A fantastic ingredient for so many recipes, peppers have that perfect combination of zingy taste and crunchy texture, coming in a variety of vibrant colours that bring dishes to life. As well as that, they are really good for you too - Here are a few reasons why!
A little background
Even though they come in loads of different colours, they are all from the same plant which goes by the name of Capsicum Annuum and are actually from the same family as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants. They originally hail from South and Central America but can be grown in a variety of climates which makes them a popular ingredient the world over. The tastes do vary depending on the colour; for example the green and purple varieties have a slightly more bitter flavour whilst the red, orange and yellows are sweeter, verging on fruity.
So what’s good about them?
- Peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids and phytochemicals (including beta-carotene) which are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- They are packed with Vitamin C which is an essential part of maintaining a healthy immune system and is good for the skin too! The pepper with the most Vitamin C is the red variety, so focus on this if you’re looking for that extra boost.
- The capsaicin found in peppers brings about a number of benefits which include raising the metabolism (contributing to weight control) but have also been linked to reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body and regulating inflammation.
- Peppers are also considered a good source of Vitamins E and B6 which play large roles in keeping hair and skin looking healthy, as well as the maintenance of the immune system and cell regeneration.
- They are low in calories which makes them a fantastic weight-control food that still brings a lot of great nutrition to the table.
- They are really tasty and can be used in so many different dishes, bringing a new dimension of flavour and colour.
- With so many benefits, they are also super-affordable and can easily be found in many shops!
So there you have it - Peppers are pretty great! Get out to the shops, chop them up, add them to your favourite dishes and feel all the better for it.