Bell pepers…Shimla mirch
Fresh, juicy, coloured, tasty and my favourite…bell peppers…always to make a dish more appetising and interesting. Here is what they bring to your plate, other than just colour
Bell pepper contains impressive list of plant nutrients that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Unlike other chilli peppers, it is very low in calories and fats, providing just 31 calories in 100 g. Sweet (bell) pepper contains small levels of a health benefiting alkaloid compound capsaicin, known to have anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously, it is also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
Fresh bell peppers, red or green, are a rich source of vitamin C. This vitamin is especially concentrated in red peppers in highest levels. 100 g fresh red pepper can provide about 127.7 mcg or about 213% of RDA for vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent water soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C prevents scurvy, boosts immunity and scavenges harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.It also contain good levels of vitamin-A. 100 g of sweet pepper has 3131 IU or 101% of vitamin A. In addition, it contains anti-oxidant flavonoids such as α and ß carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these antioxidant substances in capsicum helps to protect body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress and diseases conditions.
Bell pepper has adequate levels of essential minerals. Some of main minerals in it are iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Selenium is anti-oxidant micro-mineral that acts as co-factor for enzyme superoxide dismutase.Capsicum is also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. B-complex vitamins facilitate cellular metabolism.