Sodium In Peppers: The Fact And Fiction

Lowering your sodium intake is a good idea since it can reduce your risk of developing serious health issues like strokes, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer. Eating more vegetables is often recommended as a way to lower salt intake since they contain very little of it. Keep in mind that you do need small amounts of sodium for good health. Sodium regulates blood pressure and is important for the proper functioning of your nervous system and muscles. So how much sodium is there in peppers? Let’s take a closer look.

How much sodium is there typically in peppers?

The United States Department of Agriculture’s data shows that the sodium content of the peppers it has studied is between 3 mg and 13 mg per 100 g of pepper. The amount of sodium in chili peppers varies a lot based on the type of pepper along with certain other factors. That said, all raw peppers are considered low-sodium produce. None have enough to cause any of the diseases that result from high sodium consumption.

Do certain varieties of peppers contain more sodium than others?

Some varieties have much more of it than others. Peppers with high levels of sodium include banana peppers. Raw banana peppers have 13 mg of sodium in each 100 mg serving. Raw serranos have a little less with 10 mg per 100 mg and raw poblanos and green bell peppers have a lot less with 3 mg each per 100 mg.

How do they compare to foods known for high or low levels of sodium?

Vegetables are generally regarded as being healthier than other food groups and don’t have a reputation for high sodium. The vegetables that are highest are those that have been processed. Canned vegetables are notorious for having very high levels of it. For instance, canned peas can have as much as 280 mg of sodium per 100 g. Compare that to raw peppers, which have 13 mg at most.

When it comes to raw vegetables, not many are naturally high in sodium but a few are. Swiss chard has a significant amount with 213 mg per 100 g serving. Spinach has a lot less than Swiss chard but with 79 g for the same serving size, it has several times more of it than banana peppers. Radishes, broccoli, and cabbage all have more sodium than peppers.

On the low-sodium end of the spectrum, cucumbers are often classified as having no sodium but the USDA says that a 100 g serving contains 2 mg of it. Even so, cucumbers are still among the lowest sodium fruits and vegetables. Asparagus has 6 g, which places it firmly in the low-sodium category — it has less than an equivalent amount of banana peppers but more than green bells. Florida avocados and watermelon are also among the foods with the lowest levels of sodium.

Do red peppers have more sodium than green ones?

According to the USDA, hot red and sweet red peppers both contain more sodium than their green counterparts. Hot red peppers contain 9 mg while red sweet peppers contain 4 mg; hot green peppers contain 7 mg while sweet green peppers contain 3 mg.

Do dried peppers lose sodium?

Both dried anchos and dried pasilla chilies contain very high levels of sodium (43 mg and 83 mg respectively) in each 100 g serving, which indicates that sodium content is largely unchanged by drying. The pepper and the sodium it contains have simply been condensed into a smaller package.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 25, 2020 to include new content.
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