Sunday, November 13, 2016

Day 2586 - The power of capsicum

Let's look at the humble bell pepper.
Picture Source
When I first went to the USA back in 1991 I asked for "capsicum" and a dozen eyes stared at me blankly.

What we call "capsicum" the USA calls "bell peppers" which makes for a very confusing pizza order.

As it turns out the scientific name for the capsicum is actually Capsicum Annuum so it seems the Aussie vernacular isn't so strange after all.

Call them what you like, capsicums have a bunch of health benefits that are worth looking into as we chop them up for our summer salads or grill them on the barbie.

First and foremost, capsicums are botanically referred to as a fruit.  While we may not keep them in the fruit bowl between the apples and bananas, they come from a flowering plant and the capsicum itself has seeds inside it.  In this way they are similar to eggplants, tomatoes. apples and pomegranates. From a culinary point of view, they are usually put in the salad vegetable grouping.

Secondly they contain quite a high dose of vitamin C (especially when eaten raw), as well as carotenoids, B-group vitamins, fibre, vitamin E, potassium, vitamin K, phosphorous and magnesium.

Their wealth does not stop there.  They're also a source of phytonutrients, for brain function and the circulatory system, ferulic acid for anti-ageing, and luteolin for cognitive function, anti ageing and brain health.

Red capsicums come out the winner in the red versus green versus yellow race.  With red capsicums containing higher amounts of vitamins than the other varieties, plus they're also sweeter than their siblings which makes them more attractive to eat raw.

All capsicums grow from the same source with their colour depending on how long they've been allowed to ripen on the plant.  

A big source of antioxidants, the humble capsicum is good for the skin, has anti-inflammatory qualities, helps with immunity and assists respiratory health.

Three cheers for Capsicum Annuum!

Is it a capsicum or bell pepper in your house? 

Do you eat capsicum?

How do you serve it up to your family?  

Information sources:  Yours Magazine October 2016,;

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  1. I'm low in so many things right now. Vit D, iron, magnesium, Vit B12 and well the list goes on. Think I'm going to go overdose on capsicum tonight. Perhaps stuffed with something.

    1. I think stuffed capsicum sounds like a great idea. Maybe stuff them with more capsicum? You know, just to make sure you have it covered ...

  2. I should get capsicum more often, I don't know why I don't because I like them - used to eat them like apples as a kid! Wouldn't mind trying some stuffed recipes, maybe with a risotto type arrangement.

    1. My daughter eats large quantities of them raw too. I am loving the idea of stuffing them with rice. I might have to investigate that myself.


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