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Peppers and Your Health

A look at the potential health benefits that peppers may hold.

Tips for Peppering Your Diet with Peppers continued...

Spicy peppers are an acquired taste. "So go slow and small at first - discarding the veins and seeds, which are the hottest part of the pepper," Perdermo says. "But keep adding peppers so your food is not so bland. Jalapeños, green chilies, red salsas -- do a variety to get a mixture of phytochemicals in your diet."

Here are a few suggestions from Perdermo for adding spicy peppers to your diet.

Chop up peppers and put in sauces and add to noodles.

  • Make a salsa with mild peppers and add it to tacos or rice and beans.
  • Add to guacamole. Start with half a jalapeño.
  • Toss peppers into chicken soup to give it a little kick.
  • Roast poblano peppers on the grill. Peel off the blackened part, removing the seeds and some of the veins. Combine with roasted tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro in a blender.

When you're ready, move on to spicier peppers, such as serranos.

Also popular and easy are ready-to-eat hot pepper sauces. You can make these and homemade sauces a side dish to meals, not just a dip for chips, says Perdermo.

Other ideas: Add chopped bell peppers to tuna or chicken salad. Steam cored bell peppers, stuff them with rice salad, and bake. The possibilities are practically limitless.

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Reviewed on October 05, 2010

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