Bell peppers (Capsicum annuum var. grossum), which are the predominant type of sweet peppers consumed in the U.S., come in a variety of colors, most commonly, green, red and yellow. Bell peppers are excellent dietary sources of vitamin C and vitamin A and also contain folate. Bell peppers have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, radioprotective, and antimutagenic properties and may help lower cholesterol levels.
Bell peppers contain several micronutrients with demonstrated cancer fighting properties, including apigenin, lupeol, luteolin, quercetin, and capsiate, as well as carotenoids such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene. Bell pepper consumption has been found to be associated with lower risk of liver and prostate cancer, as well as brain gliomas in women. Hot peppers are covered in another web page.
Breast cancer-related effects of eating bell peppers
Apigenin, a flavonoid component of bell peppers, has been shown to exhibit potent growth-inhibitory effects in HER2/neu-overexpressing breast cancer cells. Several Korean studies have found an association between bell pepper consumption and lower incidence of breast cancer. On the other hand, no significant inverse association of breast cancer with intake of green peppers was found in a 2004 study based on the Nurses Health Study II cohort.
Green bell peppers have a higher phenolic content than red bell peppers, whereas red bell peppers (which are the same fruit, but further along in ripening) have higher vitamin C and carotenoid contents. The pimento stuffing found in some olives and paprika are both typically prepared from sweet peppers such as red bell peppers.
Non-organic bell peppers must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue as much as possible.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a list of studies that includes older research, please click on bell peppers.