Bell peppers beat diabetes

They’re popping up at the farmers markets now–bell peppers in every shape and color. I love them all…. The colors alone are enough to draw me in. But peppers are also one of the best antioxidant packages going.

In one review, researchers found there were 30 carotenoids (like lycopene) in bell peppers, as well as multiple flavonoids (like quercetin). They’re also packed with vitamins A, E, and B6. With all that, bell peppers are excellent for fighting heart disease, cancer, vision problems, and diabetes.

In fact, one major study published in the journal Diabetes Care examined the diets of 2,285 men and 2,019 women who were diabetes-free at the study’s start. Nearly two decades later, the scientists checked in with each volunteer. They found 164 men had since been diagnosed with diabetes and 219 women.

In examining their diets, researchers found that people who got significantly more carotenoids in their diets had less risk of developing diabetes.

Those with high levels of a specific carotenoid called betal-cryptoxanthin were actually 42 percent less likely to get diabetes. Where can you get betal-cryptoxanthin? Well, those peppers I mentioned above are an excellent source. (So are avocados and watermelon–two more of my New Hamptons Health Miracle staples.)

So head out to the farmers market this weekend, and stock up on organic bell peppers. You can stir-fry them, throw them on the grill, or chop them up and toss them into a salad. Just make sure you drizzle a little MacNut oil on top, so your body will absorb all those amazing nutrients.

“Dietary antioxidant intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes Care 2004; 27(2): 362-366