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10 Foods for Great Summer Nutrition


4
Bell Peppers
More than just a pretty face: Bell peppers contain loads of beneficial nutrients in addition to colorful pigment.
More than just a pretty face: Bell peppers contain loads of beneficial nutrients in addition to colorful pigment.
┬ęGeorge Doyle/Thinkstock

Bell peppers make a colorful addition to a snack, salad or meal, but there's more to this crunchy fruit (yes, bell pepper is technically a fruit, rather than a vegetable) than meets the eye. Sweet bell peppers are low in calories and high in vitamins. One-half of a cup of green, red or yellow bell peppers contains more than 230 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake, and only 20 calories [source: McDonald].

Bell peppers also contain phytochemicals called carotenoids. Carotenoids give peppers (and other fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins and tomatoes) their bright red, orange and yellow color -- and a diet high in carotenoid-dense foods has been associated with reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, and some cancers, such as potentially promising activity against lung and prostate cancers [source: Linus Pauling Institute].


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