The hot spicy flavor of pepper is a favorite of many people. However, for others, it can be too hot for the tongue and unbearable in the mouth. Hot pepper has been historically used to prevent the growth of bacteria and food poisoning. Spicy hot foods are not only delicious but also stock a good source of vitamins and minerals. Adding hot peppers to your meals provides your body with tons of health benefits and today’s post explores some of them.
Helps in Weight Loss
Sprinkling hot pepper on your food will burn extra calories and lower appetite. Pepper increases your metabolic rate through a thermogenic process. A lot of heat is generated through this process and you end up spending plenty of energy. This burns additional calories, cutting down on weight.
Since it suppresses appetite, eating hot peppers early in the day will prevent you from snacking throughout the day.
A Remedy for Heart Diseases
Capsaicin (hot peppers) dilate blood vessels hence lowering blood pressure. The compounds in hot peppers can also help to prevent blood clots and lower plasma cholesterol. Studies show that communities with a high intake of hot peppers register lower numbers of heart attacks and other heart conditions.
Prevention Against Cancer
Research by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles discovered that over 80 percent of prostate cancer cells in mice were killed after introducing capsaicin to their bodies. Normal body cells were not affected. This shows that capsaicin has the ability to block cancer cells from growing. Studies show that regular consumption of hot peppers in large amounts can fight against breast, bladder, and pancreatic cancers.
Fights Colds and Flu
Packed with high contents of antioxidants and beta carotene, hot peppers strengthen your immune system and prevent cold and flu viruses from getting to you. Nasal sprays with capsaicin as the main ingredient can effectively relieve congestion. Additionally, the heat generated by hot peppers triggers the immune system into eradicating norovirus (cold) and flu virus and more than 10 fungal pathogens.
Pain-relieving creams with capsaicin as the main ingredient relieve pain faster than other creams. The compound which makes your meals feel hot in your mouth is a good pain remedy and doctors recommend using the cream if you have migraines, joint or muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and shingles. When you introduce the capsaicin cream to the pain, it blocks the transmission of the pain messages to your brain and the pain soon disappears. Moreover, capsaicin cream can quell psoriasis when applied to the affected areas.
Benefits to the Digestive Tract
Hot peppers help to reduce irritation in the stomach. The antioxidant properties in capsaicin can reduce stomach cramps, heal stomach upset and reduce bloating. It also increases the production of saliva and gastric juices, thus improving digestion. Research also suggests that hot peppers can reduce the acidity levels in the digestive tract which are responsible for triggering ulcers.
A Healthy Source of Vitamins
Hot peppers contain vitamins which our bodies require for normal functioning. Vitamin A aids in vision and skin health. It also fights free radicals and keeps infections at bay. Vitamin E is also vital in skin and hair repair, hormonal balance, and increasing energy levels. Vitamin E slow down the aging process which makes hot peppers the secret to living a healthier longer life.
Indulging in spicy foods may ease your stress by triggering the release of serotonin and endorphins, two feel-good hormones that will boost your mood and reduce depression and stress. Try adding capsaicin powder or cayenne powder to your meals to curb those low moments. The hot sensation will instantly relieve stress by focusing your mind on the burning taste in your mouth.
Prevents Allergies and Bad Breath
If you suffer from bad mouth odor, then hot pepper is the solution. It disinfects the air you breath out and improves bad breath. Since hot pepper act as an anti-inflammatory, it can prevent allergies and allergy symptoms by simply incorporating the raw plant or hot pepper powder into your meals.
How Often Should I Eat Hot Peppers?
If you’re just starting out, it’s advisable that you sprinkle a little amount of the powder in your food two to three times a week. Too much of hot pepper can be unbearable but with frequent use, you get used to the burning heat in your body and mouth. The health benefits of eating hot peppers are countless and whether raw or in powder form, you can add them to scrambled eggs, cornbread or any of your favorite meals. You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper on sautéed leafy veggies like spinach and dandelion or add chopped or diced hot peppers into your salad dressing.