Bell Peppers

Bell peppers

Scientific name:
Capsicum annuum

Other names:
Bell pepper, Sweet pepper, Capsicum, Paprika

Habitat:
Bell peppers are believed to have originated in Central America and Mexico. They are now grown in many countries throughout the world.

Description:
Bell peppers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are usually 4-6 inches long and have a bell-shaped appearance. They can be found in shades of green, yellow, orange, red, purple, brown, and black.

Status:
Bell peppers can be natural, hybrid, or GMO. Natural bell peppers are bred from wild plant varieties. Hybrid bell peppers are created by crossing two or more varieties of bell peppers. GMO bell peppers are created by genetically modifying the plants.

Bell pepper species

List of bell pepper species

There are many different species and varieties of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) with varying colors, shapes, sizes, and levels of heat. Some common species of bell peppers include:

  1. Green bell pepper
  2. Red bell pepper
  3. Yellow bell pepper
  4. Orange bell pepper
  5. Purple bell pepper
  6. White bell pepper
  7. Brown bell pepper

Note that some of these “species” are simply different colored cultivars of the same species, Capsicum annuum. Additionally, there are many other species of peppers, such as jalapeño (Capsicum annuum var. jalapeño), cayenne (Capsicum annuum var. annuum), and habanero (Capsicum chinense), which are not considered bell peppers.

Natural and wild species of bell pepper

Bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) are a domesticated plant that it believed to have been selectively bred for many years, some say maybe thousands of year, and as a result, there are no known wild or natural species of bell pepper. However, the wild ancestor of the bell pepper is believed to be the chili pepper (Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum), which is native to Central and South America.

The chili pepper is a small, hot pepper that is much spicier than the bell pepper, and it has been cultivated and used in cooking for many years. Over time, humans selectively bred the chili pepper for larger, sweeter fruits with thicker walls, eventually leading to the development of the bell pepper.

Today, there are many different varieties and cultivars of bell pepper, each with its own unique characteristics, but all are descendants of the wild chili pepper.

Benefits of bell peppers

Mineral content:
Bell peppers are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Medicinal value:
Bell peppers have many medicinal properties. They can help protect against cancer, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion.

Culinary use:
Bell peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. They are commonly used in salads, stir-fries, soups, and salsas. They can also be roasted, stuffed, or pickled.

Research information

Researchers have studied the health benefits of bell peppers. Studies have found that they can help reduce the risk of certain diseases and improve overall health. There is a significant amount of research that has been conducted on bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) and their potential health benefits. Here are some key findings:

  • Antioxidant properties: Bell peppers are rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, which can help protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Some studies have found that the bioactive compounds in bell peppers may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
  • Digestive health: The fiber content in bell peppers may help promote digestive health by improving bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation.
  • Eye health: Bell peppers contain high levels of carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for maintaining healthy vision and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
  • Weight management: Bell peppers are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a good choice for weight management and weight loss.
  • Blood sugar control: Some studies have suggested that consuming bell peppers may help improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Overall, bell peppers are a nutritious and versatile vegetable that can provide a range of health benefits. Further research is needed to fully understand their potential health effects, but the existing evidence suggests that they can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet.

Bell pepper recipes

Bell peppers can be used in a variety of recipes. Popular bell pepper recipes include stuffed bell peppers, roasted bell peppers, and bell pepper stir-fry.

Alkaline bell pepper stir-fry

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 onion, sliced into thin strips
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon grounded African bird pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

1. Heat the avocado oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the sliced bell peppers, and onion to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
3. Season the vegetables with sea salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme, and stir to combine.
4. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the seasoning is fragrant and the vegetables are evenly coated.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the juice of one lime over the vegetables.
7. Serve the stir-fry hot as a side dish or as a main course with a side of quinoa or wild rice.

Simple alkaline squash bell peppers recipe

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 small squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. In a large bowl, combine the bell peppers, squash cubes, onion, avocado oil, sea salt, pepper, thyme, and smoked pepper.
3. Toss the vegetables to evenly coat them with the seasoning.
4. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
5. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and lightly browned.
6. Remove the vegetables from the oven and drizzle the lime juice over them.
7. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot.

References

1. USDA National Nutrient Database. Accessed August 22, 2020. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171542/nutrients
2. Bell Peppers (Capsicum annuum). Accessed August 22, 2020. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CAAN
3. Bell Peppers Nutrition. Accessed August 22, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/bell-peppers#nutrients
4. Health Benefits of Bell Peppers. Accessed August 22, 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271192#summary
5. How to Cook with Bell Peppers. Accessed August 22, 2020. https://www.thespruceeats.com/cooking-with-bell-peppers-1807807
6. Bosland, P. W. (2012). Capsicums: Innovative uses of an ancient crop. Chronica Horticulturae, 52(3), 12-17.
7. Pal, S. (2014). Capsicum: An overview. International Journal of Vegetable Science, 20(5), 417-438.
8. Perry, L., Dickau, R., Zarrillo, S., Holst, I., Pearsall, D. M., & Piperno, D. R. (2007). Starch fossils and the domestication and dispersal of chili peppers (Capsicum spp. L.) in the Americas. Science, 315(5814), 986-988.
9. The Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. (n.d.). Capsicum species. Retrieved from https://cpi.nmsu.edu/capsicum-species/

Author: sebifood

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