Paprika -- made by grinding capsicum peppers into a fine powder -- adds vibrant red color and a rich, pungent flavor to a variety of meals. At 19 calories per tablespoon, paprika adds only a negligible amount to your daily calorie intake, but it comes packed with nutrients. Just a single 1-tablespoon serving provides ample amounts of several beneficial nutrients, especially carotenoids -- a nutrient family that includes vitamin A.
Paprika comes loaded with carotenoids -- the pigments that give it its deep red color. Its lutein and zeaxanthin content benefits your eyesight by preventing harmful light rays from damaging your eye tissues, while its vitamin A content aids in night vision and plays a role in healthy cell development. A tablespoon of paprika contains 3,349 international units of vitamin A -- more than 100 percent of the daily intake requirement for men and women
Paprika also boosts your daily intake of vitamin E. Each tablespoon provides 2 milligrams of vitamin E, or 13 percent of the recommended daily intake determined by the Institute of Medicine. Vitamin E helps control blood clot formation and promotes healthy blood vessel function, and also serves as an antioxidant, preventing cellular lipids from destruction. Getting enough vitamin E in your diet also promotes healthy cell communication.
1 tablespoon of paprika contains 11.2 percent of your daily vitamin B-6. In addition to the general benefits of the B-complex vitamins, vitamin B-6 has some powerful neurological and psychological benefits. By contributing to the production of melatonin, for example, vitamin B-6 helps you to maintain a normal sleep cycle. It can also boost your body's serotonin levels, which helps you to stay happy and stress-free.
Paprika is a good source of iron, providing 1.6mg per tablespoon, which is 9% of the recommended daily value. Iron is also essential for creating hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout our body. Iron deficiency leads to fatigue and low energy.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, paprika contains an effective pain reliever when applied externally, due to this ointments made with paprika extract can help with headaches, psoriasis, and arthritis pains.
Paprika also aids in weight loss and helps get rid of unwanted fat. It is packed with flavour and gives a kick to your plain dishes.
Best Eaten: Used to spice up your meals.
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