. Bell peppers, which are divided into two types, red and green, are often confused with paprika. It is easy to think that they are the same variety because of their similar appearance, but they are called vegetables with different characteristics. Compared to bell peppers, which are divided into two colors, paprika is classified into various colors such as red, green, orange, and yellow, and has a thicker skin than bell peppers. It also has the characteristic that paprika is less spicy and much sweeter than bell peppers. Due to these differences, paprika is mainly used as a raw material for raw food, and bell pepper is often used for heating dishes such as stir-frying, pan-fried, or frying. In Korea and Japan, paprika and bell pepper are classified as different vegetables, but in the West, they are classified as the same variety only with different flesh characteristics. Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of bell peppers.
Main Benefits of Bell Peppers
1. Improving immunity
Bell peppers are recognized for their outstanding value as an efficient source of vitamins that are deeply related to the maintenance of the body’s immunity. In particular, red bell pepper has a high vitamin content, and 100g of red bell pepper contains about half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for adults, and about three times the recommended amount of vitamin C for adults. Vitamins A and C contained in this abundance protect our body from free radicals that attack cells and cause oxidation, and are said to have a good effect on improving the immune system. In addition, bell pepper contains not only vitamins A and C, but also lycopene and carotene, which are excellent antioxidants, so it is said to have an excellent effect in strengthening the body’s resistance to protect the body from various diseases through the neutralization of free radicals.
2. Eye Health
It is said that vitamin A, which is abundant in green peppers, helps the regeneration of rhodopsin, a visual receptor in the retina of the eye, to help maintain eyesight. In addition, bell peppers have a high content of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is converted into vitamin A during the process of absorption into the body. It is known to help prevent various eye-related diseases such as dry eye syndrome, night blindness, cataracts, and macular degeneration due to these related actions.
3. Vascular health
Vitamins A and C, which are abundantly contained in bell peppers, help to control blood cholesterol levels and inhibit the formation of blood clots that block blood vessels, thereby helping to maintain and manage blood vessels healthy. In addition, when the amount of free radicals mentioned above increases excessively, it causes inflammation in the blood vessels and accelerates the aging of blood vessels, which causes various vascular diseases. Various vitamins and antioxidants such as beta-carotene in bell pepper help to improve blood vessel health by lowering the concentration of active oxygen.
4. Improve Anemia
Anemia refers to the occurrence of hypoxia of the tissues due to the inability of the blood to supply the necessary oxygen to the body. One of the major causes of anemia is iron deficiency anemia, which is caused by a lack of iron, the main material of hemoglobin. Bell peppers have a high iron content, which helps the smooth production of red blood cells that carry oxygen, thereby improving and preventing anemia symptoms such as dizziness and lethargy.
5. Skin health
Bell peppers are rich in vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for healthy skin. In addition, it can be expected to have a good effect in reducing blemishes and blemishes by helping the smooth activation of collagen that composes the skin tissue and suppressing the formation of melanin pigment that makes the skin black by the rich vitamin C component of bell pepper.
The calorie of green pepper is low, about 24Kcal per 100g, so if you are overweight or obese, it is suitable as a diet for weight control. In addition, bell peppers are high in vitamin B6, and this vitamin B6 component is said to help reduce depression by helping the synthesis of serotonin, known as the happiness hormone. In addition, the mild pungent taste of green peppers also has an appetite-stimulating effect, which revitalizes the lost taste buds.
How to Pick and Care for Bell Peppers
When purchasing bell peppers, it is better to choose ones that have a thick skin and are glossy. It is said that a good bell pepper is dark in color without being mottled. Also, since bell peppers start to soften when they go bad, you need to make sure that the top is fresh and not dry. When trimming bell peppers, remove the stalks and seeds after removing dust and impurities in clean water. To cleanly remove the seeds and wicks, cut both ends of the bell pepper with a knife, cut one side and flatten it out. After that, lay the knife down and remove the seeds and wicks to cleanly remove the seeds. Peppers should be used immediately after purchase, and leftovers should be refrigerated to minimize moisture loss.