With a vibrant, fiery color and a satisfying crunch, the red bell pepper is a healthy and delicious addition to most meals. Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors – green, yellow, orange, purple and now even brown and black. So, why should you choose red? Providing an excellent source of vitamins C and A, all bell peppers are considered strong antioxidants. This means they may enable the body to either help prevent or reduce symptoms of heart disease, joint pain and even asthma. The red pepper stands out from the rest because it contains lycopene. Several studies have shown that foods containing lycopene have correlated with lower risks for certain types of cancer. It has also been linked with regulating blood pressure and encouraging good circulation. With an abundance of health benefits, your daily diet could use a dose of this ruby red vegetable gem.
Red bell peppers, available year round, are green bell peppers which have been allowed to fully ripen and turn a vivid red color. Milder and sweeter in flavor than green bell peppers, look for red bell peppers that are firm, smooth and feel heavy for their size. Store all bell peppers in the refrigerator for optimum shelf life. Use them raw in salads, cooked in casseroles, grilled on your favorite pasta or puréed in soups and spreads. Red bell peppers will add a great pop of color, flavor, texture and nutrition to your next meal.