Peppers contain very little protein and carbohydrates and virtually no fat. They contain small amounts of B group vitamins, vitamin E and all dietary minerals. However, two vitamins are particularly noteworthy:
- Pro vitamin A(beta-carotene) with 500ug/100g(sweet red pepper) which represent more than half of the daily requirement of this vitamin for an adult male. In addition to beta carotene, which transforms into vitamin A in the body, peppers also provide other carotenoids such as lycopene. This carotenoids is also very abundant in tomatoes. It is a potent antioxidant that protects against the cancerous degeneration of the cells.
- Vitamin C: Red peppers provide almost four times as much vitamin as lemons or oranges. One hundred grams of red peppers contain more than triple the RDA(Recommended Dietary Allowance)
- They contain Flavonoids that are potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants that protect the circulatory system.
- Capsaicin: This substance makes red hot peppers hot. capsaicin is an aperitif and stimulates digestion, although higher doses it irritates the skin and mucosa.
- Peppers contain vegetable fiber, this along capsaicin, contributes to their laxative action.
- Peppers are beneficial for those suffering with dyspepsia(indigestion) due to scanty digestive juice because they work as an aperitif, stimulating the flow of gastric juice and reducing inflammation.
- Constipation: Peppers are mild laxative and are anti-flatulent
- Diabetes and obesity: Because they contain very few carbohydrates or calories, peppers are well tolerated by diabetics and suitable for the diet of the obese.
- Prevention of cancer of the digestive system: Because of their extraordinary richness of antioxidant vitamins (A and C), which protect the cells from the mutagenic action of carcinogens, regular pepper consumption contributes to the prevention of cancer, particularly of the digestive organs (stomach and colon)
The most healthful way to cook peppers is to roast them in the oven. Fried peppers are quite indigestible because of the large amount of oil that they absorb.