Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Are Bell Peppers Bad For You?



Short answer

Bell peppers are excellent sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Though red bell peppers are the most nutritious, all colors are an incredibly healthy choice.



Long answer

Bell peppers are great for you. In addition to their low fat and calorie content, they pack important fat-soluble vitamins, as well as many other nutrients that are beneficial to your health. The different color bell peppers are not different types of pepper, but rather the same vegetable harvested at different stages of ripeness. The green bell peppers have been harvested earliest and have the least nutritional value, while the red bell peppers are the ripest and most nutritious. Most of the nutritional benefits of bell peppers are best gained from red peppers, but the facts apply for all color varieties, albeit at lesser amounts. For example, there is about 1.5x more vitamin C in red bell pepper than green bell pepper. 

While most pepper research tends to focus on capsaicin, bell peppers contain so little of this that there are other properties that play a far greater role. One of these is carotenoids. Along with tomatoes, only bell peppers contain at least two-thirds of the following: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. The anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory properties of these carotenoids, as well as the presence of flavonoids, help make bell peppers an excellent food for the prevention and treatment of various forms of cancer. A high source of vitamins A and C, one cup will give you more than your daily need in both these vitamins. Bell peppers are also a valuable source of sulfur compounds, which are necessary for the proper functioning of many neurotransmitters. 

Some people experience heartburn or acid reflux as a result of eating bell peppers. However, if you do not personally experience this sensitivity, there is no other reason not to enjoy bell peppers. They are an excellent source of nutrition, and at around 50 calories per serving are an all-around healthy choice.

Big are bell peppers bad for you


  • helps prevent various forms of cancer
  • promotes brain health
  • increases immunity
  • provides ample vitamins a and c

Healthier alternatives

  • red bell peppers are the most nutritious

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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-28-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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