Pepper, Appetizer and gastric toner

Hispanic synonym: ají [sweet], chili [sweet], cornetilla, pebrera, picudillo, paprika, bombalón, conguito, chiltipiquín, locote, uchú, ují; the spicy: joy, chilli, lookout, Ñora, ñoro, pepper, cherry, Indies pepper.


Pepper, Appetizer and gastric toner, great for reducing diets and for diabetics

Description: Fruit of the pepper plant, herbaceous of the Solanaceae family that reaches up to 60cm in height. The fruit is usually red, green or yellow, although there are also orange, purple and even black specimens.

Properties and Indications: The peppers contain a low percentage of proteins (0.89%) and carbohydrates (4.43%), and hardly any fat (0.19%). Therefore, they provide only 27 kcal / 100 g. They contain small amounts of B vitamins, Vitamin E and all minerals.

But in its composition, two vitamins stand out: 

Provitamin A (beta-carotene), with 570 ER / 100 g (red pepper), which represents more than half of the daily needs of this vitamin for an adult man. In addition to beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A in the body, the pepper also provides other carotenoids such as lycopene. This carotenoid is very abundant in tomato, which, although it does not transform into vitamin A, is a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancerous degeneration of cells.

Vitamin C: Red pepper provides almost four times more vitamin C than lemon or orange: with 100 g of pepper you get more than triple the RDA (recommended daily amount).

Flavonoids: Its powerful antioxidants that act as anti-inflammatory and protective of the circulatory system.

Capsacin: It is the substance responsible for itching. Sweet peppers contain it in a 0.1% portion, ten times less than hot peppers (1% or more). Low doses, like those found in sweet pepper, capsacin is an aperitif and digestive stimulant, although in high doses it is rubefacient (irritates the skin and mucous membranes).

Vegetable fiber: Contains around 2%. It contributes, together with capsacin, to the laxative action of the pepper.

The dietary applications of pepper are the following:

Stomach disorders: Due to its aperitive action, stimulating the production of gastric juices and anti-inflammatory, the pepper is suitable for those who suffer from dyspepsia (poor digestion) due to insufficient gastric juices or digestive atony.

Constipation: The pepper is a mild laxative, and also has anti-flatulent action.

Diabetes and obesity: Due to its low contribution of carbohydrates and calories, the pepper is very well tolerated by diabetics, and is suitable in the diet of the obese.

Preventive of digestive cancer: Due to its extraordinary richness in antioxidant vitamins (A and C), which protect cells from mutagenic action of carcinogenic substances, the regular consumption of peppers helps to avoid cancer, especially that of the digestive organs (stomach and colon).

Preparation of the pepper: 

Pepper skin can be indigestible for those with delicate stomachs. To remove it, it is roasted whole in the oven until the skin begins to separate, and then quickly cooled by immersing it in cold water.
Once roasted, it can be seasoned with oil, a little salt, lemon, garlic and parsley. The seeds and especially the membranes that cover them can give a bitter taste, so they should be removed.

Preparation and employment: 

Raw: When the pepper is tender, it can be served raw in a salad; in which case you have to cut it finely and chew it well. In this way, its vitamin richness is maximized.

Cooked: The healthiest way to cook it is roasted in the oven. Fried is quite indigestible due to the large amount of oil it absorbs. The pepper is part of many culinary recipes, especially for rooms and pistos (with tomato and zucchini).

Paprika: It is the powder obtained after grinding the red pepper. It can be sweet or slightly spicy. It is very rich in provitamin A, and gives a pleasant reddish tone to sauces, potatoes, rice, and various dishes; so, it is used as a healthy culinary coloring.

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