Why Dehydrated Bell Peppers Are Totally Worth A Spot in Your Healthy Eating Pantry
Keeping things exciting in the kitchen can be tough. In fact, somewhere between long work hours and stressful deadlines that require you to work beyond office hours, you are often forced to resort to the same old soup, salad, or frozen burger recipes just to keep your stomach from growling.
The good news is that there is an easy and nutritious way to spice up your boring weekday meals, and that's dehydrated bell peppers. These bite-sized treats are jam-packed with nutrients, taste fantastic, and sport some pretty impressive colors that can spice up even the moodiest of dishes. Still not convinced? Here are seven reasons why dehydrated bell peppers should be part of your weekly meals.
1. They Contain Lots of Antioxidants
By now you know that vitamin C(1) is one of the most potent antioxidants out there. That means that it keeps toxins from building up inside the human body and, thus, prevents oxidative damage as well as several other metabolic disorders from occurring. It is even linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke. But, contrary to popular belief, oranges are hardly the best source of the antioxidant nutrient.
Bell peppers also contain a hefty amount of vitamin C, reducing your body's overall free radical (toxin) activity. That said, consuming enough dehydrated bell peppers on a week-to-week basis can help prevent a variety of diseases, whether these are related to your heart, weight, or skin.
2. They Promote Eye Health
Besides ascorbic acid, bell peppers are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin(2). These two nutrients belong to the class of carotenoids and are known for their antioxidant capacity, especially when it comes to your eye health. In fact, lutein and zeaxanthin help the macular part of the eye avoid degeneration due to age.
But, perhaps the most essential eye-boosting nutrient found in bell peppers is beta-carotene, a.k.a. pro-vitamin A, which is the precursor of vitamin A. According to research(3), this vitamin is linked to the rhodopsin molecule, which is responsible for the eye's reaction to ultraviolet light, meaning it activates the retina when it's exposed to light and promotes your vision. Vitamin A is also considered an effective way to treat eye dryness, reducing their fatigue, and ultimately sharpening your vision.
3. They Improve the Brain's Function
You know what they say: Happy food, happy mood. That's the case when it comes to dehydrated bell peppers. This delicious food is high in vitamin B6(4), which plays a huge role in mood regulation and mental fatigue. In particular, this vitamin allows the brain to produce enough serotonin - an essential “happy” hormone that lifts your spirits.
Vitamin B6 also promotes the synthesis of hemoglobin(5) which is a protein that carries oxygen throughout the human body. So, this vitamin increases the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain and, thus, boosts your energy. No more #foggybrain. That's pretty much why dehydrated bell peppers can serve as natural memory enhancers and anti-depressants.
4. They Keep You Full For Longer
Bell peppers are also packed with dietary fiber. This macronutrient is known for curbing your appetite. This occurs because a particular type of the nutrient (soluble fiber(6)) turns into a gel-like substance once it reaches the stomach. This thick gel slows down the rate at which the body digests and absorbs the nutrients into the bloodstream. As a result, you feel fuller for longer.
5. They Are Low in Calories
One of the most impressive things about dehydrated bell peppers is that they contain very few calories. In fact, one cup of the colorful food has about 30 calories(7) which are nothing compared to many fruits and veggies. So, if you want to keep your daily calorie count as low as possible but don't want to tamper with your nutrient intake, dehydrated bell peppers are a no-brainer.
6. They Have A Long Shelf Life
Considering they contain no water and come in air-tight containers, dehydrated bell peppers can last for years if stored properly. That means that you can still reap their benefits even if they are not in season.
7. They Are Versatile
Despite their lack of water, dehydrated bell peppers can still turn any meal from OK to chef-worthy delicious. That's because they get to retain their original flavor which pairs with anything, from meat to quinoa. So, you can either eat them as is, add them to your soups, salads, etc. for an extra crunch, or hydrate them and use them instead of fresh bell peppers. After all, they are just like the original version – minus the water. Not to mention their vibrant colors will make any dish pop, no matter what.
From helping you get rid of the harmful toxins to reducing your appetite, it seems that dehydrated bell peppers have a lot going on. However, they are still one of the most underrated foods when it comes to clean eating. If you want to change all that and actually benefit from their rich nutritional profile, just stock up and incorporate them into your meals as much as possible. So, are you ready to crush your healthy eating goals? If so, click right here to get started.