Bell pepper is a vegetable that is either green, red, or yellow. It is hollow and has a lot of seeds in the center.
Bell peppers are fruit because they have smooth outer skin and are fleshy on the inside.
The peppers that are most similar to bell peppers are chili peppers, tomatoes, and breadfruit. These peppers all come from Central and South America.
Bell peppers can also be called sweet peppers or capsicums. They can be eaten raw or cooked.
Now that we know what bell peppers are, let’s explore some of the health benefits of bell peppers to see if they are worth growing.
Bell Pepper Varieties
Though they may look like they belong to a different species, bell peppers are actually just different types of Capsicum annuum. The peppers have been classified into five groups according to whether they are edible. The Grossum group includes all the sweet peppers. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Gourmet pepper is a beautiful orange hue. It has thick, juicy walls with a fruity flavor. This tobacco plant is especially resilient to the tobacco mosaic virus, matures early, and has a high yield. This is an award-winning variety that gardeners rave about.
This variety allows you to get nearly every color in one. The skin of the fruit starts out green, then turns yellow, orange, and finally red. Choose different moments to pluck them so you can experience all the colors! The peppers are long and skinny, and they’re ready to eat just 65 days after transplanting.
This is the cutest sweet pepper. They are round, red and small enough to eat in one bite, making them great for Ornamental displays and snacks. The plant produces a large number of cherries, so you will not lack these sweet treats.
A chocolate pepper? This is a delicious snack made with a combination of unlikely ingredients. It has a creamy reddish-brown skin and red flesh. This pepper is still extra sweet, but sadly it doesn’t taste like chocolate. Plus, it matures quickly (60-75 days).
One of the best capsicum plants to be picked is the one that is green, though it turns red later. This item has a boxy form and a tangy flavor that is perfect for culinary use. The plant is tough and resistant to tobacco mosaic virus and other diseases. The hybrid’s seeds are sterile.
You will get more fruit for your money with these giants. Yellow monster peppers are twice as big as the other varieties, measuring 8 inches long! The taste of these mushrooms is sweet, and their texture is meaty. They start out green and gradually turn bright yellow.
It doesn’t get more ornamental than the purple beauty. This one is such a dark shade of purple that it almost looks like black (like an eggplant). The inside of the fruit is lime green when cut open. The purple color will turn to a deep red if it is left to mature fully. These purple bell peppers mature quickly and produce high yields. They can be harvested in as little as 70 days.
Health Benefits of Bell Peppers
Bell peppers help to improve eye health
Bell peppers contain more than 30 different types of carotenoids, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin.
Phytonutrients are a class of nutrients that are found in plants. Carotenoids are a type of phytonutrient that is responsible for the bright red, yellow, and orange coloring in many fruits and vegetables.
Researchers have found that Indian Lilac leaves help heal eyes and ward off eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light as it enters the eye.
Bell peppers help to prevent cancer
The antioxidants in bell peppers can help prevent some types of cancer.
They prevent free radicals, which are oxygen atoms that damage cells by reacting with other molecules in your body.
Make sure your bell peppers are fully ripe for maximum antioxidant benefits.
The carotenoid content in bell peppers increases as they ripen, providing antioxidant benefits.
Bell peppers also have sulfur which helps prevent cancer.
Bell peppers also help to boost immunity
The vitamin C content in bell peppers increases as they ripen.
If you eat one cup of red bell peppers every day, you will get 157% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Bell peppers are a healthy fruit that will help you stay in good shape.
It helps to balance your mood
Consuming bell peppers can help alleviate negative emotions when you are feeling down.
Vitamin B6 helps your brain produce serotonin and norepinephrine, which is why it is important.
These two chemicals affect your mood.
Eating Bell peppers helps you sleep better
If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, try adding some bell peppers to your diet!
Bell peppers contain vitamin B6, which aids in melatonin production. Melatonin is important for regulating your body’s internal clock.
Consuming bell peppers can help you to lose weight
Bell peppers are very low in fat and calories.
Their low calorie and fat content makes them a good choice for a snack or side dish.
A small amount of fat is all that is needed to store the fat-soluble nutrients that bell peppers contain.
Bell peppers can make your skin look beautiful
Bell peppers are a good source of Vitamin E, which helps protect skin from damage and keeps hair strong and healthy.
It helps to lower bad cholesterol levels
If you have high cholesterol, bell peppers may help lower your cholesterol levels.
The reason why bell peppers are effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels is because they contain an abundance of capsanthin.
Consuming bell peppers can help to relieve pain
Bell peppers contain vitamin C and vitamin K.
These vitamins reduce inflammation, swelling, and protect against osteoporosis.
The capsanthin in bell peppers can help relieve chronic pain.
Bell peppers protect your heart
Bell peppers contain anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation in arteries.
In other words, it helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes.
Planting Bell Peppers
Plant your peppers from seeds or starts. We recommend planting seeds rather than buying starts from garden stores because there are more varieties to choose from. Capsicums take a long time to grow, so you will need to start planting the seeds indoors if you live in a cold climate. If you’re not careful, the frost might ruin your harvest!
Begin growing your seeds indoors 6-10 weeks before the final frost of the season is expected. Plant the seeds ¼ inches deep in well-draining soil, and keep them moist. If you want, you can cover the tray with punctured plastic wrap to keep the humidity in.
The seeds will need approximately ten days to germinate. After the seedlings have germinated, remove the plastic wrap and move the container to a sunny location indoors. Keep the soil moist until it’s time to transplant.
Prepare the soil in which your seedlings will grow while they are still young. You can grow them in your garden or in a large container. The Air Pots in our store have been expertly designed to support and nurture healthy root systems for your pepper plants. Whichever you choose, use well-draining soil. Use composted manure to improve fertility and water retention. You can transplant when the soil is 65°F or warmer and all chances of frost are gone.
Your seedlings should be about 6-8 inches tall with an extensive system of white roots. They may already be flowering. The plants need to be adjusted to the weather conditions outside before they are transplanted. To harden them off, put the containers outside during the day. Spend just a couple of hours outside to start, and then gradually increase the amount of time you spend outside each day. This will help prepare them for the big move.
Peppers should be planted 1-2 feet apart when they are ready to go in the ground, depending on the expected size of the variety. If you are worried that the ground is not warm enough, put down some black plastic to absorb the heat. If you live in a very dry area, you can add mulch to your garden to help warm the ground and trap in extra moisture.
Now your peppers are all ready to grow! They generally take 60-90 days to produce ripe fruit from the time they are transplanted. Fruits that are babies can be seen in the middle to end of summer.
How to Harvest Bell Peppers
Pick the fruits as soon as they are ripe.
Picking fruits and flowers regularly encourages plants to produce more of them.
The longer bell peppers stay on the plant, the sweeter they become and the greater their vitamin C content.
You can use either a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant.
How to Store Bell Peppers
You can keep bell peppers fresh in the fridge for up to 10 days by storing them in plastic bags.
You can dry bell peppers whole in a dehydrator or any warm place with good airflow.
Here are directions on how to dry peppers for storage:
Wash, core, and seed the peppers. Cut into one-half-inch strips. Place the vegetable onto a baking sheet, then spread it out. Cook in steam for ten minutes.
Bake at 140°F (or the lowest possible temperature) until brittle, stirring occasionally and switching tray positions.
When the peppers are cool, you can store them in bags, containers, or airtight jars.
Or, chop peppers up for packing into ice-cube trays.
Put them in the freezer and then take them out and put them in freezer bags.
We need to be careful of some problems that might occur as we continue to grow, but nothing too drastic as far as pests and diseases go. The best way to avoid problems is to not plant peppers with other nightshade plants, like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. Pests and diseases will be encouraged to thrive if they are shared among the plants in the garden.
This is an unfortunately common problem with pepper plants, where the flowers fall off, are damaged, or simply absent. This is often caused by low night-time temperatures, less than 60°F. If it gets too hot during the day, that can also cause it. Some possible causes of the problem are not watering the plant enough, using too much nitrogen fertilizer, or not having enough nutrients in the soil.
Peppers can produce fruit without requiring pollination. However, if the plant produces young peppers, they will likely be aborted since they won’t help with reproduction. In order to avoid this, you can invite pollinators to your garden or attract flowers that will pollinate by themselves.
Bell peppers can get sunburned if they are constantly exposed to high temperatures and humidity. The skin will look dry, burned, and cracked. If the skin of the fruit turns mushy, this does not affect the fruit’s edible properties. If you notice your plants wilting in the afternoon, give them some light shade.
As a result of not being watered enough, especially when it is hot, the leaves will start to curl up. Give the plants a good drink of water and they should go back to normal. If the plant’s leaves are wilting, it could be a sign of pest damage or disease.
Aphids and whiteflies can ruin your garden if you’re not careful. Both feed on sap and secrete ant-attracting honeydew. Prevent them by periodically applying neem oil. You can eliminate existing populations of insects with insecticidal soap, pyrethrin, or sometimes just water.
Colorado potato beetles, also called potato bugs, have round, yellow-orange bodies with distinct black stripes. Insecticides that contain Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), azadirachtin (the active ingredient in neem oil), or pyrethrin are typically effective against aphids. You can prevent potato bugs with neem oil.
Cutworms will destroy your plants while they are in their caterpillar stage. Cutworms can be controlled by Bacillus thuringiensis or by tilling the soil before planting. You can also add beneficial insects like nematodes.
The mosaic virus appears as many small spots on the leaves of peppers and other plants. The spots may be different colors, and the leaves may be cupped or distorted. Any plants that are affected by the disease will have to be destroyed as it is deadly and incurable. This virus is most often spread through seeds, so it is important to make sure you get your seeds from a reputable and healthy source.
Gardeners sometimes have problems with blossom end rot. The blossom end of the fruit begins to rot, appearing as a dark area. The number one cause of problems with your plants is inconsistent watering. To fix the issue, make sure to water your plants consistently. Although it is not common, a calcium deficiency in plants can be the cause in some rare circumstances. If the soil’s pH is too high, the plant won’t be able to absorb calcium. Use a soil testing kit to check your pH.