Capsicums, referred by another name, bell peppers, and they are one of the most nutrient-rich foods. They have a sweet-savoury flavour. Capsicums are loaded with vitamins, minerals and contain vast reserves of vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K1. Capsicum benefits range from blood clotting to antioxidants, skin health to eye health, and fetal development to heart health. Capsicums can prevent a variety of chronic ailments like anaemia. Apart from these, capsicums help to keep the skin clear and boost hair growth.
What Is Capsicum?
Capsicum goes by the scientific name of Capsicum annuum and belongs to the nightshade family. It is called capsicum here in India and bell peppers in the US and Canada, and they come in bright colours. They are used in various types of cuisines and are a rich source of vitamins A and C.
Capsicum Nutritional Benefits:
They are rich in dietary fibre and vitamins A, E, C, and folate. The red ones contain the most nutrition compared to green and yellow. They are rich in beta-carotene.
Capsicum Nutritional Values:
The main nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw, red bell peppers are shown below:
- Calories: 31
- Water: 92%
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 4.2 grams
- Fibre: 2.1 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamin C: Capsicum has three times more vitamin C than an orange.
Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine is a common type of vitamin B6 vital for the formation of red blood cells.
Vitamin K1: A form of vitamin K, also known as phylloquinone is essential for the clotting of blood and bone health.
Potassium: Capsicum vegetable benefits improves heart health(1).
Folate: This is very important during pregnancy(2).
Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant needed for healthy muscles and nerves.
Vitamin A: Capsicum is rich in beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A(3).
Evidence-Based Capsicum Benefits:
Here we enlisted 25 science proven capsicum benefits for skin, hair and health. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Antifungal and Antibacterial:
Capsicum has been found to have antifungal properties and has also shown antibacterial qualities against some foodborne bacteria. It acts as an analgesic and antiseptic with wound healing properties too. This is good news for those who try to combat cases of food poisoning. One of the advantages of capsicum is that it helps in treating food poisoning by reducing cramps, alleviating stomach spasms, and pain. Capsicum helps in repairing the damaged tissues in the stomach and the gastrointestinal tract.
2. Rich In Antioxidants:
The antioxidants are higher in capsicums of darker colours, and we all know how important it is to have antioxidants to help us naturally fight free radical damages. Capsicum has many bioactive compounds that provide antioxidant effects. Improved vasodilatation aids antioxidant phytochemicals to circulate throughout the body(4). It allows the protection and repair of tissues and DNA damage.
3. Prevents Blood Clotting:
Studies show that hot peppers help to prevent blood clots and heart disease by increasing blood flow. This is due to Capsaicin, the natural chemical that puts the “spiciness” in hot peppers. Certain studies show that hot peppers may even be more effective than aspirin.
In capsicum benefits, capsaicin helps to promote circulatory blood flow by way of its natural ability. It increases blood flow to the stomach, which in turn stimulates the production of digestive juices.
4. Prevent Cancer:
Among capsicum health benefits, a capsicum a day can keep cancer at bay, say experts. This is because of the rich source of phytonutrients and antioxidants in it. When these two combine, they can help prevent cancers, especially prostate, pancreas, bladder, and cervix. Capsicum has tannin, which is said to prevent cancer that is caused by malignant tumours such as gastric cancers.
Research proves that plant is beneficial in treating and preventing other hormone-related cancers. Capsicum has good anticancer potential. A study stated that capsaicin, an active component of capsicum changes the genetic expression that is related to cancer cell survival, metastasis, and growth arrest (5). This could be very promising for future cancer research.
5. Lowers Cholesterol:
Capsicum is a potent pepper that has a compound in it called the capsaicin. This plays a vital role in decreasing hardened arteries. It helps to prevent blood pressure, obesity, and stroke risk. Red capsicums are full of lycopene, not found in green capsicums. Benefits of eating capsicum show that they contain cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre and prevent the formation of blood clots. So bring down your cholesterol levels,(6) especially the LDL by munching on capsicums, say experts.
The antioxidant concentration in dark capsicums is higher than the light ones, which, when eaten, would help fight the oxidation process in the blood. In doing so, they not only bring down LDL levels but also battle high blood pressure too(7).
See More: Health Benefits Of Apple
6. Prevent Stomach Problems:
Capsicum benefits help with stomach issues like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) includes capsicum to your diet as it decreases the intensity of stomach pain and bloating, as it decreases the intensity of stomach pain, and bloating. Even the gas problems in the stomach alleviate this.
Doctors say capsicums help with stomach ulcers and other infections too. It helps symptoms of dyspepsia where there is a decrease in epigastric pain, nausea, and fullness(8). The tannins in capsicum perform the role of an astringent and helps inflammation and other problems of the GI tract such as dysentery, and diarrhoea.
7. Boosts Immunity:
While stimulating the production of gastric juices, capsicum improves the appetite, lowers triglyceride levels, and cholesterol. It boosts metabolism and strengthens the immune system. The immune system needs help, which is why capsicum is recommended because it has vitamin C in it. Vitamin C helps the white cells to battle it out, and hence the immunity is boosted on a larger scale when you consume capsicum. Capsicums enable the body to create more heat, and this boosts the metabolism of the body.
8. Enhances Your Metabolism:
Capsicum makes our immune system strong and improves resistance to sinus, cold, and sore throat. It also helps in weight loss, regulating blood pressure, and enhancing athletic performance. Raw capsicum benefits include vitamin C, which is an immune-supportive bioactive phytochemical. It aids in strengthening the immune system, repairing damaged tissues, and lowering the risk of oxidative stress. Enhance your metabolism by indulging in capsicums every day. This would help lower triglycerides and burn calories efficiently, as well.
9. Burns More Calories:
Research states that capsicum good for weight loss and capsaicin is a thermogenic chemical, which in turn decreases appetite and speeds up the metabolism of the body. It gives a feeling of fullness and causes fewer cravings. When the cravings lessen, it leads to lesser caloric intake, and this, in turn, ends in weight loss. More study is required to substantiate these findings. The spiciness causes the body temperature to rise, and this helps in the burning of calories. All this finally leads to weight reduction.
10. Improves Cardiovascular Health:
Capcicum benefits show there are specific properties of capsicum that enable it to alleviate hypotension and abnormal heart rate. It also helps conditions such as poor circulation, high cholesterol, excessive blood clotting, and preventing heart disease. Capsicum, when consumed, has a vasodilative effect on the body, which improves blood flow.
Studies on flavonoids suggest that it may be beneficial for preventing coronary heart disease. However, we need more research on this topic, but the early findings are promising(9).
11. Diabetes Management:
Research states that capsicum promotes insulin production, which regulates the blood glucose level in the body. This shows that capsicum is efficient in preventing type II diabetes. This is seen especially in green capsicum benefits that are rich in hypoglycemic benefits. Capsicum is known to have a positive effect on obesity and diabetes.
Anthocyanins present in capsicum inhibits the activity of 2 key digestive enzymes, alpha-glucosidase and lipase. It helps to lower blood glucose level naturally when the digestions of lipids and carbohydrates are slowed.
12. Relieves Menopausal Symptoms:
Capsicum nutritional benefits alleviate menopausal symptoms owing to the presence of flavonoid. Capsicum is instrumental in reducing symptoms related to menopause in women. It is believed menopausal symptoms may be relieved by the consumption of flavonoid-containing fruits such as capsicum chilli. There is not much research surrounding this belief.
Capsicum also contains a large amount of vitamin C that goes a long way to support our immune system and helps to decrease menopausal symptoms like hot flushes. They have hormone-stabilizing and anti-inflammatory properties that help to handle hot flashes. Yellow capsicums are the ones that contain the most of vitamin C when compared to green and red capsicums.
See More: Oregano Oil Benefits
13. Improves Eyesight:
The advantages of capsicum or bell peppers give the maximum vitamin C per calorie. They are good for blood vessels in our eyes. They also are known to lower the risk of getting cataracts. The brightly coloured peppers contain eye-friendly vitamins such as vitamins A and E.
Red and yellow capsicum when added to the regular diet, are rich in vitamins A, C, and enzymes. These help to lower the risk of visual impairment, such as macular degeneration and cataracts, that are common in old age. They help and protect the retina from oxidative damages.
14. Forms Mucilage:
Capsicum vegetable benefits show that it contains tannins. Tannins are astringent and are often known for their benefits while treating gastrointestinal issues such as dysentery, diarrhoea, and other microbial disorders. Gastric mucilage protects the gastric lining and prevents related diseases. Studies reveal that it acts as a mucilage by increasing the production of gastric mucus. It can help treat peptic ulcer disease.
15. Cure’s Iron Deficiency:
One of the common causes of anaemia is iron deficiency. Dietary iron absorption increases when one consumes vegetables high in vitamin C. Consumption of eating raw capsicum benefits to increase the body’s iron stores, helping reduce the risk of anaemia.
16. Good For Your Heart:
The lycopene found in red peppers take care of our heart health and are not present in the green-coloured ones. They contain soluble fibre, which is good for the heart. They contain vitamins and antioxidants that are beneficial for cardiac health. It helps to regular our blood pressure, as it is a cardiovascular stimulant.
17. Capsicum Benefits During Pregnancy:
Capsicum benefits during pregnancy are many, and they are beneficial and have several advantages. They are rich in iron. Iron is essential for pregnant women. Since capsicum is a rich source of vitamin C, it plays a vital role during pregnancy by helping in better absorption of iron. It prevents the development of iron-deficiency anaemia that could lead to a reduction in red blood cells.
18. Capsicum Good For Weight Loss:
Consumption of capsicum leads to a faster metabolism. This, in turn, leads to weight loss. It helps to curb hunger cravings and suppresses appetite. All these work together and speed up weight loss. Capsaicin helps to burn belly fat, as it promotes early satiety along with reducing calories, which in turn stimulates effective weight loss.
Capsicum Benefits For Skin:
Here are our 4 best capsicum benefits for skin. Let’s have a look into them.
19. Helps In Preventing Oxidative Damage:
Among capsicum benefits for skin, one of the best beauty benefits of consuming capsicum is to maintain skin health. Capsicum is excellent at controlling and decreasing oxidative damage caused to our skin. Capsicum can be yellow, red, or green. It has high vitamin C content that is used as an antioxidant to fight against free radicals present in the body. This results in healthy hair and skin. Oxidative damages can cause premature ageing.
Vitamin C in capsicum stimulates collagen production. This helps to keep the skin soft and supple. Capsicum prevents skin cells from further damage.
20. Prevents Aging:
Capsicum vegetable benefits show that capsicums are well known for their anti-ageing properties. The vitamins present in them act as an antioxidant on cell tissues leaving you with improved skin. Regular consumption of capsicum can reverse the signs of premature ageing. Premature ageing causes uneven skin tone and wrinkles along with fine lines.
Capsicum reverses ageing by making the skin look youthful, firm, and healthy. The antioxidants are very useful in stabilizing free radicals and prevent further damage.
21. Reduce Skin Blemishes & Rashes:
Capsicum benefits for skin consists of several antioxidants present along with phytochemicals that make capsicum very useful in maintaining young and healthy skin. Consumption of capsicum makes it possible to obtain relief from skin rashes.
Capsicum is also effective in clearing blemishes, helped by the number of nutrients present in the capsicum. Capsicum helps to achieve firm and healthy-looking skin. Capsicum plays a vital role in the building of collagen in the body, which is essential for the health of the skin.
22. Heals Shingles & Athlete’s Foot:
Capsicum annuum benefits show that capsaicin found in capsicum helps to relieve the specific type of pain known as neuralgia (shingles). This pain tends to occur after herpes zoster infection. Capsaicin helps to relieve post-herpetic neuralgia pain, but it will not cure the condition. There are non-prescription ointments and creams available containing capsaicin that may be applied to the feet to relieve pain.
Benefits Of Capsicum For Hair:
Here are our 3 best capsicum benefits for hair. Let’s have a look into them.
23. Supports Healthy Hair and Nails:
Capcicum benefits promote not only healthy skin, but healthy nails and hairs too. It provides the best hair growth-boosting product and prevents hair fall. It helps to maintain thicker and fuller hair. Green capsicum works wonderfully well for hair growth, and the high content of natural silicon may benefit healthy nails and hair. Red capsicum is very useful in preventing hair loss.
24. Promote Hair Growth:
Among benefits of capsicum for hair growth, we note that the pungency of the capsicum can stimulate and enhance hair growth, but one must exercise caution while doing this as it can irritate the skin. Proper blood circulation is essential for hair growth and for protecting our hair follicles. Stimulation of hair follicle production promotes hair growth. Being rich in vitamins, it helps in the regeneration of dead cells and reduces hair fall.
25. Strengthens Hair Follicles:
Benefits of capsicum for the hair show that capsicum has a significant content of vitamin C. This makes it beneficial for making hair stronger. Vitamin C contributes to the absorption of iron and ensures that there is enough iron content in the blood cells to carry oxygen to the hair follicles.
Capsicum helps not only in promoting hair growth but also in the growth of skin cells. These properties of the capsicum help to keep the hair luxurious and healthy. Vitamin C is vital in the formation of collagen. Collagen is required for the growth of hair follicles, blood vessels, skin cells, and keeping them healthy.
- One must exercise caution while consuming capsicum excessively during pregnancy, as it can have adverse effects that may prove to be harmful to both the mother-to-be and the baby.
- The disadvantages of capsicum are such that it contains seeds that have a strong tendency for triggering allergies. It can result in rashes or in bouts of sneezing, which may not be safe during pregnancy.
- Similarly, consuming a lot of capsicum can also upset the internal balance of the stomach, resulting in frequent stools and indigestion.
- Though there are no chronic or fatal side effects associated with capsicum, yet there are some capsicum disadvantages, so it is prudent to use it in moderation.
- It is advisable to be careful when used by children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.
- Some of the common side effects due to unguided consumption are diarrhoea, heartburn, upset stomach, bleeding, skin irritation, cough, abdominal irritation, tearing, mucous membrane irritation, runny nose, sweating, hives (topical use), etc.
In this article, we have shown you some of the advantages of capsicums for skin, hair and health. We have also explained extensively as to why their use must be in moderation. Please do share with us your experience on how they benefited you in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.