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Banana Pepper: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Wonders of Banana Pepper: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

The tasty and mild banana peppers are perfect for salads and sandwiches. This Buzzle article describes the nutrition facts and health benefits of these small and sweet peppers. Read on to know why they are great for weight loss.
Leena Palande
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Did You Know?
Just a 4-inch long banana pepper can fulfill around 45% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C.

Banana pepper, also known as yellow wax pepper or banana chili, is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum. Its flavor is not very hot (0-500 Scoville units). Because of its sweet, tangy, and mild taste, it is used in various ways. It is commonly used in stir-fries as well as in ice creams! It is a member of the chili pepper family, but it is not as hot as its cousin cayenne pepper. There exist several cultivars of banana peppers, for example, Bananarama, Cubanelle, Chilly Chili, etc.

You can easily grow these tasty peppers in your backyard. The two-feet tall plants require full sun and a well-drained soil. They can produce abundant fruit over a long period. These compact and sturdy plants resist most diseases. The peppers are ready for harvest in about 75 days.

Yellow wax peppers are cylindrical, but tapering to a point. These thick-walled peppers can be 5-6 inches long. The diameter can be 1-1½ inches. As the name suggests, the ready-to eat peppers are waxy and yellow. They turn red when overripe. The hotness of the pepper decreases on its maturity. The most ripe peppers are sweeter than the younger ones.

Banana Pepper Nutrition Facts

These peppers are low in calories, fat, and sodium. So you can incorporate them even in a weight loss diet. They are rich in potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, and in vitamins A and C.

1 serving (1 oz) of Heinz pickled banana pepper rings contains only 10 calories. A 3-minutes walk can help burn these calories. But the pickled peppers are high in sodium. 1 oz of Heinz pickled peppers come with 280 mg sodium. It is better to consume them in moderation.

1 Small (4" long) Raw Banana Pepper (33 g)
Calories 9 kcal
Water 30.30 g
Total fat 0.15 g
Carbohydrate 1.77 g
Protein 0.55 g
Total Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 0.64 g
Calcium 5 mg
Sodium 4 mg
Potassium 84 mg
Magnesium 6 mg
Zinc 0.08 mg
Iron 0.15 mg
Phosphorus 11 mg
Vitamin A, RAE 6 µg
Vitamin A, IU 112 IU
Vitamin B6 0.118 mg
Niacin 0.410 mg
Riboflavin 0.018 mg
Thiamin 0.027 mg
Folate 10 µg
Vitamin C 27.3 mg
Vitamin E 0.23 mg
Vitamin K 3.1 µg
Total Saturated Fatty Acids 0.016 g
Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids 0.009 g
Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 0.080 g

Source: USDA

Health Benefits of Banana Chili

1. Lowers High Blood Pressure
Vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and the bioflavonoids present in these chilies help strengthen blood vessels. Strong and elastic vessels can adjust well to blood pressure fluctuations. This results in improved blood circulation and normal blood pressure.

2. Helps Fight Chronic Diseases
The amount of 'capsaicin' and other related chemicals called 'capsaicinoids' present in a chili pepper determine its intensity after ingestion. These chemicals cause the tongue to burn. Studies show that capsaicin encourages prostate cancer cells to kill themselves. Animal studies suggest that capsaicin can be used to treat prostate cancer. Phytochemicals present in peppers help boost immunity. The carotenoids present in these chilies help maintain the overall health of a person. They reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart diseases.

3. Alleviates the Symptoms of Sinusitis
The pepper heat stimulates the secretion of mucus from the nose, and helps relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion. The antibacterial properties of the pepper also help reduce the symptoms of chronic sinus infection. This eventually lowers the chances of having cough and cold, improves breathing, and ensures better sleep.

4. Relieves the Symptoms of Inflammation
Phytochemicals from peppers defend against inflammation. Capsaicin in peppers acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Researchers are studying whether capsaicin can be used to treat arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. It can help relieve headaches and migraines too.

5. Relieves the Symptoms of Digestive Disorders
Being an anti-inflammatory agent, capsaicin can lower the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The fiber aids digestion. As the peppers exhibit antibacterial properties, they can kill bacteria like H. pylori, and can help prevent stomach ulcers. Usually, people think that consumption of peppers leads to formation of stomach ulcers. In fact, consumption of peppers increases blood flow to the stomach, which strengthens its mucous lining. Thus, peppers can help cure ulcers. Excessive consumption of peppers (in fact, any food) can affect stomach health.

6. Promotes Weight Loss
Capsaicin is a thermogenic element. It generates heat through metabolic stimulation. It speeds up the process of burning of fat, as it increases the metabolism of the body's adipose tissue, producing heat. So, you can shed those extra pounds with the help of these peppers (of course with regular exercise). They are so low in calories that you can eat as many as you want. They contain negligible amounts of fat. In fact, the polyunsaturated fat that they contain is a healthy fat which promotes production of good (HDL) cholesterol.

7. Helps Maintain Heart Health
Capsaicin can protect your heart by reducing blood cholesterol (LDL or bad cholesterol) levels, triglycerides, and platelet aggregation. This can lower the risk for heart attack and stroke.

8. Benefits of Vitamin A
Yellow wax peppers, rich in vitamin A can prevent age-related macular degeneration. The pepper can improve visual functions. Vitamin A helps enhance the function of the immune system. It promotes normal cell growth and development. It also plays an important role in normal bone metabolism and in reproductive processes in both males and females.

9. Benefits of Vitamin C
Being an antioxidant vitamin, vitamin C also protects your eyesight. It strengthens the immune system and helps maintain overall health. It protects healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. Weakening of cells can result in cardiovascular diseases or chronic diseases like cancer. (Folate present in these peppers also promotes new cell formation and growth.) Vitamin C helps slow down the process of aging. It promotes production of collagen, wound healing, and absorption of iron by cells. It can prevent common cold as well as gout. It can significantly reduce bronchoconstriction caused by exercise.

10. Benefits of Potassium
The mineral potassium helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart diseases. It helps maintain the health of nerves, blood vessels, heart, bones, kidneys, and muscles.

You can enjoy these healthy yellow peppers breaded and fried. You can stuff them with sausages, cheese, and spices, and then bake them. You can add these peppers, fresh or dried, to soups, omelets, stir-fries, or to your favorite spaghetti recipe. You can enjoy them baked, steamed, roasted, pickled, or you may even eat them raw. Pickled peppers are often used to garnish pizzas, sandwiches, and salads. To reap the exceptional health benefits of banana peppers, you should incorporate them in your regular diet.

Disclaimer:This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a physician/nutritionist.