As my husband and son sat challenging each other to see who could eat the most hot sauce, I had to laugh at the variety of pepper sauces and salsas on the table. Who knew there were so many kinds of chile peppers? You can find a wide assortment of colors and shapes at your local market right now, from sweet bells to spicy habaneros, and you may be inspired to increase your intake once you learn more about their myriad health benefits.
Health benefits of peppers are a hot topic. Although they have been used therapeutically for centuries, researchers are currently exploring their potential to assist with weight loss, pain reduction, indigestion, and disease prevention.
Most known about peppers are their generous levels of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants, which provide countless benefits.
Which peppers supply which specific nutrients? Most of them provide significant amounts of those listed here. For the most benefit, choose a colorful assortment, including bell, chile, jalapeno, cayenne, serrano, habanero and banana peppers. Whether you enjoy them fresh, roasted or dried, make peppers a regular part of your diet for both their flavor and health benefits.
As seen in the Fort Collins Coloradoan
Melissa Wdowik, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND
is a nutrition educator with over 20 years experience as a college professor, nutrition coach, presenter and writer, as well as a nutrition consultant and founding director of the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center.