Peppers are a common addition to both everyday and gourmet cooking, with a huge range of flavors, textures and colors that support many entrees. Who knew the red pepper also had a secret ingredient that can help with anti-aging whims and circulation woes. Although not recommended as a food for those who suffer from rosacea, red pepper is becoming a hot addition to many spas’ anti-aging arsenals.
In the kitchen
Summer and early fall are the seasons red peppers are at their peak for flavor, and those with deep, vivid colors, taut, clear skin and healthy-looking green stems are the best choices for cuisine. The spicy veggies provide a heaping helping of alpha tocopheral vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, and have more vitamin Cthan oranges. Lycopene, which is becoming famous for lowering men’s risk of prostate cancer, is what provides the bright red color of the plant, and although red bell peppers and red hot peppers are in the same family, red hot peppers have higher levels of capsaicin, which gives the hot pepper its heat and is being researched for its affect on fat cells.1 In fact, researchers recently found that capsaicin prevented early fat cells from becoming full-fledged fat cells.2
A colorful ingredient in Ludlow, Vermont’s, Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Summertime Potato Salad, red bell pepper can also be found in Gilman, Illinois’, The Heartland Spa’s Chili Seared Salmon with Sweet Pepper Salsa. Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa in Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada offers a Roasted Red Pepper Soup, and the pepper is a star ingredient in the Vegetable Lasagna at Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. Check out the delicious Spa Burrito from Executive Chef William Mendez at New Age Health Spa in Neversink, New York.