Ring my Bell Pepper!

Mmmmm, one of my personal all time favorite vegetables is The Bell Pepper. It is not only absolutely beautiful, deliciously sweet, but also extremely good for us. Most of us are familiar with bell peppers as green, red, orange or yellow. But they also come in purple and black, and each is incredibly delicious. We are currently visiting friends in Northern California, and had a chance to pick up some local bell peppers for dinner last night – check out the yummy picture. Always know where your veggies come from and try to make sure that they are organic, whenever possible. Always wash your peppers thoroughly – there are some great veggie wash available.

As part of our meal, we combined some chopped bacon, a little coconut oil, really fresh green onions, 2 bushel of locally grown swiss chard, some fresh thyme and of course some bell peppers. The other part of dinner was a great interesting new way to cook grass-fed beef. I will prepare a separate post on the meat – a surprise – if you will, wait for it on Wednesday. 🙂

We love our bell peppers raw, sautéed, chopped up in salsa, on the BBQ, roasted, as a creamy soup, again, the combinations are endless.

So what’s in a bell pepper?

Bell peppers are an excellent source (per 1 cup) of:

  • vitamin C 174.8mg
  • vitamin A 5244 IU
  • vitamin B6 .23mg

The combination of vitamin C and A provide very powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants work together to effectively neutralize free radicals, which can travel through the body causing huge amounts of damage to cells. Free radicals are major players in the build up of cholesterol in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, the nerve and blood vessel damage seen in diabetes, the cloudy lenses of cataracts, the joint pain and damage seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and the wheezing and airway tightening of asthma. By providing these two potent free radical destroyers, bell peppers may help prevent or reduce some of the symptoms of these conditions by shutting down the source of the problem.

Furthermore, red peppers are one of the few foods that contain lycopene, a carotenoid whose consumption has been inversely correlated with prostate cancer and cancers of the cervix, bladder and pancreas. Recent studies suggest that individuals whose diets are low in lycopene-rich foods are at greater risk for developing these types of cancers.

So go out and get some today! Looking forward to seeing what your favorite bell pepper recipes are.