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Known by a variety of names such as Bell Peppers, Cayenne, Paprika and Chillies, Capsicum originated in Tropical America, but is now readily available all over the world. They come in different colours like red, yellow and green. There are numerous healthy reasons to eat capsicum, as it has Vitamin C, is an excellent source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene and one of the best sources of other carotenoids, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and, to a lesser extent, lycopene.
Other healthy reasons to eat capsicum would be that it is low in fat and calories, and hence does not increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Since it contains vitamins, it is an effective not to forget tasty, and a natural cure for numerous diseases. Let us examine a few ways in which consumption of capsicum is healthy.
Health benefits of capsicum:
Boosts Metabolism: Capsicum is an extremely efficient weight loss tool, as it contains very few calories (23 calories per cup), it aids weight loss. Consumption of capsicum increases metabolism by lowering triglycerides, (which are stored fats in blood corpuscles). This helps in burning calories and keeping cholesterol in control. Therefore, weight gain from a high-fat diet is reduced. Capsicum also prevents indigestion by causing the secretion of digestive juices.
Antioxidant Properties: Free radicals are present in the body, and are responsible for causing cellular damage, damage to nerves and blood vessels. Capsicum is a rich source of Vitamin A and C, which are both powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants help in fighting free radicals in the body and help in treating heart diseases, osteoarthritis, bronchial asthma, cataract etc.
Cancer Prevention: It is believed that the compound capsaicin is capable of treating cancer by preventing carcinogens from binding with DNA. Simply put, capsicum has the ability to starve cancer cells and thereby kill them. It has been found that eating capsicum provides some protection from cancer, if consumed as part of regular dietary intake.
Pain Relief: The compound capsaicin found in capsicum is believed to block the transmission of pain from the skin to the spinal cord. This effectively aids in treating neuralgia, pain associated with herpes zoster and postoperative amputation trauma, by providing relief from the pain.
Strengthens Immunity: Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C and this stimulates the white cells to fight infection. This leads to strengthening of the body's immune system. Vitamin C and flavonoids present in capsicum also prevents respiratory problems like lung infections, asthma, emphysema and wheezing.
These benefits shows that capsicum is healthy. Capsicum has been used traditionally for treating diverse ailments like cancer and asthma. Hence we can never run out of healthy reasons to eat capsicum.