Capsicums, whilst they may all start out green in colour, develop into several different colours as they ripen. Each different coloured capsicum provides our bodies with slightly different amounts of key nutrients. Red capsicums in particular, are the stand outs when it comes to nutrition! Here’s a handful of reasons we should all be eating capsicums every day:
Natural flu fighter
Did you know that one red capsicum contains almost three times the vitamin C of an orange?! Think food first this winter and support your immune system by adding capsicums into your diet. Consuming just half a medium red capsicum will ensure you reach your daily vitamin C requirements! We need Vitamin C to ensure our immune system is strong enough to fend off nasty viruses and bacteria.
Protection from chronic disease
Beta-carotene is the compound responsible for the colour of orange and yellow capsicums. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant necessary to help our body to attack free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of normal chemical reactions that occur naturally in our body and can cause damage to cells. Certain environmental factors like stress, smoking, sun, radiation and pollution can increase the amount of free radicals in our body. Whilst our body has natural mechanisms to protect us from cell damage, it’s important to make sure we have enough antioxidants in our diet to help protect our body from disease.
Some of the beta-carotene found in capsicums gets converted to Vitamin A in our bodies. One of the roles of vitamin A is to keep our eyes healthy. The role of capsicums in the health of our eyes doesn’t stop there! Capsicums also contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that acts like ‘natural sunglasses’, helping to filter the light that is reflected on our eyes and reduce any damage from oxidative stress.
Our favourite ways to include capsicums in our diet:
- We love them raw! Slice capsicums up into f strips and combine them with some hummus or low fat cottage cheese for a delicious snack.
- Dice them up and sneak them into your favourite dinners such as spaghetti bolognaise
- Cut the top off, scoop out the seeds and stuff them with lean meat and brown rice!