Anaheim chilies have a mild and sweet flavor that works well in many foods. Being a larger pepper, they can be used in the same dishes for which poblanos are traditionally used, like the popular chile rellenos. And like other chilies, they are very good for you. Let’s break down Anaheim pepper nutrition to see just what makes them so healthy.
Anaheim chilies are mostly water, with small amounts of fat and carbohydrates. The result is that they do not add a significant amount of calories to your diet. They are perfect if your goal is to lower your calorie intake for weight loss.
Anaheim peppers contain high levels of various vitamins, but they are particularly rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. each 75 g serving provides 219 percent of your vitamin C requirement and 111 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement. Anaheim peppers are also good sources of vitamin K and vitamin B6. You get 16 percent of your vitamin B6 and 10 percent of your vitamin K from 75 grams.
Along with being necessary for most of your organs to function properly, vitamin A is also necessary for vision and is one of the components of the pigment in your retina. Vitamin B6 is crucial for the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen is needed for bone, skin and tendon health along with the health of other tissues.
Anaheim chilies contain significant levels of a variety of minerals. From 75 grams you get 7 percent of your iron and 5 percent of your potassium.
Iron’s most important role is in the production of hemoglobin, which is what the body uses to transport oxygen to the tissues. Potassium is important for regulating the body’s waste and for normalizing heart rhythms.
Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate with an important characteristic—it is not easily digestible in the small intestine. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be digested in the large intestine while insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract without being broken down at all. Soluble fiber hinders the body’s absorption of cholesterol and carbohydrates. A 75-gram serving of Anaheim pepper provides 1.1 grams of fiber.
Capsaicin is the phytochemical responsible for the Anaheim pepper’s heat as well as the heat of all chili peppers. While Anaheim peppers have a reputation for being very mild, they do contain some capsaicin. These peppers are rated between 500 and 2,500 on the Scoville scale, which is a measure of heat and thus also a measure of capsaicin concentration. Studies have shown diets rich in capsaicin can reduce blood pressure. Capsaicin also improves the post-meal release of insulin and stabilizes low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
The nutrients in Anaheim peppers make it beneficial for treating health conditions that include:
- Heart disease: Anaheim peppers have a number of compounds that can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. Those compounds include their dietary fiber content and vitamins A and C, which are both antioxidants. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals that oxidize LDL and cause atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the main factor in heart disease.
- Diabetes: Both capsaicin and dietary fiber are considered beneficial for controlling blood sugar. Studies have shown that capsaicin decreases blood sugar, thus helping to prevent the insulin resistance that typically precedes diabetes.
- Cancer: There is a significant amount of evidence that the capsaicin in Anaheim peppers is an effective tool for fighting different cancers. It is believed to trigger apoptosis, which is the cancer cells’ self-destruct mechanism.