Are banana peppers good for you?

Only raw banana peppers are good for you, as they’re among the most nutrient-dense vegetables. On the contrary, pickled peppers don’t have any health benefits. Actually, they’re probably bad for your health.

Raw banana peppers are good for you

Raw banana peppers have many health benefits. They’re nutrient-dense foods. For instance, they’re particularly rich in vitamin C. Actually, they have more vitamin C than oranges.

Moreover, banana peppers are good for weight loss because they’re low in calories. A raw banana pepper has only 9-20 calories, depending on its size.

Also, banana peppers are good sources of fiber. Actually, banana peppers are the richest pepper variety in fiber! Consuming adequate amounts of fiber may decrease the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Furthermore, banana peppers hydrate the body. They’re 92% water. In addition, they’re good dietary sources of electrolytes, which are crucial for many functions of the body.

Also, banana peppers are keto-friendly. They’re low in net carbs. Even people with diabetes can regularly consume them. Banana peppers can regulate the glycemic response of a meal.

Why do banana peppers have so many health benefits?

Banana peppers are good for you, as they are particularly rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds. For instance, 2 medium banana peppers contain (6):

  • Calcium: 14 mg
  • Iron: 0.46 mg
  • Magnesium: 17 mg
  • Phosphorus: 32 mg
  • Potassium: 256 mg
  • Zinc: 0.25 mg
  • Copper: 94mcg
  • Niacin: 1.24 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.357 mg
  • Vitamin E: 0.69 mg

But, banana peppers are excellent dietary sources of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, and niacin:

  • Vitamin C: 110% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B6: 27% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Copper: 10% of the DV
  • Niacin: 9% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 5% of the DV

Which pepper variety has more health benefits?

There are many pepper varieties. Not only do they have different flavor, but they also have different nutritional value and health benefits.

It is difficult to tell the differences between banana peppers and pepperoncini, which are two of the most common pepper varieties.

When pickled, banana peppers are easily confused with pepperoncini peppers. Prefer fresh banana peppers to pepperoncini peppers. They have more health benefits, as they have a greater nutritional value!

Actually, only pickled pepperoncini peppers are sold. They’re usually found pickled in jars.

Are pickled banana peppers good for you?

Pickled peppers have a poor nutritional value and may be bad for your health. Better avoid them.

First, pickled pepperoncini peppers contain no vitamin C.

Most noteworthy, all pickled vegetables are high in sodium. For instance, pickled pepperoncini in a jar may contain more than 1,500 mg of sodium per 100g. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day.

Actually, the regular consumption of pickled peppers can make us gain weight, increase Body Mass Index and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (8).

Scientists found a significant association between the consumption of pickled vegetables and obesity. Pickled vegetables may manipulate our hormones, making us consume more calories.

Also, a high intake of pickled vegetables may increase the risk of gastric and colorectal cancer. On the contrary, we should eat more fresh vegetables. like banana peppers in order to reduce the risk of gastric cancer (7,11).

A 2010 study showed that vegetable consumption is important for a decreased risk of breast cancer (9).

According to another study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, high consumption of pickled vegetables may increase two-fold the risk of esophageal cancer (10).

What type of pickled vegetables should I prefer?

If you enjoy pickled vegetables once in a while, at least try to buy pickled vegetables which:

  • are low in sodium. We need sodium, but just a little. Most pickled vegetables will skyrocket your daily sodium intake. Prefer brands with the minimum sodium content.
  • contain vinegar. Vinegar has many health benefits. For instance, vinegar helps the body control blood sugar levels.
  • are fermented. Fermented foods naturally contain probiotics. These are good for gut microbiota. Probiotics keep your digestive system healthy.

Sources:

  1. NIH-National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): Fresh and pickled vegetable consumption and gastric cancer in Japanese and Korean populations: a meta-analysis of observational studies.
  3. NCBI-National Center for Biotechnology Information: Pickle Consumption is Associated with Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure among Iranian Female College Students: a Cross-Sectional Study (pdf)
  4. NCBI-Vegetables, but not pickled vegetables, are negatively associated with the risk of breast cancer.
  5. British Journal of Cancer: Pickled vegetables and the risk of oesophageal cancer: a meta-analysis
  6. Pubmed: Intake of Pickled Vegetables and Colorectal Cancer
  7. Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics: Dietary fat increases vitamin D-3 absorption.