Chili peppers are rich in various vitamins and minerals.
However, since they are only eaten in small amounts, their contribution to your daily intake is minuscule. These spicy fruits boast
- Carotenoids (Capsanthin, Capsorubin, Carotene and Lutein): In humans, carotenoids such as beta-carotene are a precursor to vitamin A, a pigment essential for good vision, and carotenoids can also act as antioxidants. People consuming diets rich in carotenoids from natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are healthier and have lower mortality from a number of chronic illnesses.
- Proteins: The use of protein as a fuel is particularly important under starvation conditions as it allows the body’s own proteins to be used to support life, particularly those found in muscle
- Fats: They are an important part of the diet of many forms of life, serving both structural and metabolic functions.
- Vitamin A: Also called retinol, helps your eyes adjust to light changes when you come in from outside and also helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist. It also has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage.
- Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, helps to heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy gums and teeth, and strengthen the immune system. It also helps the body absorb iron. Recent research has indicated that vitamin C may be associated with delayed aging and disease prevention by destroying ‘free radicals’-the molecules associated with aging and cell damage.
- Vitamin E: It acts as a powerful antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin E also contributes to a healthy circulatory system and aids in proper blood clotting and improves wound healing.
- Vitamin B1: Also known as thiamin, helps fuel your body by converting blood sugar into energy. It keeps your mucous membranes healthy and is essential for nervous system, cardiovascular and muscular function.
- Vitamin B2: Also called riboflavin, works with other vitamins in the B complex to process calories from carbohydrates, protein and fat. Your body needs it for growth and red cell production, and adequate riboflavin intake promotes healthy skin and good vision.
- Vitamin B3: Also called niacin. Like all the B-complex vitamins, it is important for converting calories from protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy. But it also helps the digestive system function and promotes a normal appetite and healthy skin and nerves.
They are also very high in antioxidant carotenoids, which are linked to numerous health benefits.
Here are the main bioactive plant compounds:
- Capsanthin. The main carotenoid in red chili peppers — up to 50% of the total carotenoid content — capsanthin is responsible for their red color. Its powerful antioxidant properties may fight cancer.
- Violaxanthin. The major carotenoid antioxidant in yellow chili peppers, violaxanthin accounts for 37–68% of the total carotenoid content.
- Lutein. Most abundant in green (immature) chili peppers, lutein’s levels decrease with maturation. High consumption of lutein is linked to improved eye health.
- Capsaicin. One of the most studied plant compounds in chili peppers, capsaicin is responsible for their pungent (hot) flavor and many of their health effects.
- Sinapic acid. Also known as sinapinic acid, this antioxidant has a variety of potential health benefits.
- Ferulic acid. Similarly to sinapic acid, ferulic acid is an antioxidant that may help protect against various chronic diseases.