Capsicum is a vegetable has been cultivated for year of many varieties such as red, orange, yellow, green and purple. It was first originated in the tropical regions of the America and now it is widely cultivated all across the world. It is commonly famous as the shimla mirch or bell pepper and also known as the jalapeno, chilli pepper, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper and sweet pepper. It can be grown in any type of climate and found throughout the year however, abundantly found during summer season. It belongs to the solanaceae (like tomato, potato and eggplant). Green and purple type of pepper tastes slightly bitter however yellow, orange and red varieties taste sweeter like fruit. It contains a different and special chemical called capsaicin which provides hotness to the peppers. It contains carotenoid which provides it different color after ripening.
Benefits of Green Capsicum (Shimla Mirch)
It is as effective as can cure many health problems (due to its richness of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals) that’s why it is used as both for eating and medicinal purposes.
It is very beneficial for the health as it eliminates many illnesses from the body like blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks, metabolic problems, cold, fever, cancer, body pain and so many. It contains very low calories and fat thus reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body. It is counted under the category of balanced and healthy diet. Some of its nutritional health benefits of capsicum are mentioned below:
Benefits of Capsicum for Skin
Prevents from Common Skin Problems
- Consumption of capsicum on regular basis makes skin very healthy by preventing from the rashes, psoriasis, acne, pimples, blemishes and other common problems.
- Vitamins C and E found in it prevents skin from the early ageing process, free radicals and makes healthy and wrinkles free skin.
Makes Skin Tight and Healthy
- Vitamin C found in it plays a great role in strengthening and building the collagen thus makes skin tight and healthy.
Prevents Skin Damage
- It prevents skin damage from the sun light and harmful effects of ultra-violet rays.
Benefits of Capsicum for Eyes
Protects from Age Related Eye Diseases
- It is very beneficial for the eyes as it contains vitamin A which provides better nourishment to the eyes. Regular consumption of the capsicum protects eyes from the age related eye diseases like cataracts, astigmatism, macular degeneration and etc.
- It helps in maintaining the healthy eyesight as it contains high level of beta-carotene and vit C.
Benefits of Capsicum for Weight Loss
Speeds up Metabolism and Burns Extra Calories
- It helps in managing weight by speeding up the body metabolism, burning more calories, reducing weight gain process, enhancing the proper secretion of digestive juices, preventing from indigestion, bloating and other digestive disorders leading to weight gain.
Prevents from Obesity
- It prevents the person from being overweight and obese if eaten regularly.
Keeps Stomach Full
- Its high fibres content makes stomach feel fuller for long time thus reduces weight managing the frequency of food eating.
Benefits of Capsicum for Heart
Keeps Heart Healthy
- It is a very good cardiovascular stimulant helps in regulating the blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol level and triglycerides level in the body thus protects heart from many heart diseases.
Reduces Overload to Heart
- It helps in maintaining healthy blood circulation throughout the body, preventing excessive blood clotting thus prevent heart from overload.
- It provides relief from the symptoms of heartburn.
Benefits of Capsicum for Hair
Boosts Hair Growth
- It boosts the hair growth by preventing from the hair loss and hair fall if consumed regularly.
Makes Hair Thick and Shiny
- It makes hair thicker and fuller than ever before and provides natural color to the hair.
Maintains Health of Hair and Nails
- Especially green capsicum contains high amount of natural silicon which helps in maintaining the health of hair and nails.
Improves Iron Absorption
- Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron in the body as well as oxygen capacity to the hair follicles thus promotes blood circulation to the scalp.
Benefits of Capsicum for Digestive System
Cures Digestive Problems
- It helps in curing various digestive problems like indigestion, upset stomach, bloating, flatulence, intestinal gas, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, cramps, stomach ulcers, colic pain, dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome and etc.
Treats Constipation and Hemorrhoid
- It has laxative property thus helps in treating the constipation and hemorrhoid problem.
Benefits of Capsicum during Pregnancy
Prevents from Iron Deficiency Anaemia
- It prevents from the iron deficiency anaemia to the pregnant women by maintaining the haemoglobin level.
Other Health Benefits and Medicinal Benefits of Capsicum
Prevents from DNA Damage
- Its capsaicin compound is very active substance prevents from the various type of cancer by protecting DNA from damage.
Relieves Body Pain
- Capsaicin found in it also blocks the pain transmission to the body thus helps in reducing the body pain.
- It provides relief from the symptoms of pain related diseases.
Provides Relief form other Problems
- It provides relief from the toothache, sickness, symptoms of alcoholism, fever, malaria, fever and swallowing difficulty.
Provides Relief from Bone Problems
- It provides relief from the osteoarthritis, joints pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms of neuropathy like nerve pain (or neuralgia), back pain and etc.
Protects from Lethal Diseases
- It helps in protecting from the diabetes, HIV, muscle spasms, laryngitis and many more.
Treats Mind Problems
- It helps in treating hay fever, migraine, dizziness, headache, rhinitis, sinus problems like sinusitis, allergy, infections and etc.
Neutralizes Harmful Effects of Free Radicals
- It contains vitamins E which acts as anti-oxidants and helps body to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.
Reduces Effects of Carcinogenic and Toxic Substances
- Vitamins E and C availability makes it able to protect from various carcinogenic and toxic substances.
Regularizes Major Body Functioning
- It contains wide range of B group vitamins and healthy minerals which are necessary for the various body functioning.
Prevents from Cancer
- Its high anti-oxidant and phytonutrients availability prevents from cancer of bladder, pancreas, cervix, prostate, breast and etc.
Treats Nose Bleeding
- It is useful to treat nose bleeding by repairing and strengthening the nose mucous membrane linings.
Prevents from Respiratory Problems
- It is high source of vitamin C and flavonoids which make it able to prevent from the respiratory problems like asthma, lung infections, sore throat, emphysema and etc.
Rich Source of Vitamin B6
- It contains vitamin B6 and mineral which helps in decreasing the anxiety level, bloating problem, hypertension and etc.
Maintains Body Fluid and Mineral Balance
- It is very good source of the potassium which helps in maintaining body fluid and mineral balance as well as regulating muscle function and regulates blood pressure.
Treats Food Poisoning and Fungal Infections
- It anti-septic property provides help to treat food poisoning and other fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and etc.
Benefits of Capsicum Juice
Reduces Blood Cholesterol Level
- Shimla mirch or capsicum juice is the rich source of vitamin B6, B9, folic acid and other B group vitamins which help in reducing the blood cholesterol level and maintaining the health of heart.
Prevents from Lungs and Prostate Cancer
- The juice of red capsicum has good amount of lycopene antioxidant which prevents from the cancer of lungs and prostate.
Boosts Instant Energy
- It is very low in calories and fat and contains natural sugar which provides instant energy to the body.
Maintains Health of Brain
- It contains some essential minerals like manganese and copper which helps in maintaining the health of brain by removing glutamate toxin from the brain tissues.
Improves Production of Eye and Skin Protein
- It also contains copper mineral which manages the brain cell communication very well and enhances the production of eye and skin protein called melanin.
Boosts Immunity Power
- It contains vitamin A which maintains the health of skin and eye as well as boosts immunity power.
Improves Collagen Production
- Its availability of vitamins C and K helps in nourishing the circulatory system as well as enhancing the production of collagen.
Benefits of Yellow Capsicum
Protects from Free Radicals and Cancer
- It contains phytonutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin which helps in improving body immunity and protects from free radicals and cancer.
Benefits of Red Capsicum
Contains Higher Concentration of Antioxidants
- Red capsicum or shimla mirch contains phytonutrients called astaxanthin and lycopene which helps in deeply nourishing the body and prevents from various infections. Red peppers have higher concentration of anti-oxidants due to the deep red color.
Benefits of Purple Capsicum
Highly Loaded with Vitamin C
- Purple capsicum contains anthocyanins phytonutrients which is essential for the body health. Smaller and darker shimla mirch are highly loaded with the amount of vitamin C than any other citrus fruit.
Benefits of Orange Capsicum
Rich Source of Alpha, Beta and Gamma Carotene
- Orange peppers contain some different phytonutrients such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and gamma-carotene which are very necessary for the healthy body.
Nutritional Benefits of Capsicum per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient database)
Energy: 20 kcal
Carbohydrate: 4.64 g
Sugar: 2.4 g
Dietary Fibre: 1.7 g
Fat: 0.17 g
Saturated Fat: 58 mg
Monounsaturated Fat: 8 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat: 62 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 8 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 54 mg
Protein: 0.86 g
Thiamine: 0.057 mg
Riboflavin: 0.028 mg
Niacin: 0.48 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.099 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.224 mg
Folates: 10 μg
Vitamin A: 18 μg
Vitamin C: 80.4 mg
Vitamin E: 0.37 mg
Vitamin K: 7.4 μg
Potassium: 175 mg
Sodium: 3 mg
Calcium: 10 mg
Iron: 0.34 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Manganese: 0.122 mg
Phosphorus: 20 mg
Zinc: 0.13 mg
Fluoride: 2 µg
Copper: 66 mcg
Selenium: 0.1 µg
Beta-Carotene: 1624 µg
Alpha-Carotene: 20 µg
Beta-Cryptoxanthin: 490 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 51 µg
Select and Store
Always buy capsicum fresh from the market instead of saving in large amount. Always buy bright colored, firm, heavy, smooth skin, shiny, whole and small sized. Avoid buying wrinkled skin, bruised skin, cut, dull colored, irregular shaped, spotted, light weight and etc. Well washed capsicum can be stored in the refrigerator in the airtight plastic bag for five to six days, however it is best use fresh.
How to Enjoy
Capsicum can be enjoyed eating raw or cooked. Tasty vegetable can be cooked by using fillings of meat, cheese, dried fruits, nuts, rice and etc. It is eaten raw as salad, cooked as fried with potato, mixed veg with beans, roasted, chopped into sauces, pasta, pizza, burger, sandwich, chowmin, soup ad etc. It can also be enjoyed in the form of jam, dried powder, pickles and etc.
Precautions, Side Effects and Disadvantages
Eating capsicum needs some precautions because of its some side effects and disadvantages. Some of are described below:
- Sometimes capsaicin found in it may cause severe irritation and hot sensations to some body parts like tongue, mouth, oral cavity, throat, stomach and etc.
- It may cause eye irritation if touch by mistake with pepper stained fingers.
- It may slow down the metabolic process if eaten over limit.
- It should be cooked on low heat as cooking on overheat may interfere with the healthy metabolism.
- It should be avoided during pregnancy as it may stimulate the uterus and cause some serious problems.
- Allergic people should also avoid eating capsicum as it may cause redness of eyes, rhinitis (running nose), watering eyes and etc.
- Sometimes it may cause upset stomach, heartburn and diarrhoea.
- It may cause problem to the person suffering from the low blood pressure or hypotension as it also has property to reduce the blood pressure.
How Much Capsicum to Eat a Day
It should be eaten according to the requirement of the body as it may cause some health problems as mentioned above. It also depends on the health conditions of the people so, it should be taken care by the person suffering from any health problem or must discussed by their doctor.
Find the Benefits of other Similar Vegetables