Red Bell Pepper Nutrition Facts

Calories in Red Bell Peppers and Their Health Benefits

Bunch of red bell peppers
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Bell peppers, otherwise known as sweet peppers, are available in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, purple, orange, white, and even brown. They are heart shaped and boxy with a short green stem and crisp flesh.

Red bell peppers tend to be the sweetest of the bunch. Red peppers can be eaten raw, used as sandwich toppers, dipped in hummus and other spreads, or cut up in salads. Or, you can cook them to compliment meals or serve as a base of a meal (as in a stuffed pepper).

While green varieties are typically available all year, red bell peppers are usually available during the summer and fall.

Red Bell Pepper Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Serving, 1 cup raw, chopped (149 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 46 
Calories from Fat 4 
Total Fat 0.5g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Sodium 6mg0%
Potassium 314mg12%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Dietary Fiber 3.1g12%
Sugars 6g 
Protein 1.5g 
Vitamin A 33% · Vitamin C 253%
Calcium 1% · Iron 4%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Red bell peppers provide a large volume of food for little calories and carbohydrates and virtually no fat. One cup of raw peppers contains 46 calories, 9 grams carbohydrate, and 3 grams fiber, contributing to 12 percent of your daily fiber needs.

Health Benefits of Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C (one serving provides at least twice the daily requirement), vitamin A, and vitamin B6.

Vitamin C, perhaps one of the best-known antioxidants, offers a variety of health benefits including boosting your immunity, facilitating cell repair, helping produce collagen (the connective tissue that holds bones and muscles together) and helping in the absorption of iron and folate.

They are also a very good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and manganese.

A large red bell pepper provides 1.3 milligrams of manganese, contributing 55 to 75 percent of your daily needs. This is important because manganese may help prevent osteoporosis.

Red bell peppers are also a rich source of antioxidants which may help protect our cells from damage. These include carotenoids such as lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids have been shown to play an important role in eye health. In addition, these compounds may help protect us from certain cancers.

Common Questions about Red Peppers 

How many calories are in mini sweet peppers?

The calories will depend on your serving size, but generally speaking, three mini peppers contain about 25 calories, 0 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar,  and 1 gram protein. They can serve as a great snack or an addition to meals. Eat them as is or slice them and add them to your eggs, salads, or sandwiches.

Can you eat the seeds of peppers?

You can eat the seeds, but most people cut away the seeds and the core before consuming because the texture and taste isn't always appealing. Note that chili peppers get their heat from capsaicin, which is found in the ribs of the pepper. If you want to reduce the heat of a pepper carefully remove the ribs and the seeds.

 

Picking and Storing Red Peppers 

Choose fresh peppers that are brightly colored and plump with smooth, unblemished skin. The more intense the color, the better. The vividness of color is an indicator of ripeness, flavor, and high concentration of nutrients. Avoid peppers that have soft spots, nicks, wrinkles, or pits.

You'll also want to look for a bright green stem, which indicates freshness.

Store peppers whole in the refrigerator. They should last for about a week this way. Once washed and cut they will begin to deteriorate more rapidly and should be used within a few days.

You can freeze them whole or cut them up and put them in an airtight container.

Peppers can also be purchased frozen, roasted in cans, or dried and ground as in paprika. Note that roasted red peppers can have a large amount of sodium and fat (if in oil).

Healthy Ways to Prepare Red Peppers 

Red bell peppers can be stuffed with beans and whole grains, baked, grilled, sauteed, pureed for soups and dips or used in chilis, stews, sauces, and condiments. They can also be eaten raw and put on sandwiches, wraps, in salads, or used as a crunch vehicle for dips.

Recipes with Red Bell Peppers 

Sources:

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 621-623.

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