Adam Levine can’t get enough of bell peppers. That’s no exaggeration. The Maroon 5 singer and former The Voice coach recently gave Men’s Health a tour of his massive walk-in refrigerator and spoke about his love of fruit and vegetables, particularly apples (which he eats before he goes on stage), berries (which he “pounds” in the morning), and bell peppers. “I think those are the best things you can put in your body every day,” he said, speaking about the peppers after noting their high vitamin C content. 

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Bell peppers are indeed packed with nutrients and not just vitamin C, either (although that is one of their major benefits). We spoke with Kiran Campbell, RDN, of Kiran Campbell Nutrition, to find out more about just how beneficial for your body these brightly colored vegetables are. Plus, we’ve included recipe inspiration, too.

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What does bell pepper do to your body?

Levine believes that bell peppers—which fun fact, are actually technically a fruit, but are usually referred to as a vegetable—are the “best thing” that you can eat each day. But while it’s true that they are indeed a nutritious addition to your diet, a well-rounded approach to eating, of course, emphasizes a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein sources.

But that said, eating bell peppers daily in combination with other healthy foods is certainly good for your health. “They are high in essential nutrients including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene,” says Campbell. “They will also add to your daily fiber needs and provide other phenols and antioxidants.”

She explained that these antioxidants—which are present in many fruits and vegetables, not just bell peppers—may protect against harmful oxidative damage to our cells, which could help to prevent the development of certain diseases, including “cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.”

It’s safe, and beneficial, for most people to eat bell peppers every day. In fact, Campbell says it is a “wonderful health-promoting practice” to eat them regularly. However, those with kidney disease should be wary of their high potassium content. “Otherwise, bell peppers of all colors are a great option for snacking on raw and provide little calories with an abundance of nutrients to maintain health and potentially protect against chronic diseases,” she confirms. 

7 ways to cook with bell pepper

As Campbell says, snacking on bell peppers is a great way to reap their health benefits. But you can also cook them into many different delicious recipes—find some of our favorites below.

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1Vegan Warm Butter Bean Salad With Roasted Bell Peppers and Pili Pili Oil

This salad from Bryant Terry’s Vegetable Kingdom cookbook offers a delicious symphony of flavors, thanks to the buttery lima beans, Pili Pili oil, peppery arugula, squeeze of lemon, and of course, the star of the show: roasted bell peppers.
Get the recipe

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2 Curry-Spiced Vegan Tofu Scramble

Tofu scramble is delicious on its own, but when it’s combined with a little curry powder, diced zucchini, tamari, and some diced red bell pepper, this brunch dish ascends to a whole new level. The recipe, taken from Hollan Hawaii’s Good Food Gratitude cookbook, is quick and easy to make, too.
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3 Vegan Turkish Flatbread With Eggplant and Tomatoes

This traditional Turkish dish from The Complete Plant Based Cookbook is loaded with delicious flavor. Whole peeled tomatoes, olive oil, eggplant, garlic, and bell peppers are the perfect toppings for the flatbread, which, head’s up, needs to be kneaded and refrigerated at least 24 hours in advance.
Get the recipe

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4 Vegan Breakfast Frittata With Hash Brown Crust

A frittata is a great choice for a protein-packed brunch. The key ingredients in this one from the cookbook Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant-Based Meal Prep are chickpea flour, frozen hash browns, and plenty of your favorite vegetables, including, you guessed it, sliced bell peppers (a range of colors will look the most eye-catching!).
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5 Vegan Buddha Tofu and Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan

A sheet pan dinner is a simple and quick way to load up on nutritious, delicious ingredients. Taken from the One-Pan Vegan cookbook, this recipe relies on tofu and roasted vegetables, including red cabbage, broccolini, and bell peppers, which are paired with hummus when serving for the best flavor and texture mix.
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6 Vegan Copycat Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken

There is no need to order takeout when you can whip up this tasty vegan kung pao chicken from the Vegan Fast Food cookbook instead. Served with a delicious, flavor-packed sauce and stir-fried vegetables (including bell pepper, of course!), it’s arguably, even better than Panda Express.
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7 Oil-Free Sweet Chili Tofu Broccoli Mushroom Stir-Fry

When time is tight, you can’t go wrong with a tasty stir-fry. This recipe from The Choose You Now Diet cookbook is easy, oil-free, and packed with nutrient-dense vegetables, including bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, and shredded carrots.
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