SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: RED PEPPER
SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: RED PEPPERS
In honor of Valentines Day week, I chose to honor the pepper for it's fiery color and nature, and it's resemblance to our own precious hearts. What is not to love about these guys? If you're not convinced, I will give you a few reasons that will hopefully sway your dislike ---> like ---> love.
So it's a tie between my two favorite foods, avocado and red peppers. Just thinking about biting into a juicy, red pepper makes my mouth water. I eat them in everything - salads, roasted, stir fried, as dippers for hummus + guac, and most often than not I eat them just as they are, like a apple! It's actually my favorite way to eat them. I snack on them almost everyday, and walk down the street biting into them, and people look at me like I'm crazy :) But I love it.
The humble pepper gets a bad rap as it's classified as a nightshade, which I don't believe is warranted. I could go on and on about this, but my good friend, Dana, wrote this incredible article which you can read here. It explains why you shouldn't fear tomatoes, red peppers, potatoes, eggplants, and the like. There is a chance you may be sensitive to them, just like you could be sensitive to avocados or nuts, it's not the fact that they are nightshades. They, along with all plants and fruits, contain sooooooo many anti-inflammatory properties, unique minerals, enzymes and healing pre and probiotics. Just as we shouldn't fear fruit, we shouldn't fear nightshades.
With all that fear behind us, we can dig into the true heart and soul of the beautifying pepper. Along with cucumbers, no other vegetable, has had a deeper impact on my skin. But that is not its only claim to fame. Let's look at the red pepper together, and I'm quite confident in saying that once you finish here, you will be running out to grab some of these beauties.
THE RED PEPPER //
- Is an excellent source of vitamin C at 117 milligrams per cup. (That's more than twice the amount of vitamin C found in a typical orange!!)
- haS vitamin B6 and folate that help to lower homocysteine levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
- Being high in vitamin A, red bell peppers help to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. They are a rich source of a carotenoid called lutein that helps in lowering the risk of macular degeneration of the eyes. Bell peppers also protect your eyes from cataracts due to their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
- Vitamin C is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system and for building strong collagen to support skin and joints. It is instrumental in lowering the risk of arthritis and reducing inflammation
- combination of vitamin B6 and the mineral magnesium leads to decrease in anxiety levels, particularly due to pre-menstrual symptoms. Being a natural diuretic, vitamin B6 helps to reduce bloating and prevents hypertension
- Anemics listen up!!! Red bell peppers provide almost 300 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is essential for the proper absorption of iron. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency should consume red peppers
- Is a natural hair growth stimulator and is highly effective in curing hair loss. In cases of hair loss, capsicum improves blood flow which is vital for proper growth of hair and protection of hair follicles from the effects of dihydro testosterone (DHT) - aka male pattern / balding in general
- rich in vitamin C which helps in the production of collagen. Collagen keeps the skin firm and protects the cells from further damage. It increases the ability of the skin to fight against oxidative damage. Essentially the more red peppers / bell peppers (not green) that you eat, the healthier your skin will be and become
+++ These are only a few benefits and miraculous qualities of the red pepper! I could write a exhaustive list
So if you haven't gotten into the red peppers lately, or your nightshade fear has been holding you back, I really encourage you to incorporate them into your diet and lifestyle. I think they make the perfect snack, and I can honestly say since introducing them to my diet, about three years ago, I've definitely noticed a difference in my skin. Another perfect example that food is medicine, and beauty always comes from within.
Red Peppers for the WIN!
Happy Monday everyone. I hope you have a beautiful start to your week!