DUBAI: Our new series looks at the superfoods you should be adding to your diet to help toward living a longer and healthier life. Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, feeds you some bite-sized advice…
Bell peppers are not only inexpensive and tasty, they are a flexible food that can be eaten raw or cooked. Add them to pretty much anything from salads, omelets and pastas to curries and stews or roast and fill as a side with meat dishes. Here are five ways they can improve your health.
Boost your immune system
Bell peppers are super high in vitamin C, with red bell peppers containing almost double the amount found in oranges. Vitamin C has been linked to increasing the production of white blood cells – which are essential when fighting infections – and as the body is unable to produce or store vitamin C, it is essential to get it from food.
Promote good skin
This savory “fruit” is brimming with beta carotene, which gives bell peppers their rich color, and is converted into vitamin A in the body which helps speed up healing, prevents breakouts and keeps the skin hydrated. Vitamin A helps maintain a healthy dermis and epidermis – the top two layers of the skin. Vitamin C also plays its part by making collagen, which provides the foundation of skin and can help to reduce wrinkles.
Help fight cancer
As well as containing a long list of micronutrients that have demonstrated cancer-fighting properties, eating bell peppers has been linked with lowering the risk of liver and prostate cancers. Studies have also shown that flavonoids in the food could also inhibit growth of breast cancer cells.
Bell peppers can activate a thermogenic (heat) affect in the body, although milder than that of hot peppers, it does still increase metabolism – meaning you’ll burn more calories than normal – and without the hot sweats that come with spicy food.
Improved eye health
This is another benefit courtesy of the high vitamin A count, which protects the cornea (surface of the eye), supports the retina (back of the eye) to improve night vision, and has also been linked to slowing vision loss that comes with age.