Bell peppers are actually one of my favorite vegetables to consume. That would be surprising to hear for those who are close to me since I grew up not liking my vegetables. It took me a while to break out of that habit and to develop a more healthy eating style. I was the type of person who would rather eat cookies, cakes, ice cream, and candy for my snacks.
One of the main reasons that really helped me grow a liking for bell peppers are the different colors! Bell peppers can come in colors like green, yellow, orange, red, and sometimes even purple! This often tricks my mind into thinking that I am eating candy! It also helps to know the health benefits of eating them.
Bell Peppers Contain A Lot of Nutrition
Bell peppers can contain many nutrients like:
- Vitamin A – great for vision
- Vitamin B – great for helping with formation of red blood cells
- Vitamin C – great for immunity, wound healing, and maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, and bone health
- Vitamin E – for healthy nerves and muscles
- Vitamin K – important for blood clotting functions and bone health
- Potassium – great for heart health and preventing muscle cramps
- Fiber – great for preventing constipation
- Folate – important nutrient for bodily functions and also during pregnancy for proper fetal development
- Iron – essential for making hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen on red blood cells
- Lycopene – a type of antioxidant
These are just some of the main nutrients found in bell peppers.
Not All Bell Peppers Are the Same
Of the different colors of bell peppers, green you can say is the only one that is NOT sweet. The reason for this is because the green bell pepper is not ripe! If you give time for the “green” bell pepper to ripen before picking it, it would eventually become either yellow, orange, red, or sometimes even purple. These are the colors that are considered ripe and that is where you can start to taste the sweetness of it (the other reason why I like this vegetable).
But, have you ever noticed that even though red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are fully ripe, some often taste better than others? Sometimes they taste sweeter while others are just a bit on the blander side with not much flavor?
Now this is not just coincidence. There is actually a trick to select the best tasting bell pepper!
How to Select Bell Peppers for the Best Taste?
If you ever really tried looking at the anatomical features of the bell pepper (and particular the bottom), you will notice bumps at the bottom of the vegetable (opposite of the side with the stem). You will typically notice either 3 or 4 bumps (these are the most common, but at times you might even see 2 or even 5 on rare occasions).
- If you are planning to eat bell peppers raw…
- You should choose bell peppers that have 4 bumps on the bottom. The bell pepper with 4 bumps tend to be sweeter (and also has more seeds).
- If you are planning to cook the bell peppers…
- You should choose the ones that have 3 bumps on the bottom. These tend to be better for cooking.
Is this Trick 100% Fool Proof?
No, there is still a small chance that the bell pepper with 4 bumps may still taste bland when eaten raw. This is most likely due to the fact that it was picked before it had a chance to fully ripen. But hey, you still ate your vegetables and you got your daily dose of nutrients right?
Is it Possible to Eat Too Many Bell Peppers?
Although bell peppers carry A LOT of nutrients and since they taste great, you may be tempted to just overstuff yourself with it. But something to keep in mind though is that they are also known for carrying a protein called lectin. Lectin is known for protecting the plant from predators who eat them. So when one consumes a high dose of lectin, it is thought to potentially lead to issues of inflammatory bowel syndrome (leaky gut syndrome).
Leaky gut syndrome is where there is inflammation in the gut lining which allows certain foods, toxins, or bacteria to leak into other areas like the bloodstream. This can potentially causes more health issues. Here is a video on the science behind lectins.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Symptoms can include:
- Stomach cramps
- Difficulty with concentrating
- Skin problems (acne, rash, eczema)
- Weight gain
- Arthritic pain
What Foods Contain High Lectins?
- Beans and legumes (peanuts, lentils, cashews, etc.)
- Squash (Pumpkin, Zucchini etc.)
- Grains, even gluten-free (rice, barley, quinoa, etc.)
- Nightshade vegetables (bell peppers, tomatoes, egg plants, potatoes, etc.)
- Fruit (that is out of season)
If you are concerned about leaky gut syndrome, there is a supplement you can try called Total Restore. It is designed by the same person, Dr. Steven Gundry, MD. It works by removing lectins out of your system and essentially creating a healthier gut.
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My Experiences with Total Restore
I am someone who just doesn’t have a healthy gut to begin with. I do feel bloated often and had weight issues in the past. I also had problems with concentration often and felt fatigue. When I ran into the video by Dr. Steven Gundry, I decided to check it out. When I finally got my shipment of Total Restore and took it for a few weeks. I did notice more energy and better concentration within myself.
In order to make sure it wasn’t a placebo effect, I did try NOT taking the supplement for some time too. Guess what? My sluggishness, difficulties with concentration, and bloating came back. But to be honest, I can get quite lazy and grew accustomed to those symptoms and stopped the supplement (it can be a bit pricey).
Recently, I am thinking about going back to using Total Restore again in the near future. Maybe now I can test the potency of it when combined with IF and binaural beats therapy.
Interesting how this post was meant to be about picking the best bell pepper to eat but it took a turn into gut health talk. But you know, I really don’t think there is a perfect food that exists. Although healthy foods contain your desired nutrients, just somehow, they also seem to contain something that is not very desirable.
I think the key to anything in life is always about finding balance and doing things in moderation. Even the overconsumption of water can be dangerous because it can lead to a condition called hyponatremia (volume of water overpowers the amount of salts in the body).
Anyways, if you really enjoy bell peppers, you should still continue to enjoy them and there are tips for selecting the best ones for the best taste depending on if you want to eat it raw or cooked. BUT…if you are concerned about the lectin issue, there is always the Total Restore that you can try too. I found it to be helpful for my health and I hope that it can help you too if you notice or struggle with symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
Did you enjoy this article? Did you try Total Restore and how did it go for you? Please leave a comment below!