Blog Nutrition Are Sweet Peppers Good For You? Nutrition And Health Benefits Of These Colorful Vegetables

Are Sweet Peppers Good For You? Nutrition And Health Benefits Of These Colorful Vegetables

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults consume at least 2-3 servings of vegetables per day (11). One serving of vegetables is equivalent to 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables, or 2 cups of leafy greens.

Unfortunately, most people fall short of this daily recommendation. Some struggle to incorporate vegetables into their meals, while others may not be aware of the various health benefits that come with regular vegetable consumption. One type of vegetable that often goes unnoticed is sweet peppers, which are also known as bell peppers.

These vibrant vegetables from the family Solanaceae are delicious and packed with nutrients. You’ll find sweet peppers versatile and easy to include in various dishes, from salads to stir-fries.

To help you make the most of these nutritious veggies, here’s a guide to the nutrition and health benefits of sweet peppers.

Sweet Peppers Nutrition: How Good Are These Vegetables for You?

All vegetables are good for you, but sweet peppers have some special qualities that make them a great choice. Red sweet peppers are the ripest. They contain more carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, than green peppers. They also contain lycopene, which is an antioxidant that can help protect you from prostate cancer and heart disease when eaten regularly (7). 

Below are some of the benefits of eating these vegetables based on the nutrients they provide: 

Vitamin C 

One of the health benefits of sweet peppers is that they contain vitamin C. The body doesn’t produce vitamin C on its own – this is why it must be acquired through dietary sources. Half a cup of chopped red sweet pepper contains 95 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C (24). This is more than 100% of the daily recommended intake for adults.

Vitamin C plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system as it is present in high quantities in white blood cells, which are responsible for fending off viruses and bacteria that make you sick (25).

Vitamin C is also vital for other functions in the body, including (26):

  • Playing an important role in the formation of collagen.
  • Helping protect your eyes from free radical damage, which is a major cause of cataracts and macular degeneration. 
  • Helping your body absorb iron, which is an important mineral for making red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. 
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Vitamin A

Another health benefit of sweet peppers is that they provide a substantial amount of vitamin A. One cup of red sweet pepper contains 234 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A, which is 26% of the recommended % DV (21). 

Vitamin A is essential for vision and supports healthy mucus membranes throughout your body that line your respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts, in addition to some organs, including your nose and eyes. This nutrient is also important for (21): 

  • Immune system function
  • Cell growth and differentiation 
  • Helping build and maintain healthy bones, teeth, soft tissue, and skin 

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Vitamin B6

One of the health benefits of sweet peppers is that they provide a significant amount of vitamin B6. 1 cup of chopped red sweet pepper has approximately 0.4 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6, about 30% of the daily recommended intake for adults between 19 and 50 years old (17). Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine as it turns into pyridoxal phosphate or P-5-P when metabolized in your body.

This nutrient works with many other nutrients, including iron, magnesium, and folate, which enable the cells in your body to produce energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It also plays a role in (23): 

  • Helping form red blood cells, which carry oxygen to tissues throughout your body. 
  • Helping maintain healthy nerve function by producing neurotransmitters that send messages between brain cells. 
  • Converting tryptophan into serotonin, which is the feel-good hormone that is responsible for feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and well-being.


Also known as vitamin B9, folate or Folic Acid (in its synthetic form) is one of the health benefits of sweet peppers. One cup of chopped red sweet pepper contains approximately 70 micrograms (mcg) of folate, which is almost 20% of the recommended daily intake for adults 19 years and older (17). 

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Folate turns into tetrahydrofolate, 5-MTHF, and other forms in your body. This nutrient has key functions, including (13): 

  • Acting as a coenzyme in the formation of nucleic acid and amino acids, which are necessary for building DNA and RNA. 
  • Helping with the maintenance of low homocysteine levels, which is an amino acid that is associated with heart disease and stroke when elevated in the blood. 
  • Converting homocysteine to methionine, which is used by your liver to make proteins, antioxidants, and other substances that keep your body healthy. 
  • Helping maintain healthy red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. 

are sweet peppers good for you  


One of the health benefits of sweet peppers is that they provide a significant amount of dietary fiber per serving size without providing calories or raising blood sugar levels. A 1-cup serving provides approximately 3 grams (g) of total fiber (17). The roles played by fiber in your body include:

  • Acting as a food source for “good” bacteria that live in your intestines. 
  • Helping regulate bowel function by speeding up the passage of material through your colon. 
  • Helping you feel full longer, which can help with weight management efforts. 


Some antioxidants are also known as phytochemicals. This is one of the many health benefits of sweet peppers as they fight oxidative stress created by free radicals found in nature and the environment such as air pollution, radiation, and cigarette smoke. 

The body creates some natural free radicals during cell metabolism and other activities, but excessive amounts produced by external factors can overwhelm the body’s ability to maintain a healthy balance. This is where antioxidants come in. They are responsible for (b):

  • Helping neutralize free radicals by giving them an electron that stops them attacking your cells and causing damage that may lead to chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or stroke. 
  • Helping you maintain healthy blood pressure levels within the normal range. 
  • May reduce inflammation that could reduce the symptoms of arthritis, including muscle pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints.
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Read more: Italian Stuffed Mini Peppers: Recipes and Side Dishes for a Delightful Meal


Another health benefit of sweet peppers is that they contain carotenoids. These are nutrients that produce pigments in plants with an antioxidant activity that benefits human health when consumed (b). 

There are over 600 carotenoids found throughout nature, but only about 50 can be made by humans. The other 550 can be consumed through your diet. The carotenoids in sweet bell peppers are associated with (b):

  • Reducing the risk of developing arthritis and other inflammatory conditions as they contain carotenoids such as lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein. 
  • Helping maintain healthy eyesight, including sharpness, color perception, and visual acuity by protecting eye cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. 
  • Protecting against age-related macular degeneration, which is a common cause of blindness in adults over the age of 50.

Are There Any Side Effects of Eating Sweet Peppers?

Yes. If you consume sweet peppers in excess amounts or you have a sensitivity to them, you may experience side effects such as (6): 

  • Heartburn 
  • Bloating and gas 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Stomach cramps

That being said, these vegetables are generally healthy, and allergies are quite rare.

Do Sweet Peppers Burn Fat?

Sweet peppers may play a role in weight management, but not in the way you may think. Contrary to popular belief, sweet peppers don’t have any magical properties that can melt fat away. However, they are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great option for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

One cup of chopped red bell pepper contains just 46 calories and 3 grams of dietary fiber. This means you can eat a generous amount of sweet peppers without worrying about consuming too many calories. Fiber also helps keep you feeling full, which can prevent overeating and help with weight loss (20).

However, sweet peppers alone cannot burn fat, but they can be a valuable addition to a balanced and healthy diet for weight management (16).

This means:

  • Pairing them with other nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Eating them in place of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods such as processed snacks and desserts.
  • Incorporating them into meals that are lower in overall calories to create a calorie deficit for weight loss (16).
  • Consuming them in moderation and as part of a well-rounded diet.
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Best Ways to Cook Sweet Peppers 

There are many ways to cook peppers and it all comes down to tastes and preferences. 

Here are some of the best ways to prepare these vegetables to get the most nutrients. 


Grilled peppers are great for managing your weight as they don’t absorb as much oil or fat during the grilling process. They also have a delicious charred taste. 

To grill peppers:

  • Start by cleaning and deseeding them. 
  • Brush with olive oil and a little salt and place on the grill for a few minutes. 
  • Grilled peppers go well with barbequed meats such as steak or vegetable medleys.


Roasting bell peppers gives them a rich, smoky flavor. To roast peppers, you can do it quickly or slowly. 

To do it quickly:

  • Place them under a broiler on high for 5 minutes per side. 

To do it slowly:

  • Place the peppers on a baking sheet and put it in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius). 
  • Roast for 20-30 minutes and turn every 10 minutes. 


Boiled bell peppers lose some of their taste, but they’re still great to eat.

  • Clean and deseed the peppers by removing the stalks, membrane, and seeds.
  • Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. 
  • Add chopped peppers (with or without skins) and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the water before serving with salt, pepper, herbs, or spices, or make them into a soup.

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Sweet peppers are great for stir-frying. 

To do this:

  • Cut the peppers into strips.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a large frying pan and fry the bell peppers until they’re slightly tender but still crisp.
  • They can be served alone as a side dish or mixed with other vegetables before being served over rice, pasta, pancakes, or baked potatoes. 
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Stuffing Peppers 

Another option is to stuff a capsicum with a filling of your choice. This method can be done by either baking or microwaving. 

For the oven:

  • Clean the peppers and deseed them before stuffing them with a mixture of eggs, tomatoes, and spices, which makes a perfect breakfast recipe.
  • Place the stuffed peppers on a tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).

To do it in the microwave:

  • Cut an open slit into each pepper lengthwise without removing seeds or membrane.
  • Fill each pepper halfway with two (2) tablespoons of grated cheese, minced meat, and half a teaspoon of tomato paste before placing them back together again.
  • Place in a microwave-safe dish and cover with plastic wrap before microwaving for 4 minutes.

Dipping In Pureed Pepper

Pureed bell pepper dip is a great way to get your daily dose of sweet peppers. 

To make it:

  • Boil the peppers until their skins are soft enough to remove.
  • Once this is done, cut them open and deseed them using a spoon.
  • Place in a blender with garlic and oil and puree until smooth.
  • Serve with bread or crackers as an appetizer or snack during the day.

are sweet peppers good for you  

How Do You Preserve Sweet Peppers?

When you shop for peppers, pick those that are firm and unblemished. Store them in the fridge where they can last for up to a week. 

To preserve sweet peppers for longer, you can freeze them. 

  • Deseed and cut the pepper into evenly sized pieces. 
  • Store in a freezer bag and use as needed. 

You can also dry or pickle bell peppers to preserve them for longer periods. 

Read more: Are Stuffed Peppers Healthy? Nutrition Facts Plus 20+ Recipe Ideas!


  • Is it OK to eat sweet peppers every day?

Eating sweet peppers every day can be a healthy addition to your diet if you consume them in appropriate amounts. Here are some reasons why you may consider incorporating sweet peppers into your daily meals:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Sweet peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B6, in addition to folate, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients support various bodily functions, including immune health, skin health, and overall cellular function.
  • Low in Calories: Sweet peppers are low in calories, which makes them an ideal snack or meal addition if you’re trying to manage your weight.
  • Antioxidant Properties: The high levels of antioxidants in sweet peppers help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases (5).
  • Hydration: Sweet peppers have a high water content, which helps keep you hydrated.
  • Digestive Health: The dietary fiber in sweet peppers helps maintain a healthy gut by regulating gut microbiota (10).

Considerations and Potential Downsides

  • Pesticide Exposure: With vegetables that are eaten raw, there may be a risk of pesticide exposure (18). It’s advisable to wash sweet peppers thoroughly before consumption. This also removes any dirt.
  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Some people may have sensitivities or allergies to peppers (6). If you experience any adverse reactions, you should consult a healthcare provider.
  • Variety in Diet: While sweet peppers are healthy, it’s important to have a varied diet to ensure you get a broad spectrum of nutrients. Relying too heavily on one type of food can lead to nutritional imbalances.
  • Are sweet peppers a healthy snack?

Yes, sweet peppers are a healthy snack for several reasons:

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Low in Calories: Sweet peppers are low in calories, which makes them a great option for those who are looking to maintain or lose weight.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and immune function. They also contain B vitamins, which help with energy metabolism.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Sweet peppers are high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and quercetin, which help protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation (3) (14).
  • Dietary Fiber: They provide dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and maintaining a healthy gut (10).
  • Hydration: Sweet peppers have a high water content, which can help with hydration.

Health Benefits:

  • Supports Eye Health: The high levels of vitamin A and carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health and may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration (19) (21).
  • Supports Immune System: Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system (25), and sweet peppers provide more than the daily recommended intake in just one serving.
  • Heart Health: The antioxidants and fiber in sweet peppers may help reduce the risk of heart disease (4).
  • Anti-Inflammatory: The antioxidants in sweet peppers help reduce inflammation, which is beneficial for overall health and may help prevent chronic diseases.


  • Easy to Prepare: Sweet peppers can be eaten raw, cooked, or added to various dishes, which makes them a versatile snack.
  • Great for Dipping: They pair well with healthy dips such as hummus or guacamole, adding both flavor and nutritional value.
  • Are sweet peppers healthier raw or cooked?

Both raw and cooked sweet peppers offer health benefits. If you’re looking to maximize your vitamin C intake, eating them raw is advantageous, while if you want to increase the bioavailability of certain nutrients and find them easier to digest, cooking is a great option.

The way you choose to consume them can affect their nutritional value. Here’s a comparison:

Raw Sweet Peppers

  • Vitamin C: Raw sweet peppers are particularly high in vitamin C, which is sensitive to heat and can be reduced during cooking (12).
  • Antioxidants: Raw peppers have high levels of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Cooked Sweet Peppers

  • Bioavailability of Nutrients: Cooking can make certain antioxidants, such as carotenoids, more bioavailable, which means your body can absorb them more efficiently.
  • Softened Texture: Cooking breaks down the cell walls of the pepper, which makes it easier to digest for some individuals.
  • Enhanced Flavor: Heat can enhance the sweetness and overall flavor of the peppers, potentially increasing their palatability.
  • Is it bad to eat peppers on an empty stomach?

Eating peppers on an empty stomach can have different effects, depending on the individual and their tolerance to spicy foods.

The type of pepper also plays a role. Chili peppers, in particular, can cause discomfort or irritation if they’re consumed on an empty stomach (2). However, sweet peppers aren’t considered spicy and shouldn’t cause any adverse effects when eaten on an empty stomach. They may actually provide some benefits such as helping with digestion and boosting hydration levels.

Here are some points to consider:

Potential Benefits:

  1. Boost Metabolism: Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, can slightly increase metabolic rate (9).
  2. Rich in Nutrients: Peppers are high in vitamins A and C, which are beneficial for immune health and skin (22) (25).

Potential Drawbacks:

  1. Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Spicy foods such as chili peppers can irritate the stomach lining, leading to discomfort, particularly if you have a sensitive stomach or conditions such as gastritis (1).
  2. Heartburn: Eating spicy foods on an empty stomach can cause heartburn or acid reflux in some people (14).
  3. Irritation: The capsaicin in chili peppers can cause irritation in the digestive tract for some individuals, which can lead to symptoms such as nausea or stomach cramps (8).


  • If you enjoy eating hot peppers, you should consider consuming them with other foods to mitigate potential digestive discomfort.
  • Pay attention to your body’s response and adjust your diet accordingly.
  • If you have any pre-existing digestive issues, it may be best to avoid consuming spicy foods on an empty stomach.

The Bottom Line 

Sweet peppers are an excellent addition to your diet as they’re rich in vitamins and other nutrients that promote good health. They come in a variety of colors and flavors and can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on your preferences. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. A hot topic: Are spicy foods healthy or dangerous? – UChicago Medicine (2018,
  2. A natural sustained-intestinal release formulation of red chili pepper extracted capsaicinoids (Capsifen®) safely modulates energy balance and endurance performance: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (2024,
  3. Anti-inflammatory Activity of β-Carotene, Lycopene and Tri-n-butylborane, a Scavenger of Reactive Oxygen Species (2018,
  4. Antioxidant, Anti-Obesity, Nutritional and Other Beneficial Effects of Different Chili Pepper: A Review (2022,
  5. Antioxidant potential and factors influencing the content of antioxidant compounds of pepper: A review with current knowledge (2023,
  6. Bell Pepper Allergy: Different Sensitization Profiles (2018,
  7. Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Varieties of Bell Pepper (2015,
  8. Capsaicin – StatPearls (2023,
  9. Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications (2015,
  10. Dietary Fiber Intake and Gut Microbiota in Human Health (2022,
  11. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 – 2025 (2020,
  12. Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables (2018,
  13. Folate (Folic Acid)- Vitamin B9 (n.d.,
  14. Gastroesophageal reflux in healthy subjects induced by two different species of chilli (Capsicum annum) (2006,
  15. Interaction between Flavonoids and Carotenoids on Ameliorating Oxidative Stress and Cellular Uptake in Different Cells (2021,
  16. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2020,
  17. Peppers, sweet, red, raw (2019,
  18. Pesticide residues in food (2022,
  19. The Effect of Lutein on Eye and Extra-Eye Health (2018,
  20. Therapeutic Benefits and Dietary Restrictions of Fiber Intake: A State of the Art Review (2022,
  21. Vitamin A (2021,
  22. Vitamin A in Skin and Hair: An Update (2022,
  23. Vitamin B6 (2021,
  24. Vitamin C (2021,
  25. Vitamin C and Immune Function (2017,
  26. Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview (2013,
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