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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Red Peppers

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freshly cut red bell pepperAre you ready to liven up your summer with something sweet and vibrant?  Red pepper is the perfect superfood to incorporate into your diet this summer!  This crunchy and slightly sweet food has a vibrant color that will liven up any summer meal.  It is also composed of 92% water to help you stay hydrated during the warm summer days--as the days of summer heat up it only makes sense that red peppers are the Superfood of the Week!

The most common bell pepper is the green bell pepper, but they can also be found in red, orange, yellow, purple, brown, and even black or white!  Red bell peppers have a higher concentration of many nutrients compared to other bell peppers, and are also sweeter! 

This superfood is filled with important vitamins and minerals!  This bright-colored vegetable is a rich source of lycopene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, powerful antioxidants that can protect our bodies from cell damage and development of cancer or disease.  A 1-cup serving of red peppers has more than three times the daily recommendation of vitamin C (317%) and 93% of the recommendation for vitamin A.  In addition, it is a good source of vitamin K, potassium, and manganese.  B vitamins are important for metabolism, and this superfood is jam-packed with them!  It is a great source of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. 

There are many ways to add red peppers to your diet – used as a food, condiment, and spice.  They are easy to throw on the grill, chopped raw on a salad, roasted to add to a sandwich, or to prepare stuffed.

Try this recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Serves: 6
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 6 red bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced carrots
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup grated part-skim mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Boil 1 1/3 cups water in a saucepan; add quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep covered; set aside.
  3. Remove pepper tops, stems, and seeds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add peppers, boil for 5 minutes, and drain.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; cook for 3 minutes. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in spinach and beans. Remove from heat and mix in quinoa and chili powder.
  5. Fill peppers with quinoa mixture and place upright in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Add just enough water to form a very thin layer in the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Shape Magazine.

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Tags: Cooking Healthy , Healthy Eating , Antioxidants , Vegetarian

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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