healthy spice

Peppers have a lot going for them. They're low in calories and are loaded with good nutrition. All varieties are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Plus, the spicy ones liven up bland food, making it more satisfying. Peppers come in all sizes and colors. Some pack heat. Others are sweet. You can get them fresh, frozen, dried, or canned. You've seen bell peppers -- green, orange, yellow, and red -- in the grocery store or in a salad bar. Red peppers pack the most nutrition, because they've been on the vine longest. Green peppers are harvested earlier, before they have a chance to turn yellow, orange, and then red. Compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C. Peppers are very versatile. You can add raw ones to everything from dips and salads to pasta dishes. If you've heard the claim that peppers make you lose weight, you may want to take it with a grain of salt. Sprinkle on this spice to calm a cold, detox your skin, and even help fight cancer. A little pepper may go a long way with your health—it might even help ward off breast cancer. A chemical compound in peppercorns called piperine may be able to help prevent a breast cancer tumor from developing, a University of Michigan Cancer Center study suggests. Pepper’s potential cancer-preventing properties are heightened when it’s paired with turmeric; combine the two in a delicious Indian-style dish, such as yellow curry.

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