Capsicum is a genus of plants from the nightshade family.
Capsicum was cultivated for thousands of years by the people of the tropical Americas, and is now cultivated worldwide. They are commonly called chili pepper, bell pepper, capsicum, red or green pepper, or sweet pepper. The large mild form is called bell pepper in the US.
Capsicum come in a range of colours most commonly green or red but other colours, including golden yellow, black, brown, mauve and orange. If they’re left on the plant long enough they turn from green to red or gold. Other capsicums can also turn brown, purple or yellow.
Red capsicums have very high levels of vitamin C and yellow and green capsicums have nearly as much. The red varieties are also rich in beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, boosts the immune system, and aids in night blindness.
The reason why red capsicum is the more popular variety is because it contains about 2 teaspoons of natural sugar, making them much more pleasing to the taste buds. Yellow capsicums have almost as much natural sugar, but the green variety have little sugar and so taste a little more bitter.
A study from Poland compared differences in carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and vitamin C from capsicum grown using organic methods and compared them to capsicum using non orgnaic farming methods. Both carotenoids and vitamin C were found to be about 10% higher in the organically grown bell peppers. Total phenolic acids were about 30% higher, yet flavonoids were about 7-8% lower. When the researchers did further analysis on the flavonoid results, they found some very interesting nutrient dynamics. One of the flavonoid, quercetin was measurably higher in the organically grown bell peppers (by about 10%, just like carotenoids and vitamin C). However, levels of another flavonoid, kaempferol depended as much on the specific variety of capsicum as the growing method.
In this context, the researchers concluded that kaempferol might be a flavonoid not as sensitive to growing methods as some of its fellow flavonoids. However, as a whole, this study provides further evidence about the benefits of organically grown capsicum. And it adds to the many reasons that we have always supported consumption of organically grown foods on our website.
We recommend Woolworths to purchase your organically grown capsicum.
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