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Add Color to Your Palate This Summer with Peppers

July 26, 2015

There are thousands of varieties of peppers available with a wide array of colors, flavor profiles and heat index. Peppers grow in warm season so they are the perfect vegetable for summer. They add heat, color, crunch and tons of nutrients to any dish. Although not all peppers add heat such as the well known bell peppers, the colors have different flavor profiles. The green bell peppers are sort of bitter while red bell peppers are sort of sweet. But whatever type you are in to chile, jalapeño, cayenne, habanero, poblano, or Serrano they will definitely pack a punch and brighten up your summer palate.

Peppers are loaded with nutritional value. And the ripest peppers have the most potent nutrients. Ripeness is determined by color: red, orange, yellow and green. No matter what variety, peppers are excellent sources of vitamin c, B6, E, K and magnesium. On average peppers contain one and a half times the recommended daily dose of the antioxidant vitamin c which is necessary for growth, development and repair of all body tissues. They also contain the brain boosting, mood enhancing vitamin B6, the bone strengthening vitamin k, the cholesterol reducing vitamin e, and stress reducing magnesium. When preparing your peppers to eat remember high heat destroys the nutrients no matter the color. To preserve their nutritional potency try eating peppers raw, sautéed or stuffed.

"Hot" or "spicy" peppers also contain a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin gives peppers their heat which boosts the metabolism. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that is used to soothe sore muscles. When consumed capsaicin causes the body to release endorphins or feel good hormones. It's good to keep milk around when handling or eating hot peppers, since it can soothe irritated skin and reduce the burning sensation.