Amazing Health Benefits of Capsicum
- Capsicums contains a rich source of Vitamin A and C.
- Capsicums are also a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin E, B6, and folate.
- The sweetness of capsicums is due to the presence of natural sugars in it.
- Capsicum is low in calories and has zero fat.
- Capsicum helps to lower the blood pressure and controls our cholesterol levels.
- Capsicum is used as medicine for digestion related problems.
- Capsicums contain more Vitamin C than oranges.
Capsicums are also called “Bell Peppers”. The Capsicum is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum. Capsicums are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Capsicum is fleshy, blocky, of various shapes, more like a bell and hence named bell pepper. Nearly all the varieties of green pepper are very mild in pungency and some of them are non-pungent. Capsicum is cultivated in different colours such as red, yellow, orange, green, white, and purple.
Grown in India: The primary capsicum growing regions in India are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and the Deccan Plateau extending throughout the South and Central part of India. Some areas cultivate the fruits year-round in greenhouses, including Pune, Karnataka, and Bangalore. Capsicums grow on a limited scale in the states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Goa. In Tamil, it is called as “Kudamilagai”.
|Total lipid (fat)||g||0.17|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||4.64|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||1.7|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||80.4|
|Vitamin A, RAE||µg||18|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||370|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||0.37|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||µg||0|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||µg||7.4|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||g||0.058|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||g||0.008|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||0.062|
|Fatty acids, total trans||g||0|
|Source:USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference|
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAPSICUM
1. Good for your heart
Lycopene, a phytonutrient, in the red capsicum keeps your heart healthy. The vegetable is a rich source of folate and vitamin B6, which lowers homocysteine levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. Capsicum also contains antioxidants that protect the body against free radicals.
2. Improves metabolism
Low in fat, capsicum lowers triglycerides to increase your metabolism. Eating capsicum will help you burn fat and lose weight. The vegetable also improves digestion.
3. Lowers the risk of cancer
Capsicum lowers the risk of cancer as it contains anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants. The carotenoid lycopene present in the bell pepper is also effective in lowering the risk of cervix, prostate, pancreas and bladder cancer. The enzymes in capsicum help in the prevention of oesophageal and gastric cancer as well.
4. Antioxidant Properties
Bell pepper is rich in antioxidants, which protect the body against the free radicals and the damage caused by them. Free radicals present in the body can cause damage to blood vessels and cellular damage. By fighting these free radicals, the capsicum helps in curing diseases like cataract and osteoarthritis.
5. Improves immunity
Vitamin C in Capsicum may decrease the risk of arthritis and improves immunity. It also helps reduce inflammation. Capsicum also contains Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clot formation.
6. Relieves pain
Capsicum contains a compound called capsaicin and it is believed that it blocks the pain transmission to the spinal cord. Capsaicin is effective in treating pain related to herpes zoster and neuralgia. It provides pain relief.
7. Cures iron deficiency
Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C, which plays an important role in the absorption of iron by the body. It contains the daily requirement of Vitamin C. If you suffer from iron deficiency, eats red bell pepper.
IMPORTANT TIPS AND FACTS OF CAPSICUM
1. When choosing Capsicums, you should select ones with a firm, glossy skins. Avoid Capsicum with shrivelled skins, soft spots or other visible damage.
2. Store Capsicums in the crisper section of your fridge.
3. Capsicum should be used within five days.
4. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
5. Cooking brown, black or purple Capsicums makes them turn green in colour.
6. If you have problems with digesting Capsicums, try peeling the skin off.
7. Red Capsicums are sweeter than green Capsicums, but they soften faster.
8. Orange Capsicums are sweet and crisp while the yellow Capsicums have a mild flavour.
9. Capsicum can be stuffed, roasted, used in stir-fries or simply eaten raw.
10. Add slices of bell peppers to barbeque skewers.
11. Chop and blend roasted red capsicum into hummus dips.
12. Add capsicum as a pizza topping or stir into pasta sauces.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CAPSICUM
1. You may have allergic reactions with capsicum. But they are rare. You can even feel the severe allergic reactions by signs such as swelling in lips, tongue, hives or face; problem in breathing and while closing the throat.
2. There are also less serious side effects that are noticed, and they are heartburn, diarrhoea, stomach upset and burning sensation in throat, mouth and in skin contact.