Sweet peppers, scientifically known as capsicum annuum, are a traditional and key ingredient of Peruvian food, especially dishes like chicken and rice or Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. The spice gives the dishes their distinctive flavor, in addition to making them more healthy.
It is an excellent alternative to citrus and is proof that vitamin C is not just found in fruit. Every 100 g of sweet pepper provides the body with 108.3 mg of this vitamin. Sweet peppers are also high in retinol, or Vitamin A, which restores and moisturizes skin, smooths out fine and deep wrinkles, and slows the aging process, among other functions. Every 100 g of sweet pepper gives us 125 ug of retinol.
This nutritious food also has energy (35 cal), carbohydrates (7.7 g), protein (1.5 g), fiber (2.0 g), calcium (12 mg), iron (0.5 mg) and water. These statistics are based on 100-gram servings of sweet pepper. It is worth noting that the vegetable is extremely healthy because it only has a total of 0.5 grams of fat.
Another plus of eating sweet peppers is that they help prevent and fight illnesses. People with anemia benefit from their vitamin C, which helps them absorb the iron in food. Also, studies show they can help prevent prostate cancer. People suffering from stress, anxiety or insomnia can benefit from their high magnesium and vitamin B6 content.
Sweet peppers are available in different forms: fresh (whole sweet peppers), dried (with or without seeds, ground) and canned (piquillo peppers). In Peru, sweet peppers are commercially grown along the coast (Lambayeque, La Libertad and Arequipa) and harvested primarily during summer. A great haul of sweet peppers are gathered in during harvest season and then sold throughout the year.