It's time to "pep" up your diet. About one-third of Americans are vitamin C deficient, and one yellow pepper supplies 341 milligrams, nearly three and a half times the amount in a large orange. "The body needs vitamin C to produce a molecule called carnitine, which helps muscles use fat for energy and, in turn, boosts metabolism," says Carol Johnston, PhD, RD, the associate director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University. Sure enough, people with higher levels of C in their blood had lower BMIs and less body fat, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
Raw yellow pepper strips make a satisfying snack with a little hummus, and they add crunch to fish tacos. Or core and clean a pepper and fill it with tuna salad (use low-fat Greek yogurt instead of mayo) for lunch.
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