Why red bell peppers are so great for your health

Spicy or mild, peppers are great for your health. Red bell peppers have higher levels of nutrients than green bell peppers, and even contain lycopene, the same cancer-preventing red pigment as tomatoes.  Peppers can come in many different hues: red, green, orange, yellow, purple, brown, and white. Each color and variety has different nutritional values, but here is just a few of the nutrients that red bell peppers contain.

Vitamin A: An antioxidant, this vitamin helps defend against cancer and slows down DNA production in cancerous cells. Vitamin A also helps skin stay at its best by defending from bacteria and preventing dark spots.

Vitamin B6: plays a role in maintaining healthy nerve and brain function. Vitamin B helps to form red blood cells and antibodies.  B6 helps to digest and break down proteins from food we eat.

Vitamin C: another antioxidant, research suggests that this vitamin can protect against cancer and cataracts. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine which helps improve symptoms of cold and allergies.

Capsaicin: this is the component that gives peppers their spice. Although it was once believed to cause stomach ulcers, new research has shown that they may rid the stomach of ulcer-causing bacteria. Capsaicin is also known to boost immunity, improve lung health and reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

What could be better than stuffing one superfood with another? Here’s our recipe for Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 red bell peppers
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

  1. Cut tops off peppers, de-rib and seed peppers. Place in oven-safe casserole for later.
  2. Add 1 ½ cups of water along with the tomato sauce in a pot, bring to a boil add quinoa and onions. Cover pot and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in frozen corn, diced tomatoes and beans. Remove from heat and mix in chili powder, cumin and cilantro.

Fill the peppers with the mixed quinoa and replace in casserole dish. Top peppers with cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly brown.

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