We Are So Ready for Summer Vegetables! With nearly four times more Vitamin C than an orange, the Red Bell Pepper is probably one of the healthiest vegetables that you can readily find all year long in your supermarket.
It has been a long winter and I am eagerly anticipating the farm-fresh picked-the-same-day produce to arrive!
Sweet Peppers: Grown Just About Everywhere
Brought back home from the New World by explorer Christopher Columbus, he had probably hoped that importing the sweet peppers would be a wealth-building commodity but it turned out that the seeds he brought back readily grew in their new homeland and became a local favorite available to all. They are grown just about everywhere in the world these days.
Red Pepper Vs. Green Pepper
The red sweet pepper is really just the ripened green pepper, and contains more Vitamin-C as a result of having matured to full-ripeness. It has a different, slightly sweeter flavor as a result.
Red and green peppers are both sweeter than the other colored varieties of peppers, whose colors can include white, blue and purple and others. These are due to growing conditions, when harvested and how they were stored post-harvest. All the other varieties of bell peppers are more of a mildly tart flavor. The very best flavor of course comes from those grown in full sunshine grown, fertile soil and picked only when ripe. When harvested immature and under-ripened they will still ripen on the way to the consumer but are noticeably less flavorful.
Sliced Red Bell Pepper
Sweet peppers have much Vitamin-C, Vitamin-A, and folate. They contain beta carotene, -not as much as carrots but considerably more than most other colored vegetables. Red peppers also contains lycopene which is an antioxidant, a detoxifier ,which helps to destroy free radicals in the body. Peppers are a source of the amino acid tryptophan which helps combat symptoms of depression. Tryptophan is also found in milk and turkey meat and is the so-called ‘sleepy’ ingredient generally attributed to these two foods. This is said to be why drinking warm milk or eating roast turkey induces that calm, sleepy feeling. And who can say that after eating a big turkey dinner that they have not felt its effect? That happy, sleepy feeling that makes taking a nap feel so welcome.