Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Properties of Pepper

Pepper (Capsicum annuum Linn)
Pepper (Capsicum annuum Linn) also called sweet pepper, paprika, bell pepper, sweet bell pepper, green pepper. It is a herbaceous plant of the botanical family Solanaceae that grows to height of 60 cm. The leaves are alternate and tapering at both ends. The flowers are solitary, bell-shaped, and yellowish or white in color. The fruit is hollow inside, containing numerous small, flat seeds. It varies in size, depending of the variety. The fruit tend to be red, green or yellow. However, there are specimens that are orange, purple and even black. Being a good stimulant, it is mostly used in salads for taste and decorations.

Peppers contain very little protein and carbohydrates, and virtually no fat. Because of this, it only contain 27kcal/100g. It also contain small amount of B group vitamins, vitamin E, and all dietary minerals. However, two vitamins are particularly noteworthy. The Provitamin A and Vitamin C.

     Provitamin A (beta-carontene), the beta-carotene transform into vitamin A in the body, peppers who provide other carotenoids such as lycopene. This carotenoid is also very abundant in tomatoes. While it does not transform into Vitamin A. It is a potent antioxidant that protect against the cancerous degeneration of the cell.

     Vitamin C in red pepper provide almost four times as much vitamin C as lemon or oranges. One hundred grams of red pepper contain more than triple the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance).

     Not only that, Pepper are also significant for other non-nutritive substances like flavonoids, capsacin and vegetable fiber.

     Flavonoids in Pepper are potent anti-inflamatory anti-oxidants that protect the circulatory system.

     Capsacin the substance makes peppers hot. While sweet pepper contain 0.1%, ten times less than hot pepper. At low doses as found in sweet pepper, capsacin is an aperitif and stimulates digestion, although at higher doses it irritate the skin and mucose.

     Peppers contain approximately 2% vegetable fiber. This, along with capsacin, contributes to their laxative action.

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