Different Pepper Types, What is the Difference?
Different pepper types, what is the difference bertween them? All peppers, including green chili peppers, belong to the Capsicum genus of foods, and this food group has been extensively studied with respect to health. Three of the most widely available and commonly consumed Capsicum peppers are bell peppers, cayenne peppers, and chili peppers. There are many other peppers with similar properties, including tabasco peppers, jalapeno peppers, and hot cherry peppers, as well as other sweet peppers in addition to bell peppers.
Although it might seem like the biggest differences in peppers would be related to their size or shape, peppers can be nutritionally different for a wide variety of reasons. For example, if the growing season for a pepper has been cool and rainy, the pepper can accumulate more beta-carotene but less red-colored xanthophyll pigments. This trade-off isn’t bad or good; it just gives you a different combination of healthy nutrients. Most peppers will appear green when they are not fully ripened because their high chlorophyll content (making them look green to the eye) will overshadow their carotenoid content (which will make them look orange or yellow). If allowed to ripen more fully, these same green peppers will change in color to show more of their yellow-red carotenoid pigments. You’ll get wonderful benefits from all of the peppers mentioned above, just different nutrient combinations.
If you are looking for particular nutrient benefits, you can use the following color-nutrient combinations as a general rule of thumb.
- Yellow peppers typically contain more of the lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids.
- Red peppers usually have more lycopene and astaxanthin, two other important carotenoids.
- Orange peppers tend to offer more alpha-, beta-, and gamma-carotene.
- Purple peppers will usually provide you with more anthocyanin flavonoids.
Since all of these nutrients can make important contributions to your health, include a variety of peppers for the widest possible health support.
There is one group of individuals who may want to decide about peppers a little differently. The family of foods to which all Capsicum peppers belong is the nightshade family (Solanaceae). Nightshades also include tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. Nightshades contain substances called alkaloids that can be problematic in the diets of some individuals.
In general, those with health problems involving their joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout may be more sensitive to the effects of nightshade alkaloids and may need to reduce or eliminate these foods in their diet. All peppers would be included in this list of nightshade foods.
Health-e-Solutions comment: We use all varieties of peppers since they are very low on the glycemic index and glycemic load. Their nutritional benefits are numerous and many are being studied as potential hypoglycemic agents.
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