5 Nutritious Reasons to Keep Crunching on Bell Peppers

Snack on bell peppers or make them dinner’s star player for tons of healthy (and scrumptious!) benefits.

Bell peppers are one of those ubiquitous vegetables you'll find in everything from a crisp, fresh Greek salad to a baked-and-stuffed weeknight entree to colorful party veggie trays for a healthy group snack. They're an incredibly versatile vegetable that come in several colors, and you may be wondering what its main health benefits are or if it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Here, three dietitians break down all the beneficial reasons to snack on and cook with more bell peppers.

Still life of sliced yellow bell peppers on pink background
Getty Images

Bell Pepper Nutrition Benefits

Bell peppers are good for heart and digestive health

It should come as no surprise that bell peppers are another extremely healthy vegetable, whether you're opting for green, red, yellow, or orange varieties. All bell peppers provide fiber, some iron, and folate to support a healthy gut, healthy cardiovascular system, and proper natural detoxification, says Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, nutrition consultant for Freshbit, an AI-driven visual diet diary app.

Bell peppers are rich in potassium

"Peppers, no matter the color, are a great source of potassium and vitamin A," adds Brigitte Zeitlin, a New York City-based registered dietitian and founder of BZ Nutrition. "Potassium helps to keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and fight belly bloat by reducing water retention."

Bell peppers are good for your eyes

This crisp veggie contains vitamin A, which "helps to maintain eye health, keeping your vision on point," Zeitlin says.

Bell peppers are high in antioxidants

"Red bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C and various carotenoids, which function as antioxidants and support eye and cardiovascular health," adds Minchen. "Yellow/orange bell peppers provide beta-carotene (an antioxidant form of vitamin A), vitamin C, and potassium."

Bell pepper has some skin benefits

"Eating green and yellow veggies, such as green and yellow bell peppers, may help decrease the wrinkling that can occur in the crow's foot area, according to a study of Japanese women," adds Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian.

How much pepper should you eat?

Believe it or not, it's possible to overdo it on the bell peppers (as with anything), Minchen says. "Eating too much bell pepper can mean less intake of other essential nutrients, which may lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long term," she explains. "Also, bell pepper intolerance is quite common (they are in the nightshade family), which means that those with an intolerance may be able to only eat a small amount before they experience digestive and other inflammatory symptoms."

As such, Minchen recommends limiting your bell pepper intake to just one per day. But in any case, talk to your doctor or dietitian if you've experienced these symptoms and suspect you may have an intolerance.

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Bell Peppers

Peppers are uniquely versatile too so they are great in so many dishes whether it is a salad, sandwich, burger, omelet, or roasted veggie medley—peppers are a natural addition, Zeitlin says.

Minchen has several recommendations of her own, including bell peppers stuffed with bell ground beef or poultry, a whole grain, cheese, and other vegetables; sliced raw bell peppers with yogurt dip, guacamole, or hummus for a healthy snack; and stir-fried sauteed bell peppers combined with protein and other vegetables. Gorin recommends adding sliced bell peppers to a fresh summer salad, a creamy rice dish, or a vegetarian lentil dish.

Read on for more recipes that incorporate this sweet, healthy, flavorful veggie.

Roasted red pepper dip on a serving tray with pita and vegetables

Victor Protasio

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

We love finding delicious ways to entertain and empty our pantry. Today's hero product? That jar of roasted red peppers you've been meaning to use for months. Simply blend together with a few other pantry ingredients like cashews, olive oil, red wine vinegar and smoked paprika. Serve with veggies or toasted pita. It's a surefire crowdpleaser! Get the recipe.

red bells peppers cut lengthwise with the seeds and membranes removed

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Southwestern-Stuffed Peppers

After browning a half-pound of ground beef and cooking a cup of long-grain rice, you'll mix the two together with peppers, corn, and green chilies . All that's left is to hollow out four peppers, add the filling and cheese, and bake. Top with your favorite mix-ins—we like salsa and scallion greens. Get the recipe.

Whipped ricotta toast with sweet-and-sour pepper topping
Greg DuPree

Sweet-and Sour Pepper Topping

Get flavorful any day of the week with an easy (and totally delicious) red pepper topping. We love serving these peppers on toast with whipped ricotta, but they're equally as delicious mixed into a garden salad. Be creative! Get the recipe.

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  1. Eggersdorfer M, Wyss A. Carotenoids in human nutrition and health. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2018;652:18-26. doi:10.1016/j.abb.2018.06.001

  2. Nagata C, Nakamura K, Wada K, et al. Association of dietary fat, vegetables and antioxidant micronutrients with skin ageing in Japanese women. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010;103(10):1493-1498. doi:10.1017/S0007114509993461

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