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Bell peppers are a great source of vitamins A and C. They make a colorful addition to any meal.
Bell peppers can be found in a rainbow of colors and can vary in flavor. The variety of the pepper plant and the stage of the ripeness determine the flavor and color of each pepper. For example, a red bell pepper is simply a mature green bell pepper. As a bell pepper ages, its flavor becomes sweeter and milder. Red bell peppers contain eleven times more beta carotene than green bell peppers

Selection

Bell peppers are available and are in good supply all year, but they are more plentiful and less expensive during the summer months. Fresh peppers come in variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but when selecting them, they all follow the same guidelines. Their skin should be firm without any wrinkles, and the stem should be fresh and green. They should feel heavy for their size. Avoid peppers with sunken areas, slashes or black spots.

Storage

Store unwashed bell peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for about a week. Green bell peppers will stay fresh a little longer than the yellow and red ones.

Benefits of Bell Pepper

All peppers provide an excellent source of vitamin C. Green bell peppers contain as much as two times of vitamin C as oranges, while red or yellow pepper pack three or four times the daily value of vitamin C.

Besides power-packed with vitamin C, bell peppers also provide vitamin B6, phytochemicals such as lycopene and beta-carotene (the precursor for vitamin A), folate, potassium and plenty of fiber. Chili peppers contain an additional substance, called capsaicin which has many health benefits:

Effective treatment and natural pain relief for inflammation such as arthritis, psoriasis, diabetic neuropathy.

Reduce risk of heart attack and stroke as it helps to reduce cholesterol levels and formation of blood clots.

Clear blocked nose and congested lungs.

Prevent prostate cancer by inhibiting growth of cancerous cells

  Prevent stomach ulcers by killing bacteria in the stomach and stimulate more protective stomach juices.

Help to lose weight as it speeds up your body's metabolism, suppresses appetite and cravings for sweet foods.

Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes by controlling your blood sugar level.
Bell Pepper
Recipes

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Makes 8 Servings.

Ingredients

4 red or green bell peppers
1 pint or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 cup fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil
tsp Salt
tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly oil a large shallow baking pan. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Arrange peppers cut sides up in baking pan and lightly oil cut edges of stems. Halve cherry tomatoes and chop onion and basil. Finely chop garlic. In a bowl toss tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, 2 tbsp. oil, salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture among peppers and roast in upper third of oven until peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis per serving:

Green Bell Pepper
Serving Size cup, chopped (75g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 20
Calories from Fat 0 % Daily Value
Total Fat 0g 0%
  Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1.5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 1%
  Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
  Sugars 2g 
Protein 1g 
Vitamin A  4%
Vitamin C 60%

Red Bell Pepper 

Vitamin A  45%
Vitamin C 240%

Yellow Bell Pepper

Vitamin A  2%
Vitamin C 230%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Calories 41, Total Fat 1.4g, Saturated Fat 0.3g, Carbohydrates 7g, Protein 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 2g, Sodium 78mg, Carbohydrates 63%, Protein 10%, Fat 27%.