The calories of peppers: the most important questions and answers

Die Kalorien von Paprika: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Summer is approaching, and with it the constant desire to get the perfect bikini body. Even if the situation due to Corona will probably allow a limited holiday, one wants to get rid of the pounds that have accumulated during the lockdown. Therefore, many people start with a variety of diets to lose weight.

However, the key to success in this process is to be aware of the calories in your diet and to go into deficit as you increase them. Certain foods are well suited because they have few calories. Including the peppers. It is one of the lowest-calorie vegetables and therefore suitable to integrate into the daily menu. In addition to being low in calories, bell peppers contain many different nutrients and vitamins and bring with them many health benefits.

In this article, we will address and explain to you the most important information and topics related to this type of vegetable.

the essentials in brief

  • The scientific name of the pepper is "Capsicum". This includes all sorts and types. So it is not limited to the sweet peppers, but extends to chili, pepperoni and other types.
  • In addition to the shape and size, the main difference between the ordinary pepper and the chili is the heat. While chili contains the substance "capasaicin" that triggers the pain, the hotness scale of peppers is practically zero.
  • The color of the pepper indicates how ripe the vegetable is. While green represents the least ripe variety, red-orange peppers are near the end of the ripening process.(6)

Losing weight with peppers: what you should know

Now you've made sure that eating paprika is not only good for weight loss, but it also doesn't prepare you for pain. This is also very practical. But that's not all. Before you even consider starting any diet, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Like, what are calories anyway. But it also doesn't hurt to know all the health benefits of peppers. Because not only weight loss is important but also our health.

What are calories?

In order for our body to function properly, it must have an energy source. And this is made up of calories. This designation is the metric unit of this energy. There are two types of this energy. On the one hand, the small and on the other hand the large calories. While the small ones, also known as "cal", represent the amount of gram calories it takes to vaporize and dissolve one gram of water, the large calories are about a larger amount.

The kcal, which is used in the food industry, is calculated as how 1 liter of water can be vaporized by 1 kilocalorie. Accordingly, 10,000 small calories represent 1 large calorie.(1,2)

How many calories does a person need?

The amount of calories needed to meet the daily requirement is determined using different criteria that vary from person to person. However, the most important points are the basal and performance turnover. The basal metabolic rate indicates the number of calories your body uses when it is in a resting mode, such as when you are sleeping.

On the other hand, the power turnover determines the required calories that are consumed through exercise. This range of activity is called the PAL value "Physical Activity Level" and indicates the value of the movement. The higher the value, the more calories your body needs. In addition to these two criteria, personal criteria are also included, such as gender and age.(3)

To give you a better visual of this, here is a table with the daily calorie requirement according to the associated criteria.(4)

Old PAL value 1.4 = male PAL value 1.4= woman PAL value 1.8 = male PAL value 1.8= woman
up to 25 years 2400 1900 3100 2500
up to 51 years 2300 1800 3000 2400
up to 65 years 2200 1700 2800 2200
from 65 years 2100 1700 2800 2100

How many calories to lose weight?

Many people throw themselves into various diets when losing weight, but unfortunately they don't help. The simple key to successfully completing this journey is to achieve a calorie deficit. This is about consuming fewer calories than you normally need. However, that doesn't mean you should give up eating completely.

The ideal deficit is between 300 and 500 kcal.

Because it is very harmful to the body. Not only that. Then, when you start eating normally again, the yo-yo effect kicks in, causing you to gain weight faster and more as your body is exhausted from the stubborn dieting. That way, he'll take care of himself more than he needs to, in preparation in case you make the same mistake again. Therefore, the best way is to cut a deficit of 300 to 500 kcal and switch to a healthy diet. This is the only way you can lose weight effectively.

In addition, plenty of exercise and sport is necessary to activate fat burning and thus calorie burning.(5)

How many calories does a pepper have?

Proper nutrition plays an important role in losing weight. The fewer calories the food has, the better. As mentioned, the pepper is one of the lowest calorie vegetables. This is only a maximum of 37kcal per 100 grams. It also contains little fat and many healthy nutrients. It should be noted, however, that the riper a pepper is, the more calories it contains.

For this we have created a table for you, where you can find the nutrients of both green and red peppers.(6)

nutritional values for 100g peppers red vs. green
carbohydrates 6g vs 3g
Fat 1g vs 0.3g
Protein 1g vs 1g

What vitamins and nutrients does a pepper contain?

Besides being fat-free and low in calories, these vegetables contain various vitamins and nutrients that keep your body healthy.(6)

vitamins and minerals function
Vitamin A protect skin and eyes
Vitamin B6 Strengthening of the nervous and immune system
vitamin C ensures better iron absorption
vitamin E works against free radicals
beta carotene prevents cancer
potassium regulates blood pressure
copper forms connective tissue

Benefits of Peppers

Since losing weight, in addition to the calorie deficit, is also about the

fat burning

going, it helps to consume foods that boost this. And peppers are good for that. On the one hand, this stimulates the fat metabolism, which leads to rapid fat burning. On the other hand, a study also shows that the taste of peppers reduces appetite and thus your desire for food.(12,13,14)

You lose weight with the peppers. At the same time you supply your body with vitamins.

In addition, it has been proven that paprika is effective against cardiovascular problems, but also against high cholesterol. For type 2 diabetics, this vegetable is also beneficial, an Indian study found. After consumption, both blood pressure and sugar levels became more regular in the subjects.(15,17)

In addition to the main substances in peppers, such as vitamin E, which acts against radicals, there are also secondary substances in this vegetable, such as carotene or xanthophylls. A 2018 study showed that xanthophylls protect the skin from the carcinogenic UV rays. In addition, this substance ensures the health of the eyes.(6,16)

How to cook peppers

Not everyone likes peppers raw. That is why there are different ways to prepare this vegetable. Either you fry it with oil or you grill it with your meat. You can also simply put the pepper slices in the oven.


Peppers come in three colors. All - whether ripe or unripe - can be ideally combined with other foods and thus conjure up delicious recipes. (Image Source: RitaE / pixabay)

Of course you don't eat the peppers alone, but season them nicely with salt and pepper. Rice, which you can stuff into the vegetables, also goes well with peppers.

Is it harmful to eat a lot of peppers?

Despite all the benefits of eating peppers, there are people who do not benefit from consuming this type of vegetable. People who suffer from stomach problems and therefore cannot digest high-fiber diets well should avoid the peppers or just eat the tires.(6)

Like potatoes and tomatoes, peppers belong to the nightshade family. This group of foods contain certain substances such as alkaloids or nicotine. Some people have an allergy or, more commonly, an intolerance to these substances. You can recognize these under symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or diarrhea. In this case, it is advisable to keep your hands off it.

Peppers are also often associated with lectins, which are also typical of nightshade plants. Lectins is a protein that should cause stomach pains and headaches. Nevertheless, there is no study that confirms this, these statements are only based on observations.(7)

What should you consider when buying peppers?

When you buy the peppers, make sure you get the organic version. Because unfortunately, peppers are one of the vegetables that are full of pesticides. In 2017, a study found that out of 91 peppers examined, 85 were contaminated. The problem is that washing doesn't help either. Because these pesticides can get inside the peppers and so we simply consume them.(18)

What alternatives are there to eating paprika with a similar amount of calories?

Not everyone likes peppers. And that's completely normal, tastes differ. It's not bad either, because there are enough vegetables that are just as low in calories as peppers. Here is a small selection:

  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • Lamb's lettuce
  • zucchini
  • broccoli
  • spinach

To give you some perspective, to make sure that these alternatives have the same effects as peppers, we'll give you additional information on the three closest species to peppers in terms of calories and effects.


Like peppers, this vegetable also belongs to the nightshade family. This contains a high proportion of carotenoids, which is effective against eye diseases and free radicals.


In addition to all the useful nutrients and vitamins, tomatoes are ideal for losing weight due to the few calories (Image source: Myriams photos / pixaybay)

While one study proved that tomato consumption prevents heart problems, another discovers that this vegetable protects against skin diseases, especially UV damage, just like the pepper. Tomato calories are also very low. Because 100 grams only have 18 calories.(8,19,20,27)


This food is not only low in calories but literally a miracle cure. At 234 percent, it's a beta bomb that reduces harmful free radicals from your body. In addition, a study showed that these greens are good for weight loss. Because the calories in spinach are only 17 kcal per 100 grams and are therefore ideal for a low-carb diet (9,21)

A study also shows that you can prevent diabetes in good time by consuming spinach. Another study found that spinach protects against heart problems.(22,23)


The same goes for broccoli too. This type of vegetable is rich in both beta-carotene and vitamin K, which effectively protects against heart disease, for example.

Studies have found that this vegetable has anti-toxic effects, reducing diseases such as intestinal disorders caused by bacteria. Broccoli sprouts are very effective against type 2 diabetes. This is proven on the one hand by a study carried out on rats and on the other hand by another study carried out on human subjects. Here, a reduction in insulin was found after regular consumption.(10,24,25,26)

The most important thing, however, are the calories. These amount to 24 kcal per 100 grams and are therefore suitable for a diet.(28)


You've learned that the right way to lose weight isn't through abstaining from eating, but through a realistic calorie deficit and a healthy diet. These foods should ideally be low in calories, like peppers. This type of vegetable not only saves a lot of calories, but also contains many nutrients and vitamins that support your body and keep it fit.

That's why you should make sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet during your diet and that you integrate the peppers into your nutrition plan as often as possible. If you don't like peppers, there are many alternatives that will produce the same result.


  1. - What are calories and what do you need them for Source
  2. Eva V. Osilla 1, Anthony O. Safadi 2, Sandeep Sharma 3 In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan 2020 Aug 25. Source
  3. - How many calories do you need a day?, December 28th, 2019 Source
  4. - Calorie requirement in adults, German Society for Nutrition, 2017 Source
  5. HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS MADE EASY ᐅ EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW Julia Denner, February 10th, 2021 Source
  6. - Sybille Müller, March 7th, 2021 Source
  7. - Are nightshades and lectins harmful? Carina Rehberg, March 6, 2021 Source
  8. - Tomatoes: Neither toxic nor harmful Sybille Müller, March 4th, 2021 Source
  9. - Why spinach is one of the best foods Sybille Müller, March 4th, 2021 Source
  10. - Broccoli: A star among vegetables Carina Rehberg, Sybille Müller, March 24th, 2021 Source
  11. - Vitamin E: The effect Carina Rehberg, March 7th, 2021 Source
  12. Inoue N et al, Enhanced energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans with high BMI scores by the ingestion of novel and non-pungent capsaicin analogues (capsinoids), Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, February 2007 Source
  13. Qin Hong et al, Capsinoids suppress fat accumulation via lipid metabolism, Mol Med Rep Source
  14. Ludy MJ et al, The effects of capsaicin and capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans, Chem Senses, February 2012 Source
  15. Nagasukeerthi P et al, Short-term effect of add on bell pepper (Capsicum annuum var. grossum) juice with integrated approach of yoga therapy on blood glucose levels and cardiovascular functions in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled study, Complement Ther Med, October 2017 Source
  16. Nishino A et al, Effects of Dietary Paprika Xanthophylls on Ultraviolet Light-Induced Skin Damage: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study, J Oleo Sci, July 2018 Source
  17. Kimble R et al, Dietary intake of anthocyanins and risk of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, October 2018 Source
  18. Kathi Hacker, Prominent Residues of Ethephon in Spanish Peppers, January 2011 Source
  19. Costa-Rodrigues J et al, Modulation of human osteoclastogenesis and osteoblastogenesis by lycopene, J Nutr Biochem, March 2018 Source
  20. Ohio State University. "Diet rich in tomatoes cuts skin cancer in half in mice: Discovery builds on previous evidence of cancer-prevention benefits." ScienceDaily, 13 July 2017, Source
  21. Caroline Montelius et al, Body Weight Loss, Reduced Urge for Palatable Food and Increased Release of GLP-1 Through Daily Supplementation With Green-Plant Membranes for Three Months in Overweight Women, Appetite, October 2014 Source
  22. Filip J Larsen et al, Dietary Inorganic Nitrate Improves l Efficiency in Humans, Cell Metab, February 2011 Source
  23. Catherine P Bondonno et al, Flavonoid-rich Apples and Nitrate-Rich Spinach Augment Nitric Oxide Status and Improve Endothelial Function in Healthy Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Free Radic Biol Med, January 2012 Source
  24. Akinori Yanaka et al, Dietary Sulforaphane-Rich Broccoli Sprouts Reduce Colonization and Attenuate Gastritis in Helicobacter Pylori-Infected Mice and Humans, Randomized Controlled Trial, Cancer Prev Res (Phila), April 2009
  25. Lijiang Song et al, Effect of Storage, Processing and Cooking on Glucosinolate Content of Brassica Vegetables Food Chem Toxicol, February 2007 Source
  26. Zahra Bahadoran et al, Effect of Broccoli Sprouts on Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial Randomized Controlled Trial, Int J Food Sci Nutr, November 2012
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