Not Many People Know The Truth About Bell Peppers, The Real Difference Between Each Kind
Marilyn Caylor 5/10/2017
What's deliciously sweet and crunchy, makes a great addition to salads or stir-fry dishes, and tastes even better when it's served stuffed and baked? Why, it's none other than bell peppers!
Although they're known as sweet peppers outside of the U.S., no matter how you slice it up, bell peppers are super cute and fun vegetables!
Not only did mother nature give them an adorable bell shape, but she also decided to splash them with a bunch of different rainbow colors.
Yet, have you ever secretly wondered why there are so many varieties of bell peppers?
Get ready to find out the real truth about bell peppers, and why that question is actually the wrong one to ask!
It turns out we've been swindled by grocery store powers-that-be into believing a veritable un-truth when it comes to bell peppers. It probably has something to do with money, since that's the usual culprit when it comes to keeping secrets.
Often, grocery stores will sell bell peppers at different price points. They're allowed to do that, because a green bell pepper is a different variety than a red bell pepper, right?
Well, would you get upset if you found out that you're not really getting what you pay for when it comes to bell peppers?
You see, all those colorful choices aren't really choices at all.
That's because a bell pepper is a bell pepper is a bell pepper. There are no unique varieties, unless you count the expensive heirloom "purple beauties" that are five bucks a pop at Whole Foods.
The standard peppers that you're used to seeing at your local grocery store are actually one and the same. They're just at various stages of the ripening process when they're harvested, which accounts for the varying colors.
You may have caught an inkling of what was going on if you've ever noticed a small red splotch on the side of a green pepper. Or, perhaps you wondered why your mostly yellow pepper seemed to be smack dab in the middle of changing colors, as if it were an autumn leaf.
If you want the real lowdown on all the colors and what they really mean, then keep reading!
Green bell peppers are picked when they're still unripe - which means they're the little toddlers of the plant kingdom. They're barely ready to go when the farmers pluck them off the plant!
Their green pigment means they're nutritionally rich in chlorophyll, which are also found in leafy greens. But, chlorophyll is king when it comes to detoxifying your body - so, don't discount the "grassy plant" taste of these little greenies!
The other "varieties" of bell peppers are just as awesome! There's a very good reason why we're told to eat from all the colors of the rainbow.
Scientists know that the color of our food is directly related to their nutrient content, and each color comes with their own unique benefits.
Think of it as color-coded chemistry for your health.
Flickr/Forest and Kim Starr
Yellow and orange peppers are next in line when it comes to the ripening process. They're sort of like kissing cousins, since they're so close in both color and nutrient profile. Their pigment comes from yellow-orange carotenoids such as lutein and beta-carotene, which help promote great eyesight.
Last but not least, it's the mature red bell peppers that are the nutritional rock stars of the bunch! They're chock full of carotenoids like capsanthin and capsorubin, which is just fancy science slang for "kills cancer" and "prevents heart disease."
Since red peppers are left to ripen longer than the other colors, they have a much shorter shelf-life. That's why they're the most expensive color sold!
Flickr/ Michele Dorsey Walfred
Did you know that bell peppers are pretty much the exact same botanical creature? Even if you did, it's still super helpful to know that the various colors come packed with their own nutritional powerhouses!
Sources: Compound Interest FB Image Credit: YouTube/Sprig Barton