Today we met up with some close family friends for lunch. Over lunch, our friend, a man in his early seventies casually told us how he managed to bring his cholesterol level down naturally by consuming raw green capsicum for dinner every night. I was intrigued to hear that and this is what I am planning to do now to bring down my cholesterol level.
To recap, I was diagnosed with genetic high cholesterol in June last year. I managed to bring down the reading from 6.4 to 5.8 after 8 months of altering my diet. I also include Izumio hydrogenated water and carotenoid supplement (Super Lutein) in my diet everyday.
Capsicum is not something that I would buy on a regular basis as it is not my favorite kind of vegetable. I dislike the pungent taste. But oh well, snacking on raw capsicum is definitely way better than popping statin. Whether I like it or not, I will have to give it a try. I have nothing to lose by including this bell shaped peppers into my diet.
Apart from imparting flavor and attractiveness to bland dishes, bell peppers are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, carotenoids and dietary fiber which makes them immensely beneficial for the overall good health. Bell peppers also have vitamin B6 and folate that help to lower homocysteine levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Some of the health benefits of bell peppers are given below:
1) Cardiovascular Benefits
Red bell peppers are rich in lycopene, thus making them excellent for a healthy heart whereas green bell peppers are a good source of cholesterol lowering fiber. Increased homocysteine levels can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Bell peppers contain vitamin B6 and folate which help to lower homocysteine levels. In addition to these, the powerful antioxidants vitamins A and C present in these vegetables help to wipe out free radicals. Potassium contained in bell peppers lowers about 162 milligrams of blood pressure which is also beneficial for heart.
2) Anti-Cancer Benefits
Being rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, bell pepper provides several anti-cancer benefits. The risk of cancer increases due to chronic excessive inflammation and chronic unwanted oxidative stress. These factors can be offset with regular intake of phytonutrients having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, bell peppers also contain health supportive sulphur compounds. The enzymes in bell pepper help to prevent gastric cancer and esophageal cancer. The carotenoid lycopene is found to be effective in the prevention of prostate, bladder, cervix and pancreas cancer.
3) Burns more Calories
Red bell peppers help in activating thermogenesis and increase the metabolic rate. Capsaicin which is responsible for increasing the hotness of other peppers is found in bell peppers in very small amounts. Thus, they have a mild thermogenic action that increases the metabolism without increasing the heart rate and blood pressure unlike hot peppers. Hence, they can support weight loss.
4) Good for Eyes:
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. Macular degeneration of eyes is the most common cause of age related visual loss. Bell peppers also protect your eyes from cataracts due to their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C
5) Reduce Risk Of Diabetes And Obesity
A new research has claimed that eating yellow and red bell peppers, commonly known as capsicum, can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity.
The study shows that yellow and red bell peppers slowed down the digestion of carbohydrates and lipids which in turn reduce the chances of developing hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia.
In the study, the scientists examined the impact of the bell peppers on nutrition digestive enzymes-carbohydrate cleaving enzyme alpha- glucosidase and lipid-slicing enzyme pancreatic lipase.
They found that yellow capsicum inhibited the activity of alpha-glucosidase and lipase as compared to green capsicum.
6) Cures Iron Deficiency
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.
7) Benefits of Capsaicin
Capsaicin is found in the white membranes of peppers which is responsible for imparting heat to the seeds as well. It lowers the cholesterol levels and triglycerides. It kills the ulcer causing bacteria in the stomach and boosts immunity.
8) Enhances Hair Growth & Health
Applying bell pepper on hair can be effective in triggering hair growth through the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. Boil a few dry red bell peppers in water and leave it for 5 to 6 minutes. After cooling it, massage it on your scalp with the help of a cotton pad and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wash off the hair. This should be done twice a week for best results. The spiciness of bell pepper enhances the growth and health of the hair.
9) Fights Oxidative Damage
Red, green and yellow bell peppers are 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.
10) Reverses Signs of Ageing
Consumption of bell pepper juice helps in reversing the signs of ageing due to its high antioxidant levels. Bell peppers protect the skin from damage-causing free radicals, thus promoting healthy and younger looking skin.
11) Clears Skin Blemishes & Rashes
A mixture of carrot and green bell pepper juice can be very effective in clearing blemishes and rashes on the skin.
I’ll bet you never knew what capsicums can do for your health. So the next time you go grocery shopping, pop some capsicums into your shopping cart and start reaping their wholesome health benefits!