dcsimg

Revisiting the Bell Pepper

bell peppersAccording to a report from the Economic Research Service (ERS), there has been a substantial increase in U.S. imports of fruits and vegetables, particularly bell peppers—the average consumption for an individual rose from 9.2 pounds in 2005 to 9.8 pounds in 2009. Furthermore, a 2011 report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service shows that California led the nation’s bell pepper production in 2010 with 7.7 million cwt. Florida was the runner up with 4.1 million cwt.

Bell peppers are in demand for their highly nutritional value and their relatively high tolerance for production in varying seasons. The taste ranges anywhere from sweet for the red pepper, to some bitterness for green and purple bell peppers. They are grown and are available year round, but the best crops are produced in the summer and autumn months.

Culinary Arts

Bell peppers are considered a staple ingredient, adding to various meals such as salads and stir fries. However, they do see a life beyond being the simple garnish and shine in the spotlight of some dishes; for example as stuffed peppers.

As bell peppers continue to mature and change color, the vitamin C content continues to rise with that of the sugar content – which explains the sweeter flavors in bright colored bell peppers.

Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

For their size, bell peppers have tremendous nutritional value and provide great health benefits for the human body. They do not contain capsaicin – the spicy component in chili peppers. According to a DRI report, one medium-sized green bell pepper contains 177% of the RDA for vitamin C, which is necessary to maintain good cardiac and vascular health. The rich vitamin C content in bell peppers mixed with the carotenoids, or antioxidants, may help prevent cancer by destroying cancer cells.

Other important ingredients include vitamin A, lycopene, and lutein, which are necessary for eye health and prevent the formation of cataracts and other eye diseases. Sulfur and manganese are used by the body for growth and development of bones and aid in maintaining tissue health. The enzymes, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin, also found in bell peppers, are anti-inflammatory agents that, along with vitamin C and carotenoids, may help prevent cancer. All these nutrients are what make the bell pepper very beneficial to the maintenance of good health.

These juicy, crisp vegetables are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and retain the most nutritional value when eaten raw. If you are cooking the bell peppers, the best way to retain their vitamins and minerals is to cook at a low temperature for a short amount of time.

The Rainbow of Colors

Green bell peppers are the most popular of the various colors. It is harvested when it reaches maturity, but retains its green color. Bell peppers that stay on the plant longer start to turn brighter colors, as they go from yellow, to orange, and to red. You will also find some less common colors like purple or ivory. The purple pepper is actually in an unripe stage but can still be eaten – although it will turn red if left on the plant.

Next time you are out grocery shopping, be sure to include bell peppers on your list of ingredients and add these healthy and colorful veggies to your cooking.

 

About the Author
Sharon Hunter
is the cooking enthusiast and food blogger behind StuffedBellPeppers.net. Check out his delicious stuffed bell pepper recipe collection at his site and on Facebook.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
3 Program(s) Found
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

• Originally founded in 1899, making it one of the oldest colleges of osteopathic medicine.
• Specializes in osteopathic medicine, which features a “whole person” approach to medicine, treating the entire person rather than just the symptoms with a focus on preventive health care. 
• Faculty conducts ongoing research projects and scholarly activities in the field of medicine and healthcare.
• Offers Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programs and several graduate programs.
• Accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Show more [+]

The University of Florida is ranked #5 in the country by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The rankings were based on faculty credentials and training, student services & technology, and student engagement – basically all the factors that contribute to an exceptional online education experience. Be greater. Be a gator.

  • Online Courses
  • Ranked #11 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
  • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
  • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
  • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Houses one of the largest library systems in the Pacific Northwest, with 3 libraries on the Pullman campus and a library at each regional campus.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
  • Has 5 Washington campuses in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Students can complete an entry-level technician program in about a year, and manufacturer training and graduate in as little as 18 months.
  • Provides technical education training programs for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine technicians.
  • Partners with many well-known manufacturers, including General Motors, Porsche Cars North America Inc., and BMW of North America LLC.
  • Offers internships to students and alumni for first-hand experience.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
  • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
  • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
  • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses

•        Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

•        Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

•        More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.

•        Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

•        Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Dedicated to providing a hands-on, career-focused education since 1953.
  • Offers classes online, as well as at 14 campuses across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.
  • Develops curriculum with input from employers, subject matter experts.
  • Has small class sizes to promote one-on-one, student-teacher interaction.
  • Makes no-cost tutoring available in every subject to every enrolled student.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits