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I Tried a Bell Pepper... and I Liked It - (Stacia Naquin)

Go ahead and call me weird. I tried a bell pepper for the first time a few weeks ago.

I know. I’m a grown woman – what is the deal?! Well, I developed an aversion to them (and most vegetables) as a child and decided I did not like them. But I decided to give them a try again as an adult – and I’m glad I did. It turns out… I love them!

And now I want to eat them all the time!

That’s good news, because bell peppers are definitely good for you.

“Bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C and carotenoids,” said Martha Rosenau, a Registered Dietician with Peak Nutrition in Colorado Springs. “Beta carotene and lycopene are two carotenoids in bell peppers that you may be familiar with. Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant.”

But what about the different colors? If you’ve seen them in the grocery store, you know they come in green, red, orange, purple and yellow. So is there a difference?

“Green bell peppers that are visually turning red or yellow in spots or sections are riper than solid dark green peppers,” said Martha. “Dark red, orange, yellow and purple bells are varieties that ripened further and deliver more nutrients than green bells do. Choose red bells whenever possible as they are sweeter and deliver more of the power packed nutrients you’re after (vitamin C, beta carotene, etc.).”

And there are so many ways to enjoy these bells. The next time you’re in the store – grab some! You can include them in a variety of dishes. Martha pointed out a few for us. “Stir fry, stews, soups, chili, and salads,” she said. “And they’re great for snacking with a low-fat dip or hummus or thinly sliced on sandwiches.”

Great ways to pack a nutritional punch from many directions!

Glad I’m no longer missing out.

Click on this link for more with Martha Rosenau: http://www.martharosenau.com/

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