Peppers grow on compact erect shrubs 1½ to 2 feet tall. Botanically speaking, they are the fruit of the plant. Native to South and Central America, they can be grown in a variety of climates.
Bell peppers come in various colors: green (these are usually not fully ripened peppers), red, yellow, orange, brown, and black. Unripe fruits have a slightly bitter flavor and are not as sweet as those that are fully ripe nor are they as nutritious.
Also called green peppers, sweet peppers or capsicums, bell peppers are eaten as vegetables, either raw or cooked.
Peppers are on the “Dirty Dozen+” list, which means that when grown conventionally, they have a high pesticide load – so it is important to eat organically grown versions.
Nutrient content can vary greatly depending on soil conditions, with organic methods and a soil rich in organic matter generally producing the best results.
‘Dirty Dozen’ or ‘Clean Fifteen’ ratings do not necessarily apply to produce grown on local farms — you need to check with the farmer to determine if and when any fertilizers or pesticides were applied.
Additional nutrition & health assertions from a few sources:
- From Authority Nutrition: An Evidence-based Approach: “Bell Peppers 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits” – https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/bell-peppers/
- From Serving Joy: Inspire Through Serving: “Fun Facts About Bell Peppers” – http://servingjoy.com/fun-facts-of-bell-peppers/
- From The World’s Healthiest Foods: “Bell Peppers” – http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=50&tname=foodspice
- From The Weston A. Price Foundation: “Nightshades”, article by Garrett Smith, naturopath –
“The nightshades are members of an enormous family of plants called Solanaceae . . . The ones that concern us in the Western diet mainly include tomatoes, potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams), eggplant and [all] peppers. . . For me and many of my patients, nightshade avoidance is the answer to long-term relief from pain. Why should you care about this? It’s likely that you enjoy eating these foods and can’t imagine that they are bad for you in any way. Well, if you suffer from inflammation, joint pain and cracking, avoiding nightshades will lessen your pain, whether or not the nightshades are the true source of the pain . . . Muscle pain and tightness, morning stiffness, poor healing, arthritis, insomnia and gall bladder problems—these can all be caused by nightshades. Nightshades can also cause heart burn . . . —a lot of people already know they react this way when they eat peppers or tomatoes.”
|NOTE: Nutrient content can vary greatly depending on soil conditions, with organic methods and a soil rich in organic matter generally producing the best results. ‘Dirty Dozen’ or ‘Clean Fifteen’ ratings may not apply to locally-grown fruits & vegetables — you need to check with the farmer to determine if fertilizers or pesticides were applied & when.|