The Magic of Real Food …..Series…”Capsicums”

Today’s food is Capsicum

Over the next few days I will be looking at a range of healthy foods, the nutrition they offer, and how they affect our bodies in positive ways.

As most of you are now well aware I am against supplements/powders/pills and potions, especially those still on the market full of chemicals and bad substances that have been banned in other countries. My aim is to get people away from the charlatans and non-natural food products that are pushed and promoted as healthy whilst actually being bad for us, lining the pockets of the sellers whom have no regard for our health.

Source:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/331951-nutrients-in-capsicum/

Capsicums, related to the chili peppers, have been in existence for at least 9000 years and according to many historians, they have been cultivated for 7000 years. Capsicums are believed to have originated in regions of South and Central America.

Capsicums are also known as cayenne, chilli pepper, hot pepper, red pepper, bell pepper, paprika, jalapeno, pimientos and other names. This vegetable plant belongs in the family of nightshade or Solanaceae plants and are native to Mexico and Central America, but also cultivated in other temperate areas. This common plant occurs in a variety of colors, sizes and flavors. The American Cancer Society notes that the many beneficial nutrients in capsicums provide a variety of health benefits.

Capsaicin

The natural compound capsaicin found in capsicum is the most studied ingredient in this plant. The nutrient capsaicin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA for medicinal use on the skin. It is an active ingredient that is added to cream, ointment, gel, lotion and spray preparations that are used to treat muscle and joint strains, pain, injuries and damage. Capsaicin products are available both over-the-counter and with a prescription.

Antioxidants

Capsicum peppers contain high concentrations of antioxidant compounds that have nutritional benefits. These compounds are effective in helping to protect the skin and body from toxins and free radicals that cause aging and damage. Varying colors of capsicums contain different types of antioxidant compounds such as lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, lycopene and anthocyanin.

Vitamins and Minerals

Capsicum peppers also contain high amounts of vitamins including the water-soluble vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 as well as vitamin E. These nutrient ingredients are important compounds for the functions of the body and also provide health benefits. Mineral ingredients found in capsicum include potassium, manganese, copper, cobalt, zinc, thiamine and molybdenum.

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