Sonoma diet's Powerful Foods: Peppers


From Sonoma Diet

Like other foods on The Sonoma Diet Power Food list, bell peppers (also known as sweet peppers) pack a nutritional punch without packing on pounds. Unlike some of their fiery cousins, bell peppers are not hot because they contain a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the compound that heats up other peppers. The vividly colored skin of bell peppers is one of the keys to their power; whether they're green, red, purple, yellow, or orange, bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamins C and A, two powerful antioxidants. These vitamins work together to neutralize free radicals, which travel through the body damaging healthy cells. Free radicals lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, which in turn can lead to heart disease, diabetes, cataracts, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.

When it comes to warding off disease, red peppers are particularly powerful. By weight, they have three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit, and they're a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamin B6. Plus, they are the only pepper that contains lycopene, a substance research has shown to be a potent weapon in the fight against cancer of the colon, cervix, bladder, pancreas, and prostate. So how many peppers should you pick? A peck at least, and keep them coming!

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