Green Pepper Nutrition Facts
The green pepper is a fresh, crunchy low-calorie vegetable. Typically referred to as a green bell pepper or sweet pepper in the United States, this vegetable is a member of the Capsicum genus. Bell peppers are green when they are unripe and still developing. They are edible at this stage and are most commonly harvested while still green. Green bell peppers have a mild, slightly bitter flavor but retain a bit of sweetness at the same time. Bell peppers develop their color and flavor variances as they ripen.
After green, red and yellow bell peppers are the most common, red being the sweetest. However, you can also find purple, orange and even brown bell peppers. The taste of bell peppers varies depending upon growing and ripening conditions, as well as post-harvest storage. Even though green and red bell peppers come from the same plant, red bell peppers offer significantly more vitamin C and lycopene (an antioxidant) than their green counterparts.
Green Pepper Nutrition Facts: Basics
Green bell peppers are the most common variety and are available all year. Peak season for this vegetable is July through November. Green bell peppers are very low in calories. One large raw green bell pepper, about 3 3/4″ long and 3″ diameter or 164 grams (g), edible portion only, provides approximately 33 calories. Like most vegetables, they are fat and cholesterol free and are very low in sodium, providing only 5 mg per pepper. One large green pepper also contains 1.4 g protein, 7.6 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugars and 3 g dietary fiber.
Green Pepper Nutrition Facts: Vitamins and Minerals
Although they are lower in vitamin C than red bell peppers, green bell peppers still offer more vitamin C than most fruits and vegetables. One large pepper contains about 132 mg vitamin C, which meets 132 percent of the Recommended Daily Value (DV) for this micronutrient. Green bell peppers are considered to be a good source of other vitamins, including vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin K and vitamin B6. One large green bell pepper meets 12 to 18% of the DV for these nutrients. Like many fruits and vegetables, bell peppers are vitamin powerhouses but are not particularly mineral-rich. The exception, for green bell peppers, is manganese. One large raw green bell pepper provides 0.2 mg, meeting about 10% of the DV for this nutrient.
Retaining Nutritive Value
The less handling, transit time, light, water and air a green bell pepper is exposed to, the better its vitamin content will be retained. Vitamins are highly susceptible to destruction by these and other means. Green bell peppers are best eaten raw or lightly cooked with minimal amount of water (steamed or slightly stir-fried) as vitamins are soluble in water and will be leached into cooking water. While cooking tends to decrease the amount of vitamin C, it may enhance the availability of vitamin A (beta-carotene), the one exception. Since vitamin A and vitamin K are two of the four fat-soluble vitamins, they are best absorbed and used by your body when consumed along with some fat.