The Green Knights Of The Pepper Family
The bell pepper is a very unique vegetable because it has a wide range of colours to choose from. The bell pepper typically moves from green to yellow or orange before finally settling on red. When the pepper is green, it is still in its unripe state—although it can still be eaten. The red bell pepper is fully matured and ripe while the yellow or orange pepper is somewhere in between.
These stages alter the properties and benefits of the bell pepper in very interesting ways. Here are some of the benefits of the green bell pepper.
The green bell pepper contains a lot of vitamins and phytochemicals that have strong antioxidant properties. The peppers contain vitamin A as well as vitamins B6, B9 and C which are all very powerful antioxidants. They help to neutralize free radicals in the body which can cause serious damage to cells and build-up cholesterol in blood vessels which increases the chances of stroke or heart disease. In addition, the phytochemicals play an anti-inflammatory role which makes them useful for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis conditions. They also help relax the airways and reduce wheezing in asthma cases.
As mentioned above, green peppers are a rich source of vitamin C. They pack double the vitamin C content of oranges and a very rich in flavonoids. These alongside the phytochemicals reduce the formation of blood clots which lowers the risk of stroke or a heart attack. The vitamin B6 and B9 content also reduce levels of homocysteine—a toxic by-product of biochemical processes in the body. High levels of homocysteine can damage blood vessels which increases the risk of stroke and a heart attack.
Green peppers are packed with fibre which is essential for colon health. Fibre reduces the exposure of colon cells to bacteria and toxins by speeding up the transit time of waste through the gut. Studies have also shown that vitamin A, C and B9 help reduce the risk of colon cancer.