Vitamins In Peppers: The Fact And Fiction

Peppers are good sources of some important vitamins. While the vitamin levels differ depending on pepper type, they all contain high levels of A and C. The vitamin C level is consistently high but most peppers are rich in vitamin A as well. Various B vitamins are present in lower (but still significant) concentrations. The B vitamins present include niacin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine. Peppers also contain decent levels of vitamin K, a vitamin most commonly associated with green leafy vegetables like kale and turnip greens.

Are there certain varieties of peppers higher in vitamins than others?

The vitamin content in peppers does vary significantly across pepper varieties. The vitamin A in 100 g of raw serrano peppers is 47 µg compared to vitamin A in poblanos, which is 18 µg. Similarly, 100 g of jalapeños contains just over 44 mg of vitamin C while the same amount of banana peppers has about 82 mg. Raw red bell peppers are the best vitamin C source of the three with 127 mg per 100 g serving. Peppers are generally not great sources of B vitamins but they do provide moderate amounts with serranos delivering 1.5 mg of niacin and red bells providing only about 0.1 mg.

How do peppers compare to other healthy foods when it comes to vitamin content?

Peppers typically contain more vitamin A than oranges and some varieties also contain more vitamin C. Poblanos and green bell peppers contain only 18 µg of vitamin A per 100 g, which is still more than the 11 µg that you get from an equivalent serving of oranges. Ripe bells, which are rich in vitamin A contain far less of it than the same amount of spinach. A 100 g serving of red bell peppers has 157 µg of vitamin A; the same amount of spinach provides 469 µg.

Oranges are one of the best-known sources of vitamin C and while the 53 mg that you get from 100 g of oranges is slightly more than you would get from an equivalent serving of serranos, it is a lot less than the 82 mg you would get from 100 g of banana peppers.

A 100 g serving broccoli contains 102 µg of vitamin K, which is many times more than you would get from banana peppers since they contain only 9.2 µg per 100 g.

Do ripe peppers contain more vitamins than unripe ones?

Ripe peppers contain considerably more of the major vitamins than unripe ones. This is especially so when it comes to vitamins A and C. Green bell peppers contain 18 µg of vitamin A while ripe red ones contain 157 µg. Similarly, green bells contain about 80 mg of vitamin C; when ripe they have 127 mg.

Does drying affect the vitamin content of peppers?

Drying does affect the vitamin content of dried fruits and vegetables including peppers. Dehydration removes most of the weight of the pepper but concentrates the nutrients that aren’t destroyed by the drying process. Drying does not have a significant effect on vitamin A, but it does destroy most of the vitamin C in peppers. Some of the B vitamins will get lost but a dried pepper will still have many times more of them when compared to equal weights of a fresh one. Dried poblano peppers are called anchos and a 100 g serving has 20438 µg of vitamin A while the same amount in fresh poblanos is 18 µg.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on February 1, 2020 to include new content.
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