Capsicum or all kinds of peppers are considered miracle plants, not because they are just an additional vegetable in the salad dish, or because they add flavor and color to food, but because they contain many nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are necessary to maintain the general health of the body.
Benefits of capsicum
Therefore, if you want to take advantage of the benefits of pepper, include it in your daily diet in the way you prefer. Some prefer it raw, while others prefer it cooked with their favorite dishes. It can be dried and turned into a powder that is used as one of the types of seasonings with food. Follow this article with us. To learn more about the health benefits of pepper, its nutritional value and possible side effects, stay with us.
An overview of the capsicum plant
The capsicum plant, or vegetable pepper, belongs to the nightshade family. It is a common agricultural crop that is often grown on all continents (tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates). It is native to South and Central America and Mexico. Capsicum is a warm and light-loving plant that grows well in climatic conditions with high temperatures, reaching a height of 20 to 120 cm.
Where all types of capsicum are divided into two types, sweet and bitter, the bitter varieties are referred to as red (hot) pepper, which is the capsicum that contains capsaicin (methylphenylnonamide), a chemical that gives the capsicum its pungent and burning taste, and it is of great importance in the fields of medicine among Americans In modern medicine, capsaicin is mainly used in topical treatment as a stimulant for blood circulation and analgesic. As for the other type, it is the pepper that does not contain the substance capsaicin, which is known as sweet pepper.
Nutritional ingredients in capsicum:
Each medium-sized bell pepper of different colors (yellow, red, green, orange) contains the following nutrients:
Folate, which is also known as folic acid or vitamin B9.
Capsanthin, a powerful antioxidant that gives peppers their red color, helps fight cancer cells.
Violaxanthin, a carotenoid, is a powerful antioxidant found in yellow bell peppers.
Quercetin, a polyphenol antioxidant.
All types of capsicum contain the same nutritional components, including phenolic compounds , ascorbic acid, and carotenoids that eliminate free radicals harmful to the body, but in varying proportions.
Green bell peppers contain the highest percentage of phenolic compounds, but a lower amount of carotene, when compared to red and yellow bell peppers.
As for red pepper, it contains the highest percentage of ascorbic acid. And due to the low number of calories, and its richness in vitamin C, and antioxidants, it is considered an excellent healthy option to rely on and add to the diet.
What are the benefits of capsicum?
Pepper has many health and aesthetic benefits, including the following:
1- Maintain eye health:
By eating bell peppers, you can get enough carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and lutein. These compounds are essential for maintaining eye health and preventing eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Nutrition experts have found that bell peppers contain the same amount of beta-carotene as carrots and can improve eyesight .
2- Strengthening the immune system:
The immune system has an important role to play in protecting the body from unwanted influences, for example it fights off and expels infectious bacteria. To improve the state of the immune system, you must eat foods rich in vitamin C. Capsicum contains a lot of vitamin C and its regular consumption can help in strengthening the immune system, so nutrition experts recommend adding orange bell pepper to your regular diet if your immune system is weak.
3- Strengthen hair, shine and increase its growth:
Capsicum is used to stimulate hair growth and increase blood circulation in the scalp, thus treating hair loss. The effect of pepper on hair loss is due to the presence of capsaicin, which protects hair follicles and increases hair growth. Vitamin C present in capsicum is another property of capsicum for hair, as it leads to better absorption of iron in red blood cells and as a result more oxygen is delivered to the hair follicles. In addition, the vitamin C present in capsicum is also necessary for the formation of collagen, which gives hair shine and vitality and protects it from breakage.
4- Preserves the youth and freshness of the skin:
The antioxidants and photochemicals present in capsicum preserve the youthfulness and freshness of the skin and reduce the negative effects of free radicals that accelerate cell aging. The vitamin C present in capsicum also improves the production of collagen and thus increases the elasticity and health of the skin. Vitamin C is known as the skin's best friend because it penetrates the pores of the skin and rejuvenates dead cells and tissues, resulting in youthful skin free of dark spots and premature wrinkles.
To use the properties of capsicum for the skin, you can use a mixture of carrot and green capsicum extracts to reduce blemishes and pimples on the skin.
5- Promotes the health of the pregnant woman and fetus:
Folic acid is one of the nutrients needed for a healthy fetus, which is why pregnant women are advised to take an adequate amount of folic acid during pregnancy. One of the characteristics of bell pepper for pregnant women is that it contains a large amount of folic acid, and as a result, eating raw bell pepper during pregnancy ensures the health of the fetus.
6- It helps to lose weight:
Various vegetables can convert the carbohydrates you eat into energy, and in this way the bad carbohydrates, which mainly lead to obesity and weight gain, do not affect your body. Capsicum has many benefits but it contains very few calories and no fat at all. Therefore, it is recommended to include them in your diet.
7- It helps the health of the digestive system:
Improper functioning of the digestive system leads to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other discomforts that are very painful and dehydrate the body. Nutrition experts recommend adding bell peppers to your diet because they are rich in niacin. Niacin or vitamin B3 is essential for strengthening the digestive system.
Proper digestion allows for the absorption of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that you eat all the time, so if you want to avoid digestive issues, add some capsicum to your salads.
8- A source of antioxidants:
Capsicum can act as an antioxidant. Your body needs a lot of antioxidants because they fight cancer cells and free radicals and protect your body from chronic diseases like cancer. If not enough antioxidants are taken in, the body's organs suffer from oxidative stress, which can be fatal. Currently, experts are studying the antioxidant properties of capsicum in the growth of cancer cells.
Inflammation in the body if not treated in time may lead to serious diseases. Therefore, nutrition experts encourage people to eat foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, and one of these foods is capsicum. Studies show that eating red and orange bell peppers can prevent inflammation of the joints and muscles, and due to their antifungal and antibacterial properties, capsicum can relieve infections such as impetigo and athlete's foot. In addition, the nutrients present in capsicum can eliminate factors related to seasonal allergies. So you can use pepper to reduce allergic reactions in the diet of children and adults, but it is recommended to consult a specialist doctor if you are exposed to inflammation or severe allergies, and to avoid self-medication.
10- Reducing anxiety and preventing panic attacks:
Bell peppers are rich in magnesium and vitamin B6. These two vitamins are very important for maintaining the normal functioning of the nervous system, relieving anxiety , and preventing panic attacks. Magnesium also helps relieve muscle tension caused by anxiety, and it helps regulate heartbeat properly.
11. Promote heart health:
Being rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, capsicum is a best friend for the heart by helping to reduce cholesterol levels and protecting against free radicals. The phytonutrients, especially lycopene, found in red bell peppers, also work to maintain heart health, as lycopene, along with folic acid and vitamin B6, helps reduce homocysteine levels.
12- Prevention of cancer:
Capsicum is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances, and has a variety of anti-cancer properties. Excessive chronic inflammation and harmful chronic oxidative stress increase the risk of cancer. These factors can be counteracted by regular consumption of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. In addition, capsicum also contains sulfur compounds that promote health and prevent stomach cancer. In addition, the carotene lycopene found in bell peppers works effectively in the prevention of prostate cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, and esophageal cancer.
13- Enhancing the functioning of the nervous system:
The nervous system sends messages to the brain to perform various activities, which made psychologists stress on maintaining the health of the nervous system , as a study recently showed that the nutrients in bell peppers have positive effects on mental health and cognitive abilities.
14. Promotes Respiratory Health:
Consuming capsicum in any form can be beneficial for the health of the respiratory system, as it contains potassium, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin C, which in turn fight factors that lead to various respiratory problems, such as asthma, pneumonia , emphysema, and so on. But if you suffer from severe respiratory problems, it is recommended to consult a doctor before consuming capsicum.
15- Stimulating blood circulation:
Healthy blood flow helps maintain heart health, as nutrition experts say that one of the properties of pepper is that it helps to stimulate blood circulation, due to its high phosphorous content. This helps to strengthen blood vessels. In addition, healthy blood circulation prevents blood clotting, and the risk of stroke or heart attack.
16- Promoting sexual health for men:
Capsicum is one of the plants rich in vitamins and minerals important for sexual health, and doctors have confirmed its ideal role in sexual health care specifically. Pepper contains a high percentage of antioxidants, and it also contains vitamins A, C, E, and vitamin K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and other minerals. Therefore, specialists advise men who suffer from sexual problems to eat pepper because it helps improve and stimulate blood circulation in the body. For the sensory parts of the male organ and increase its strength, it also improves lust and sexual desire for men.
In addition, capsicum increases testosterone levels in the body, which is called the male hormone. It may also help delay ejaculation for those suffering from premature ejaculation, and enhance sperm movement.
17- Prevention of anemia:
Anemia is a common disease characterized by a decrease in the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. One of the most important causes of anemia (or anemia) is iron deficiency, and a common symptom of anemia is a general feeling of fatigue and weakness. Not only is pepper a good source of iron, but it is particularly rich in vitamin C, which helps to increase and enhance the absorption of iron in the intestines.
18- Protect teeth and bones and prevent osteoporosis:
Capsicum is a good choice for healthy bones and teeth, due to its richness in calcium and vitamin K, which plays an important role in protecting the body against osteoporosis.
19- Migraine treatment:
One of the benefits of pepper is that it may help treat migraine , because it contains capsaicin, which may have an analgesic effect for various pains, including headaches.
Side effects of capsicum
In general, sweet peppers do not have any side effects and are considered a healthy food. However, it is rare for some people to suffer from an allergy to peppers, as most people who are allergic to pollen may also be allergic to peppers, because the allergens between this pepper and the grains Vaccines have a relatively similar structure.
As for hot peppers, they are likely to cause many health problems when consumed in excess, which can include:
Stomach pain and heartburn.
Nausea, diarrhea, and acid reflux .
Worsening ulcer pain.
Stimulating the emergence of disturbing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Hemorrhoid irritation .
It increases the chances of developing some cancers, especially stomach cancer, gallbladder cancer, throat cancer, and mouth cancer.
Triggering asthma attacks.