Most folks think the only difference between red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers is the color. This is preposterous. As absurd as writing a blog post on the topic? Perhaps not.
I eat bell peppers like apples. Teammates and coworkers look at me strangely when I do, but I’m unashamed of the peculiarities in my eating habits. Given my familiarity with the nightshade veggie, I feel uniquely qualified to riff on the virtues of each variety. First, let’s look at why they take on their respective vividness.
The two major factors responsible for the difference in a bell pepper’s color is its time of harvesting and degree of ripening. Although it’s true that in most cases a green bell pepper usually matures into a yellow/orange bell pepper and then grows on to gain red color, but this is not always the case. However, it’s a fact that yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are always more ripe than green ones. This is why yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are costlier than green bell peppers, because they require more time in the ground before they can be harvested.
Ahhh, so it’s true. These guys are not different species altogether; they are just plucked at different stages. I would have loved to have busted this myth and broken the riveting news to the world. Too bad.
The red bell pepper is the ripened the longest and therefore is sweet enough to masquerade as a fruit. If you’re one of those calorie counters looking to drop pounds through severe restriction (not judging, but ughhh) and have a sweet tooth, try taking down a red to curb your craving. You’ll be ingesting under 40 calories of true nutritional density.
In addition to other nutrients the red bell pepper has lycopene, which is an antioxidant pigment known for preventing certain types of cancer such as breast and prostate cancer. Nutrients such as zeaxanthin and lutein present in red bell pepper is known to help prevent cataracts and muscular degeneration. Red bell peppers also have eleven times more beta-carotene, one and a half times more vitamin C, and ten times more vitamin A than green bell peppers.
The yellow and orange varieties are your friends in salads. They are going to give your greens and onions some life and pizazz. You’ll get the obvious rainbow explosion visually, and a marginally milder sweetness than the red. That allows your beets to reign supreme from both a sugar and glow perspective.
Yellow peppers aren’t only delicious, they are also good for you. Consuming just one yellow pepper provides the body with 7 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 15 percent of vitamin B6, 568 percent of vitamin C and 500 percent of potassium. This means that even if you only eat a few pieces of the pepper, you’re still providing your body with a nutritious and beneficial snack.
The green bell pepper is the Ice-T of the group, the OG, both in time off the vine and existence in US agricultural history.
Green’s the least complex in flavor and slightly more bitter than its counterparts. What it’s missing in sweetness, it makes up in crisp, clean freshness. Diced, sprinkled with fine sea salt, drizzled with a little bit of olive oil, and you’ve got a strong complement to a marble-y rib-eye, medium.
You need between 75 and 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day, and one cup of chopped green bell peppers provides 119.8 milligrams. When you get enough vitamin C, you’re less likely to develop infections, and your skin, teeth, gums and blood vessels are healthier and work more efficiently. The same serving of chopped green bell peppers contains 0.55 milligrams of vitamin E toward the 15 milligrams you should take in every day. Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage and supports a strong immune system.
And that concludes my sort of useless tirade on bell peppers. If you’ve read this long, you have problems, and I love you for that.