Are Bell Pepper Lobes An Indicator Of Pepper Plant Gender And Seed Production?
Bell Peppers Are A Symbol For Happiness And Joy!
The bell pepper is one of the most popular fruits in America. They have been used since ancient times as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Today they are grown commercially for their bright red color, sweet flavor, mild heat and crunchy texture.
They are also known as “pepperonis” (Latin) because they resemble a pea pod. However, there is no such thing as a pea pod. The term “bell pepper” was coined by William Mulholland in 1872 when he described them to be similar to the fruit of the Solanaceae family of vegetables.
Peppers were first cultivated in Mexico around 500 B.C., but it wasn’t until the Aztecs brought them back from Central America that they became widely available throughout the Americas.
By the time Europeans arrived, they had spread all over Europe and North Africa. The Spanish introduced them to the New World in 1532 with Columbus’ voyage to America. They quickly became popular among sailors and explorers because of their taste, crispness and mild heat.
Thomas Jefferson declared that the bell pepper was a vegetable fit for human consumption. George Washington Carver experimented with bell peppers and found over 100 uses for them. Before that, Native Americans used them as poison arrows.
Peppers are available in different shapes, sizes and colors, such as yellow, orange and red. They are commonly pickled, dried and are used as stuffing for omelets. They are a very popular ingredient in curries, salsas and other spicy dishes.
The long, tapered green pod is very mild and is eaten as part of an hors d’oeuvre with dips. When the sweet green bell pepper is allowed to ripen, it turns a brilliant red and is less crunchy. Peppers can be used on their own or in combination with other foods.
This makes them a very popular ingredient for sandwiches, salads and many other dishes.
The bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamins C and A and a very good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid and pantothenic acid. They also contain antioxidants that help prevent damage to cells and limit the risk of certain types of cancer.
When choosing bell peppers, look for those that are firm with shiny, tight skin. They should not have any wrinkles, soft spots or blemishes. The stem and the very bottom of the pepper should not have any cracks or dryness and should be relatively free from puncture wounds, worm damage or discoloration.
Green bell peppers are picked when still immature and lack thick walls. They are the most common and less expensive than most other bell peppers. Most of the green bell peppers sold in the United States come from California and Texas.
Yellow bell peppers gain their golden color from the presence of carotenoid pigments. They are sweeter and less acidic than the green variety. The yellow bell pepper has a slightly spicier flavor.
Red bell peppers ripen longer and develop more sweetness than green ones. Red bell peppers also contain health-promoting beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin A.
Purple bell peppers are the result of a genetic mutation and do not have any more nutrients than their green counterparts. The purple color comes from natural plant pigments.
White bell peppers are simply green bell peppers that have been allowed to ripen longer on the vine. They tend to have a slightly peppery flavor and contain the same nutrients as green bell peppers.
It is best to store bell peppers in the refrigerator and use them within a week. They can be frozen without losing any of their nutritional value. To freeze, remove the tops, wash, dry and label.
Freeze whole and then defrost when needed.
The nutrients in bell peppers have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These nutrients protect against certain types of cancer, neurological diseases and cardiovascular disease.
The nutrients in bell peppers have also been shown to be effective in treating cancer. They increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and have been found to slow tumor growth in laboratory animals. In addition, these nutrients prevent DNA damage done by certain types of cancer-causing compounds (carcinogens).
In addition to keeping your heart healthy and preventing some types of cancer, the nutrients in bell peppers can also help relieve radiation therapy side effects.
They can also help fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This oxidative stress can be caused by the environment (pollution) as well as by certain diseases and even normal aging. Antioxidants can reduce these free radicals and protect the cells from damage.
Eating bell peppers is also linked to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The carotenoids and Vitamin C content of bell peppers strengthens the brain’s blood vessels and reduces the risk of stroke.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pollination mechanisms, reproduction and plant breeding by R Frankel, E Galun – 2012 – books.google.com
Representation of Primary Plant Odorants in the Antennal Lobe of the Moth Heliothis virescens Using Calcium Imaging by HT Skiri, CG Galizia, H Mustaparta – Chemical senses, 2004 – academic.oup.com