Bell peppers, also referred to as Capsicum annum L., are a staple constituent of most meals in both domestic and commercial kitchens. Scientists believe that bell peppers have been consumed by humans since 7500 BC (1). People mostly use them in their meals because of their bright color, but as we shall come to see throughout this paper, bell peppers provide just more than color and crunch to our favorite dishes. They are packed with nutrients that are beneficial to our health, and for this reason, we should all endeavor to include them in our meals more often.
The bell peppers come in a variety of colors including green, orange, yellow, and a tinge of purple and brown. In addition, they can be consumed fermented, as an extract, dried or fresh. The following are some of the health benefits of consuming bell peppers.
Bell Peppers Keep Your Heart Healthy
Studies have shown that bell peppers contain an anticoagulant that helps stop blood clots from forming in and around the heart. These blood clots usually trigger heart attacks in people.
In addition, studies have also shown that bell peppers contain a significant amount of luteolin and quercetin. These flavonoids are considered among the most effective inhibitors of LDL oxidation, which is a major contributor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis (4).
Bell peppers also have a high folate content. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that there is a causative link between low intake of folates and cardiovascular diseases (5). People who do not consume enough folates are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Another way that bell peppers contribute to cardiovascular health is through their high concentration of alpha-carotene. One study found that this particular carotenoid reduces the risk of mortality from all leading causes including and especially cardiovascular diseases (6).
Furthermore, capsaicin is highly concentrated in bell peppers, which gives them their distinct spiciness. This phytochemical has been proven to be effective against a wide range of cardiovascular ailments that include atherosclerosis, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and stroke risk (7).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain capsaicin, folates, alpha-carotene, flavonoids, anticoagulants, and Vitamin C, all of which have been proven to be effective in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Bell Peppers Can Help in Preventing Cancer
Experts believe that bell peppers can help in the prevention of cancer owing to their antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties. Red peppers contain lycopene, which is essential in the prevention of certain types of cancers that include cervix, pancreas, bladder, prostate cancers(8).
Bell peppers contain folic acid, lycopene, luteolin, and alpha carotene, all of which help guard against different types of cancer. Luteolin has been found to induce cell death, as well as inhibit angiogenesis, metastasis, and cell proliferation, all of which are contributors of cancer cell growth. In addition, luteolin was discovered to sensitize cancer cells to cytotoxicity, inhibiting their growth and proliferation (9).
Bell peppers are also important cancer management foods due to their high concentration of vitamin C. This vitamin has been shown to improve the survival rates of patients already suffering from terminal cancer(11, 12). For instance, vitamin C has been found effective in improving the survival chances of patients suffering from uterus cancer (10).
In addition, studies have shown that vitamin C lowers the risk of developing a number of cancers that include stomach, oral cavity, breast, rectum, oesophagus, cervix, and pancreas, as well as non-hormonal cancers (13, 14).
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is thought to prevent the risk or increase the survival rates of these cancers by scavenging on the free radicals before they can cause any damage on DNA, and cause tumor growth. It is also believed that the acid assists the body’s free radicals to destroy cancerous tumors while they are still at an early stage (15).
Reports indicate that folic acid, a significant constituent of bell peppers, can reduce the risk of women who consume large amounts of alcohol developing breast cancer (16).
Vitamin E contained in the bell peppers is known for its ability to inhibit the production of chemicals that promote cancer cell growth as well as induce cell death of cancer cells (17).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain a host of vitamins and flavonoids that have been shown to be effective in the prevention of several types of cancer, as well as improving the survival rates of individuals who are already suffering from cancer.
Bell Peppers Can Aid in Weight Loss
As mentioned before, bell peppers contain capsaicin, which has been shown to have a positive effect on weight loss by aiding in appetite control (7). In addition, the bell peppers contain a host of other capsaicinoids, which increase the body’s metabolic rate after one consumes a meal. The increase in metabolic rate is crucial in proper weight management.
Another study found that consumption of bell peppers significantly reduced body weight, and inhibited the accumulation of body fat (18). The reduction in body weight and inhibition of fat accumulation is believed to be as a result of compounds (especially capsanthin) in the bell peppers enhancing fat oxidation (19, 20).
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in bell peppers, has been known to prevent obesity in individuals (21).
Bell peppers also contain Dihydrocapsiate. Dihydrocapsiate (DCT) is closely related to capsaicin, and has the same properties as capsaicin except the fiery sensation one expects from the latter compound. Studies have shown that DCT can help people lose weight especially if they are consuming a low-calorie diet (22, 23).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain quercetin, capsanthin, DCT and capsaicin, all of which have a part to play in the oxidation of fat, and inhibition of fat accumulation. Thus, bell peppers can be effective at helping individuals manage their weight.
Bell Peppers Can Help You Sleep Better
Red bell peppers have been found to improve sleep due to their high content of vitamin C. The vitamin lowers the level of cortisol in the body, which is usually released when the body is under stress, and leads to difficulty in falling asleep (24). Thus, the vitamin C contained in the bell peppers can help improve sleep by reducing the level of stress hormones in the blood (25).
Bottom Line: The vitamin C contained in the bell peppers reduces the stress hormones in your blood, which allows you to sleep better.
Bell Peppers Improve Immunity
Bell peppers can improve an individual’s immunity owing to their high content of vitamin C. the vitamin plays a significant role in the human immune system by activating immune cells among other contributions (10). Vitamin C supports immune responses by increasing the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which are crucial in effective immune responses (10).
In addition, regular consumption of bell peppers can improve immunity owing to their vitamin E content. Studies have shown that vitamin E, like vitamin C, activates the body’s immune responses and enhances the effectiveness of white blood cells (17). Research has also shown that vitamin E intake from dietary sources enhances the body’s antibody response to a number of different vaccines (17). It has also been demonstrated that vitamin E enhances the resistance in elderly individuals to viral infections (17).
Another component of bell peppers, vitamin A, has also been shown to improve immune response in both animal and human models (26, 27). One study found that vitamin A supplementation in preschool children reduces the risk of HIV infection, measles, malaria, and diarrhea (28). The same study found that increasing vitamin A intake in infants increased their antibody response to tetanus and measles vaccinations. The study concluded that vitamin A increases the production of antibodies in the body, as well as increasing the spread of lymphocytes throughout the body.
Experts also opine that vitamin A is extremely important when it comes to developing immune tolerance in the body (29). An intolerant immune system exposes one to a host of several diseases. The gut lining is usually the first place people lose their immune tolerance, and regular intake of vitamin A helps in improving the tolerance of the gut, which allows individuals to eat other healthy foods without experiencing adverse reactions (30).
Another study done on rat infants found that vitamin A deficiency during the gestational period usually results in a significant decline of immune cells in the baby. The study found that vitamin A supplementation during the early postnatal period can increase the number of lymphocytes in the babies, and also increase the efficacy of the mucosal immune system, to guarantee that the babies do not suffer from oral intolerance (31).
The quercetin found in bell peppers, among other foods, has been known to improve immunity through its antiviral and antibacterial activities (21).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers are rich source of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as quercetin, which have all been proven to be immunity enhancing compounds.
Bell Peppers Balance Moods
Bell peppers possess quercetin, which among other flavonoids, has demonstrated effective stress relief properties. Studies have shown that quercetin suppresses the synthesis of cortisol, which when in high levels induces stress in human beings (32).
In addition, the presence of luteolin in bell peppers indicates that their intake can be effective against depression. Research shows that luteolin inhibits endoplasmic reticulum stress, which usually causes cell death. Endoplasmic reticulum stress in the brain cause brain cells to die and triggers depression symptoms. Thus, the luteolin can guard against depression by relieving the ERS (33).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain luteolin and quercetin that have been found effective in mood regulation, stress relief, and inhibiting depression.
Bell Peppers Are Good For The Skin
Scientists have demonstrated that bell peppers , owing to their large concentration of ascorbic acid, are essential in the maintenance of collagen. Collagen is the main protein that constitutes our skin, and the deficiency of ascorbic acid in the body has been shown to negatively affect the synthesis of collagen in our bodies (15).
The lutein and zeaxanthin contained in bell peppers also help keep the skin healthy as well as help fight against skin cancer (34). The carotenoids can be found on the skin, and scientific studies have shown that they protect the skin from light damage, especially the skin damage caused by ultraviolet light.
In addition, the quercetin content found in bell peppers can help protect against dermatitis as well as the effects of photosensitivity (35). Research has shown that quercetin inhibits the release of mast cell cytokines, which when are in oversupply, they cause photosensitivity and dermatitis. These two skin conditions cannot be managed by conventional drugs, but studies have shown that dietary intake of quercetin is efficient at preventing and managing the diseases.
Bottom Line: Due to their high concentration of vitamin C, zeaxanthin, and lutein, bell peppers are effective in maintaining skin health and preventing the damages caused by photosensitivity.
Bell Peppers Relieve Chronic Pain
The capsaicinoids contained in the bell peppers have been known to act as a pain relief agent (1). According to several experts, the capsaicinoids relieve pain through the sensation of heat as well as the depletion of Substance P, the neuropeptide that sends messages to the brain about pain. Repeated exposure to the capsaicinoids depletes the SP, reducing the pain sensation in the affected area (1, 36, 37).
Dermatology creams that contain capsaicin have been proven effective against chronic pain that stems from diabetic neuropathy, and neuralgia, among others (36).
In addition, increased consumption of the capsaicinoids triggers the brain to release more endorphins, which are natural painkillers (1).
Quercetin, one of the most important flavonoids in bell peppers, is key in inhibiting inflammatory pain by preventing oxidative stress as well as inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine production (38). Studies have shown that oxidative stress and excess cytokines are the main causes of events that lead to inflammatory pain.
Bottom Line: The capsaicinoids found in bell peppers help trigger endorphins, which are natural painkillers. In addition, these substances help desensitize the nerves to pain, as well as trigger pain relief. The quercetin component of the bell peppers is critical in reducing and preventing inflammatory pain.
Bell Peppers Boost Eye Health
The high content of vitamin C in bell peppers means that these fruits can be useful in preventing eye diseases such as cataracts. Vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties protects the fluids in the body including those that are found within the eye. Research shows that regular intake of foods rich in vitamin C such as bell peppers helps reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts (39).
Studies also show that regular intake of vitamin C in old age helps delay the development of cataracts as well as reduce its severity (39). One particular study showed that women who took a prescribed amount of vitamin C on a daily basis had a significantly lower risk of getting cataracts by the time they reached 60 years old, compared to women whose daily intake of vitamin C was less than 140mg.
Vitamin C is also crucial in the prevention of macular degeneration due to age (40).
Bell peppers also contain vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all essential for healthy vision and the prevention of age-linked eye diseases (17, 34, 41,). Vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin are especially potent against the development of cataracts owing to the vitamin’s antioxidant properties and the carotenoids’ light filtering activities (34).
Research has found that lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the part of the human eye where light focusing occurs. The two carotenoids protect this section of the eye from the damages of caused by light on the retina. They do this by filtering strong wavelengths of light as well as behaving like antioxidants by preventing the formation of harmful free radicals (41, 42).
The folic acid contained in bell peppers among other dietary sources has been proven to help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration in women. Research shows that women who take the required daily dosage of folic acid along with vitamins B12 and B6 daily, are at a lower risk of developing macular degeneration in their later years (16).
Vitamin A, another constituent of bell peppers, has been reported to prevent night blindness, corneal xerosis, and ulceration of the cornea, all of which are signs of a vitamin A deficiency in the body (40, 43).
Bottom Line: As a rich source of vitamin C, zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin E, folic acid, and Vitamin A, bell peppers are extremely beneficial in the fight against macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye blindness.
Bell Peppers Reduce Cholesterol
Bell peppers reduce cholesterol through the action of vitamin C that is highly concentrated in the peppers. Vitamin C lowers the cholesterol in the body by converting the substance into bile acids, thereby reducing the amount of cholesterol stored in the liver and the walls of the cardiovascular system (10, 15). A deficiency in vitamin C will lead to an over-abundance of cholesterol in the liver, a condition referred to as hypercholesterolemia.
In addition, the bell peppers contain significant levels of soluble fibers. Numerous studies have shown that soluble fibers reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein, which is also referred to as the bad cholesterol (44, 45, 46).
Bottom Line: Evidence strongly suggests that a deficiency in vitamin C leads to an increase in cholesterol levels in the blood stream. Thus, consumption of vitamin C rich foods such as bell peppers can lower your cholesterol levels.
Bell Peppers Have Anti-Inflammatory and AntiOxidant Properties
Bell peppers contain flavonoids that have rich antioxidant properties. These flavonoids include luteolin, and quercetin, which are essential in the inhibition of low density lipoprotein oxidation (4, 47). These antioxidants are critical in the prevention of a number of diseases including atherosclerosis. Luteolin has been shown to be highly effective at radical scavenging as well as display impressive anti-inflammatory properties (47).
The high content of vitamin C in bell peppers also makes them have antioxidant properties. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that scavenges on free radicals in the body, preventing them from damaging the tissues in the body (10, 15).
In addition, the relatively significant content of vitamin E in bell peppers enhances their antioxidant properties. Vitamin E is considered the first line of defence against free radical attacks on the cell membranes (17). The vitamin is also critical in the prevention of production of new harmful free radicals, as well as neutralizing the existing ones.
The flavonoid Quercetin, abundantly found in yellow bell peppers, has been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (21).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain varying amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, quercetin, and luteolin, all of which possess strong antioxidation properties. Quercetin also exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Bell Peppers Can Help Prevent Birth Defects in Unborn Children
Due to their high folate content, bell peppers can help prevent babies being born underweight (50). Studies have shown that an increase in folic acid intake while pregnant results in a significant reduction in the risk of a baby being born underweight.
Folate is important for all individuals, but especially for pregnant women as it is needed for the proper development and growth of the unborn child (51).
Other studies have intimated that a high folate intake before and after conception can help prevent miscarriages (16).
Some research also suggests that increased intake of folic acid during the prenatal stages is associated with a lower risk of autism in children, as well as a lower risk of language delay in children.
Some experts have also found that there is a strong correlation between low folic acid intake during pregnancy and severe emotional problems in the child.
In addition, an increasing body of work shows that folate intake is critical in the prevention of preterm births, which is characterized by delivery of the baby before 37 weeks (50, 51). Several scientific investigations carried out on the matter have demonstrated that there is a causal link between low folate levels and lack of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy and shorter pregnancy durations (52, 53).
Furthermore, it has been determined that folate consumption from dietary sources can also help in preventing congenital heart disorders. A folate deficiency in mothers can also result in them developing abnormalities that include different forms of neuropathy, and anemia.
Further studies have shown that regular intake of folic acid from foods such as bell peppers significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects that usually occur after conception (55, 56). These neural tube defects include the likes of spina bifida, and anencephaly.
Another study on animal models found that vitamin A, a crucial constituent of bell peppers, helps boost reproductive performance (26).
Bottom Line: The high folate content found in bell peppers makes them an ideal food for pregnant women. Folate has been proven to be effective in preventing miscarriages, preterm births, as well as a variety of birth defects in children. In addition, vitamin A, also found in bell peppers is important in enhancing the reproductive functions of individuals.
Bell Peppers Aid in Regulating Blood Pressure
Bell peppers are also a rich source of potassium, and a significant amount of evidence points to the fact that potassium aids in the lowering of blood pressure (57). Hypertension is the second leading preventable cause of death in several Western countries. A decrease in blood pressure can help prevent strokes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, and periodontal disease.
One study found that an increase in potassium can reduce the occurrence of hypertension in people by 17% and increase life expectancy by five years (58). Another study showed that an increase in potassium intake accompanied by a decrease in sodium intake lowers the risk of hypertension in individuals remarkably (59).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain considerable amounts of quercetin, and potassium, which studies indicate are effective at lowering blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can help guard against cardiovascular diseases, and strokes among other diseases.
Bell Peppers Are Beneficial to Gut Health
Quercetin is a major constituent of yellow bell peppers, and studies have shown that the flavonoid is responsible for preventing ulcers by protecting against Helicobacter pylori attacks, and increasing the production of gastric mucus that protects the gut from excessive gastric acid secretion (21).
Bottom Line: Owing to the significant levels of quercetin in bell peppers, the peppers can be useful in the prevention of ulcers, and the promotion of general gut health.
Bell Peppers Can Eradicate Iron Deficiencies
Studies have shown that a deficiency in vitamin C is one of the main causes of iron deficiency anemia (10). Thus, an increase in dietary intake of vitamin C, through regular consumption of bell peppers for instance, can help correct iron deficiency in the body (15).
Research has also shown that vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron in the body (10, 15). Vitamin C also helps increase the bioavailability of iron from iron dietary sources, which significantly increases the levels of iron in the body (10).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain a significant amount of vitamin C, which helps in the absorption of iron, and enhances its bioavailability, all of which can prevent iron deficiency. The folic acid content in bell peppers is also essential in the prevention of iron-related anemia in pregnant women.
Delicious Bell Pepper Recipes
This is a savory mixture of yellow, green, and red peppers soaked in different healthy oils and herbs. The dish is an excellent appetizer for your guests, and they will be sure to enjoy it at the next gathering. It takes approximately 1 ½ hours to prepare and cook this dish, and it is enough to feed three people (62).
A yellow bell pepper
A green bell pepper
A red bell pepper
Half a teaspoon of fresh parsley (chopped)
1 ½ sliced garlic cloves
A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Half a teaspoon of fresh basil (chopped)
Salt and Pepper (amount based on your preference)
Quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Put the bell peppers on the oven rack without cutting them. You can opt to put a little oil on them before roasting to help speed the process along. Let them roast for approximately 15 minutes, with as minimal turning as possible, until their skin appears soft and roasted. Once the skins appear cooked, remove them from the oven, and place them in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and allow the peppers to steam for a few minutes in the bowl.
When they are cool enough to handle, begin removing the skins of the peppers by rubbing them with your hands or peeling them with an appropriate tool. Rinse the skinless peppers under cold water. Cut them in half lengthwise, discarding the seeds and the stems. Finally, cut the peppers into sizable strips.
Place the strips in a serving bowl, and pour in the salt, pepper, vinegar, virgin oil, and the herbs. Mix carefully, taste, and if it is to your liking, serve.
Grilled Bell Peppers with Goat/Mozzarella Cheese
This is another great appetizer that you can make for your guests, especially during summer. It contains very few ingredients, and it is really simple to make. It takes approximately thirty minutes to prepare and cook this fun dish, and it has the capacity to feed six individuals (63).
Two green bell peppers
Half a cup of goat cheese or six slices of mozzarella cheese
Two tablespoons of extra virgin oil
A clove of minced garlic
A tablespoon of fresh basil leaves
Carefully remove the seeds and the skin of the bell peppers, and cut them into your desired size, but most people prefer cutting them into halves.
Place the peppers in a brown bag, pour in the olive oil, basil leaves and the garlic, and toss thoroughly. Proceed to seal the bag, and leave it resting for approximately five to ten minutes.
Heat your grill. Place the peppers on the grill and cook until they are slightly charred on all sides. This grilling process should take approximately three minutes to ten minutes. Ensure that you are grilling the peppers, skin side up. Turn the peppers over, and slowly spoon the cheese or place a slice of cheese (if you decided to go with the mozzarella cheese) onto each piece of pepper, and drizzle with a little oil.
Close the lid of the grill, and let the peppers continue cooking until the cheese begins to melt. This cooking process should take about three minutes, and then you can proceed to serve.
Italian Sausage, Onions, and Bell Peppers
This Italian mixture of sausage, onions, and bell peppers is a traditional dish that everyone can enjoy. It is easy to make, and will take approximately forty minutes to prepare, cook, and serve. The dish can comfortably be enough for six individuals, so you can be sure to enjoy this meal with the rest of your family members (64).
A large green bell pepper (sliced)
A quarter cup of white wine
6 (a pound) sweet and hot Italian sausages
A sliced red onion
A teaspoon of dried, fresh oregano
A large, sliced red bell pepper
Two tablespoons of butter
A teaspoon of fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 sliced yellow onion
1 teaspoon of salt
Heat the butter in a large skillet and allow to melt. cook the sausages in the skillet over medium heat until they are brown on all sides. Remove the sausages from the skillet, and drain them of the oil. Cut these sausages into slices of your desired size.
Throw in the garlic, red onion, and yellow onion, and peppers into the skillet, stir, and allow to cook for approximately five minutes. Proceed to pour in the oregano and basil, as well as the white wine. Let the vegetables cook for an additional two minutes while you continuously stir until the onions and the peppers appear cooked.
Retrieve the sausages and place them back into the skillet. Cook the mixture until the sauce has acquired a thick texture. If the dish needs a little more simmering, you can proceed to add a little more white wine. Once cooked, you can then proceed to serve on top of a bed of Italian spaghetti and enjoy.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
This Mexican inspired dish is an absolute delicacy for vegetarians, and everyone in general. The dish packs a lot of flavor, and you can tone down the spiciness if you are not a fan of hot foods. You can have the peppers either crispy or non-crispy depending on your preference (65).
A teaspoon of garlic salt
A tablespoon of salt
8 Ounces of shredded Cheese
4 large green bell peppers
3 diced tomatoes
2 cups of cooked rice (preferably brown)
Half a cup of cooked rice
Half a teaspoon of cumin (ground)
A can of drained black beans
4 thinly-sliced basil leaves
A tablespoon of olive oil
A teaspoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon of table salt
1/2 cup of onions (chopped)
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celsius. Remove the membranes, seeds, and tops from the large green bell peppers.
Place a large pot of water on the stove, and pour in the tablespoon of salt. Let the water boil, and then put the bell peppers in the boiling water for approximately four minutes, or until they begin to soften. Once they have softened, drain the water and set the bell peppers aside.
Mix the cooked rice, the cooked onions, tomatoes, and black beans in a large bowl as well as the salt, cumin, garlic salt, and chili powder, and stir well. Sprinkle the cheese into this mixture. Spoon the mixture into each bell pepper, and place the bell peppers in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining cheese blend over the peppers.
Bake the peppers in the preheated oven until cheese is melting. Remove from the oven and serve with a small portion of sour cream on top.
Chicken with Peppers and Balsamic Vinegar
This is a flavor-filled chicken dish that can be eaten alone or served over a bed of white rice. The dish takes approximately 55 minutes to prepare, and can comfortably serve 4 people (66).
¼ cup of divided balsamic vinegar
¼ cup of divided olive oil
A tablespoon of basil (dried)
1 thinly-sliced onion
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 thinly-sliced red bell pepper
4 large, finely-chopped garlic cloves
1 thinly-sliced orange bell pepper
Salt and pepper (amount is based on your preference)
1 thinly-sliced yellow bell pepper
The first thing you should do is sprinkle the salt and pepper on the chicken breasts and massage carefully. Then, place two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the chicken in the skillet, and allow the chicken to turn golden brown. Once they have browned, remove from the heat and place the chicken aside.
Heat the remainder of the olive oil in the skillet. Once it is hot, cook all the peppers, remembering to stir them as you pour them in to avoid anything sticking to the bottom of the skillet. Pour in the garlic and onion when the peppers soften , cook for another minute. Then, pour in the basil and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and continue to stir thoroughly.
Place the chicken pieces back in the skillet, reduce the heat, and let the mixture cook for approximately twenty minutes. Pour in the remainder of the balsamic vinegar right before you serve. Adjust the seasonings after you taste the food.