Benefits banana peppers: much more than a pepper

What actually is a Banana Pepper?

Banana pepper also known as banana chili or yellow wax pepper is a member of chili pepper family. It was originated in South America and belongs to sweet pepper family, capsicum. According to Scoville rating it is rated between 0-500 Scoville heat units. Banana peppers provide countless health benefits and can be easily incorporated in the diet. If you have never tried banana peppers now is the time you become acquainted with the magical peppers.

Nutritional content of Banana peppers:

Banana peppers are packed with nutrients and have many qualities that boost health. In a single serving which contains 33 grams of banana pepper there are 9 calories and only 0.15 grams of fat. This low in calorie and fat content makes it rightful part of healthy diet and can even help in weight loss. In order to understand health benefits of banana peppers let’s break-down its nutrients. One cup of banana cup which is also a serving is full of following nutrients:

  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 2 grams                           
  • Calories: 33
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fibre: 4 grams

Banana peppers are also excellent sources of:

  • Vitamins: Banana peppers are enriched with significant vitamins. Such as:
  • Vitamin A: This is an anti-oxidant and is very important for eyes. The presence of vitamin A along with vitamin C strengthens blood vessels.
  • Vitamin C: In order to synthesize L-carnitine, collagen and various neurotransmitters our body needs Vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for protein metabolism.
  • Vitamin B6: In order to break down and absorb proteins Vitamin B6 is essential. It is used in over 100 enzymatic reactions of our body.
  • Minerals: Banana peppers contains various minerals in trace amount such as magnesium and calcium. However, banana peppers are rich source of potassium. As in a 33 grams serving of banana peppers there is 0.12 grams of potassium. Even though it is fraction of what our body requires but it is considerable as per the serving size. In order to break down carbohydrates and then later to utilize them for building muscles our body requires potassium. 
  • Dietary fibre: 1.1 gram of dietary fibre is provided in a 33 gram serving of banana pepper. As fibres increase bulk of food it reduces food intake and makes one feel fuller faster and for longer period of times. This reduced intake can be helpful in weight loss journey.

Health benefits of banana peppers:

Consumption of banana peppers has been linked with improved health and can be useful in weight loss.

  • Cancer: Capsaicin that is present in banana peppers is shown to be an effective chemical and helps in killing certain types of cancer cells.
  • Absorbing minerals: Banana peppers are rich source of Vitamin C that increases iron absorption.
  • Gout: A diet that is rich in vitamin C such as banana peppers enriched diet can help reducing chances of Gout significantly. 
  • Arthritis: Low levels of vitamin B6 increases chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. In order to reduce joint and muscle’s pain vitamin B6 is required. As banana peppers contains adequate amount of B6 they can be added in diet to reduce pain.
  • Heart Friendly: Banana peppers can be good source of vitamin B6 and help in managing levels of homocysteine and cholesterol levels which will help in preventing heart diseases. Once homocysteine levels are raised it damages blood vessel linings. This can lead to plaque formation and can contribute to heart attack and stroke.
  • Assist digestion: Banana peppers contains capsaicin that can help in increasing rate of metabolism, digestive process and it even protects against stomach ulcers. The high fibre levels help in reducing and treating digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion.
  • Inflammation: Banana peppers helps in protecting body from inflammation. Capsaicin helps in reducing substance P levels which is a neurotransmitter that sends signals of inflammation and pain from nervous system.

Brain Boosting powers of Banana Peppers:

Vitamin B6 enriched banana peppers are good source to help treating with mood disorders and brain diseases. Two important neurotransmitters, GABA and serotonin production is hugely impacted by vitamin B6. These neurotransmitters are very helpful in controlling depression, anxiety, mood, fatigue and prevents pain.

Can Banana peppers help in fight against obesity?

If you want to get rid of extra fat incorporate banana peppers in your diet. The chemical capsaicin that is found in banana peppers not only makes these peppers spicy but it also plays an important role in addressing obesity and other health related concerns. It is suggested that capsaicin intake might help in improving body’s metabolism and also reduces body fat accumulation. Capsaicin not only boosts metabolism but also helps in suppressing appetite.

Let’s Get to Use the Banana peppers!

Banana peppers are easy to prepare and add to recipes. They can be grown in home garden too. Eat them raw, cooked, stuffed and or use them as a dip. Banana peppers can also be used as toppings on pizzas, salads, sandwiches etc.

We are sure you are craving for some now. We have jotted down some amazing recipe ideas for you to relish banana peppers and make it part of your daily diet:

  • Fresh Greek Salad: Combining banana peppers with tomatoes, cucumbers and Feta cheese for tasty Greek Salad.
  • Pizza Topping:  Banana peppers can also be used as a topping and make your favourite homemade pizza tastier.
  • Bacon wrapped Banana peppers: Banana pepper along with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon can make a tasty snack.
  • Sandwich: Add banana peppers on slice of turkey and cheese and make your sandwich delicious. 
  • Salsa: Banana peppers can be used in salsa instead of jalapeno peppers even along with jalapeno peppers for that extra kick.
  • Tacos, Burritos, Nachos: By adding banana peppers in tacos, burritos and nachos you can add extra flavour mild and tangy taste.

Side effects:

  • Burning sensation: Banana peppers contains a chemical capsaicin that can cause a burning sensation even though it is mild.
  • Stomach pain and diarrhea: Eating banana peppers is considered safe for daily use due to lower amount present in food but in some rare cases it can cause intestinal distress. The symptoms includes stomach pain and diarrhea.
  • Cancer Risk: Some observational studies have linked capsaicin with risk of developing cancer.Further studies are required to rule out this possibility.

The Bottom Line:

Banana peppers are rich source of vitamins and minerals. The mild and tangy taste of banana peppers not only enhance taste of your food but can also provide several health benefits and even it can help in reducing weight. However, one should add banana peppers in their diet according to their own tolerance levels as excessive banana peppers can cause intestinal distress.