PepperㅣSource: Getty Image Bank
Pepper is a versatile food. Green peppers are eaten raw, and red peppers are dried and powdered or soaked in the intestines. Peppers are not only widely used, but they are also rich in various nutrients, which are beneficial to health.
It is particularly rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Each 100g of red pepper contains 129RE of vitamin A and 772μg of beta-carotene. Red pepper contains more vitamin A, and 100 g of red pepper powder contains 3,440 RE of vitamin A and 20,640 μg of beta-carotene.
Vitamin A acts to keep mucosal cells in the eyes, mouth, stomach and respiratory tract healthy. This has the effect of increasing resistance to various microbial infections and improving immunity. Beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in our body, acts as a natural antioxidant that can prevent cancer and heart disease. Vitamin A is fat soluble, so it is more heat resistant than water soluble vitamins.
Red pepper is also high in vitamin B1 and vitamin C. 100g of red pepper powder contains 0.4mg of vitamin B1, and 100g of green pepper contains 170mg of vitamin C. The vitamin B group contained in red pepper helps digest and absorb carbohydrates and proteins, promotes metabolism, allows the brain and nervous system to function normally, and helps relieve fatigue. The vitamin C content of red pepper is 20 times that of apples and 2 to 3 times that of tangerines. In addition, capsaicin, a spicy component of red pepper, prevents the oxidation of vitamin C, so the amount of vitamin C lost during cooking is less than other vegetables.
Capsaicin is a type of alkaloid, and thanks to this ingredient, eating red pepper improves blood circulation and warms the body. When capsaicin enters the blood, it excites sensory nerves and activates sympathetic nerve activity to secrete noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Through this, brown adipose tissue is activated and heat is produced in the body. Unlike white fat, which causes obesity, when brown fat is activated, fat and blood sugar are consumed to generate heat and promote calorie consumption. Eating red pepper can have a positive effect on weight loss by actively using energy.
In addition, eating red pepper stimulates the secretion of gastric juice, stimulates appetite and promotes digestion. It is also known to directly inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastritis. However, this is an effect that appears when consumed in moderation. Eating just 3 green peppers a day is enough to meet the daily vitamin intake recommendation. If you eat a lot of red pepper even though you can tolerate the spicy taste, be careful because capsaicin stimulates the stomach and intestines, which can cause stomach pain and diarrhea.