All peppers are of the genus Capsicum and there are so many types it’s impossible to find a complete list of the many varieties.
Peppers are usually purchased fresh but they can also be found dry, canned, pickled and powdered. The pungency of peppers range from the very mild (bell peppers) to the very hot-to-fiery peppers such as Thai, Habanero, Jalapeño, Tabasco or Serrano. There’s also a great range of colors: light, medium and dark greens; pale to bright yellows; gold; orange; bright to deep reds; purple; medium to very dark browns. Yes, there are brown peppers!
Peppers are good for your health. Eaten raw, they have few calories and are usually a “free” food on food plans and diets. They’re high in Vitamin C.
A green bell pepper has more vitamin C than citrus fruits of equal weight. A red pepper triples that. The hot varieties are even higher in Vitamin C. Perhaps there’s a connection between that fact and that chili peppers have been used for centuries as a “cure” for the common cold. Although hot peppers may give some folks indigestion, there’s no link between their consumption and stomach ulcers. It is possible that they act as an anticoagulant or blood thinner thus aiding in the fight against heart attacks or strokes. A topical cream that contains capsicum can also help to control some types of chronic skin pain. Asia is the largest producer of peppers and next to salt, chilies are the world’s most popular seasoning.
All peppers are rich in vitamins A,C and K, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Antioxidant vitamins A and C help to prevent cell damage as well as cancer and diseases related to aging, and they support immune function. They also reduce inflammation like that found in arthritis and asthma. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps protect cells from oxidative damage.
Red peppers are a good source of the carotenoid called lycopene, which is earning a reputation for helping to prevent prostate as well as cancer of the bladder, cervix, and pancreas. Beta-cryptoxanthin, another carotenoid in red peppers, is holding promise for helping to prevent lung cancer related to smoking and secondhand smoke.
Besides being rich in phytochemiclas , peppers provide a decent amount of fiber.
Hot peppers’ fire comes from capsicum, which acts on pain receptors, not taste buds, in our mouths. Capsicum predominates in the white membranes of peppers, imparting its “heat” to seeds as well. The capsicum in hot peppers has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers . It used to be thought that hot peppers aggravated ulcers. Instead, they may help kill bacteria in the stomach that can lead to ulcers.
Both hot and sweet peppers contain substances that have been shown to increase the body’s heat production and oxygen consumption for about 20 minutes after eating. This is great news; it means your body is burning extra calories, which helps weight loss.
Aji Peppers are very hot to fiery and are used in salsa & sauces.
Anaheim Peppers: Mild to very hot.Used in Soup, stews
Ancho/Poblano: Mild to fairly hot. Used in beans, soup, stews; ground in moles
Bell: Sweet to mild. Used in Salads, casseroles, stuffed, stir-fry
Banana/Hungarian: Mild to hot Salsa. Used in sauces, pickled
Cascabel: Medium hot to hot. Used in Soup, stew, sauces, sausage
Cayenne: Hot to fiery. Used in Soup, stew, sauces
Cherry: Medium to very hot. Pickled, relish, jelly
De Arbol: Very hot.Used in Soup, stew, beans
Fresno: Slightly hot to very hot. Pickled, salsa
Habanero: Fiery to incendiary (considered to be the hottest pepper on earth)
Jalapeño: Very hot to fiery. Salsa, sauce, beans,
Chile Negro: Mild to fairly hot. Sauce, soup, stew; dried in moles
Pepperoncini: Mild/sweet to fairly hot. Salads, stew, sandwiches
Piquin/Tepin: Very hot to fiery. Soup, stew, beans; dried as flakes
Rocotillo: Mild to fairly hot: Condiment, salsa, sautéed vegetable
Serrano: Very hot to fiery. Beans, soup, sauce, salsa
Tabasco: Very hot to fiery. Pepper sauce; packed in vinegar
Thai: Very hot to fiery. Soup, sauce, stew, stir-fry