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Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits of Pepperoncini Peppers

Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits of Pepperoncini Peppers

The little, fairly mild pepperoncini peppers are often pickled and sold in jars. Are these peppers good for you? This Buzzle article presents information on the nutritional benefits of these popular peppers, and provides the answer to this question.
Leena Palande
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Did You Know?
Pepperoncini peppers, with 100-500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), are 5-50 times milder than Jalapeños (Capsicum annuum) that come with 2500-5000 SHU.
As pepperoncini peppers are widely grown in Tuscany, a region in central Italy, these peppers are often called Tuscan peppers. They are called 'peperoncini' in American English, while in Italy, they are called peperone (plural peperoni) like other sweet varieties of peppers. In Italy, they use the term peperoncini (singular peperoncino) for hotter varieties of chili peppers. Pepperoncini peppers are also known as sweet Italian peppers, fefferoni, or golden Greek peppers. All these are varieties of the species Capsicum annuum. The variety that is sold as 'pepperoncini' in the U.S. is sold as 'friggitelli' in Italy. These peppers are widely used in Greek, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. The pepperoncini peppers produced in Greece are sweeter and less bitter than those produced in Tuscany.
You can easily grow these peppers in your garden. The bushy, productive plants would grow to a height of about 30 inches. They will bear fruit after two months. Ready-to-harvest peppers are light green, or slightly yellowish, and 2- or 3-inches long (5 to 8 cm) and about 1-inch wide. They come with a hollow, tapering body that is blunt and lobed at the ends. The peppers are thin-walled and wrinkly. Once picked, you should consume them fresh. You can just chop these peppers, and pile them up on your favorite dish without feeling guilty! Don't worry about sliced pepperoncini nutrition as they enhance the flavor of the dish without adding calories and fats. These peppers ripen to a red color. The matured red peppers have a stronger flavor.
Green sweet peppers are commonly used for pickling. Pickled pepperoncini can be bright yellow or bright yellow-green. Sometimes, manufacturers add colors. The peppers are quite mild (less hot) and tangy. Although they are slightly bitter, they are commonly used in sandwiches (sliced into wheels or diced), salads, casseroles, scrambled eggs, as an accompaniment to pizza, starters (Italian antipasto), and Turkish kebabs for their unique flavor and salty taste. When used for garnishing, they impart a crunchy texture to the dish. You can consume them dried or packed in olive oil. You can even serve them stuffed and grilled. These flavorful peppers can keep you satiated and improve your health in many ways.
Nutrition Facts
3 peppers (30 g) of Mezzetta - Golden Pepperoncini Peppers contain 10 calories and 390 mg sodium.
1 serving (1.3 oz) of Castella Pepperoncini green peppers, bottled, contain 30 calories and 460 mg sodium.
1 serving (100 g) of pepperoncini peppers may contain only 0.3 g protein, 1 g sugars, and 3 g of carbohydrates.
30 g of Zorba mild pickled pepperoncini contain 15 calories, 1 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, and 450 mg sodium.
1 serving of Vigo Greek peppers contains 10 calories, 330 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, and 1 g dietary fiber.
1 serving (4 peppers) of Mt. Olive pepperoncini contains 10 calories, 280 mg sodium, and 1 g carbohydrate.
If you are worried about pickled pepperoncini nutrition, then here is some additional information:
35 g (¼ cup) Krinos pickled pepperoncini peppers contain 10 calories and 680 mg sodium. They contain 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g carbs, and a very small amount of protein (less than 1 g). Pickled peppers are high in sodium, and so should be consumed in moderation. The amount of sodium in these peppers depends upon the method of preservation. You may briefly rinse these peppers in cold water before serving. This may reduce the effects of the pickling brine on the taste.
Health Benefits
1. Low in Calories and Fat
Being very low in calories and fat, you can incorporate these peppers in a weight loss diet. They can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
2. Promote Good Blood Circulation
These fat-free peppers reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol and related problems like buildup of plaque in your arteries, hardening of arteries, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
3. Rich in Antioxidants
The peppers are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin. It helps cancel the effects of free radicals on cells, and prevents chronic diseases. It promotes absorption of iron by cells, development of new cells, wound healing, strengthens your immune system, protects your eyesight, and slows down the process of aging.
4. High in Vitamin A
Vitamin A from these peppers also helps protect your eyesight. It keeps your skin young and strong. Both vitamin A and C play an important role in various metabolic processes and can improve your health in several ways.
5. Contain Capsaicin
Capsaicin being a thermogenic agent (produces heat) accelerates the process of the burning of fat as it increases the metabolism of the body's adipose tissue. Thus, it promotes weight loss and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies show that capsaicin leads to the death of prostate cancer cells, and does not damage normal cells. (During chemotherapy and radiation, along with the cancer cells, healthy cells are also destroyed.) Capsaicin helps relieve pain due to arthritis or sore muscle.
6. Contain Calcium and Iron
The peppers contain some amount of iron and calcium. As you know, calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Iron is essential for good-quality blood for transporting oxygen to cells. Thus, the peppers support healthy bones and blood vessels.
As pepperoncini peppers are often pickled for preservation, they are loaded with salt. Those who are at the risk of heart disease should avoid these pickled peppers. Others should consume them in moderation as high sodium can affect heart health, and can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a physician/nutritionist.