6 Surprising Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper or lal mirch is an integral part of many recipes in India. This herb, which came to India in the 16th century, is responsible for imparting the hot and spicy flavors many associate traditional Indian cuisine with. Now let’s delve deeper into the health benefits of cayenne pepper.
Cayenne pepper is typically added to food in either its natural or powdered form, and some people use it as a cream or capsule in order to take advantage of its detoxifying properties.
Did You Know?
– Cayenne pepper is high in capsaicin, which is also an active ingredient in pepper spray
– Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper
– Botanically speaking, the pepper is a berry
– It is also known as guinea spice, aleva or bird pepper, red pepper, and cow horn pepper
Cayenne pepper contains a high amount of capsaicin which is responsible for most of its benefits. Cayenne contains vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, carotenoids and all the B complex vitamins. It is also a source of calcium, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. Cayenne pepper contains zero-cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
The health benefits of cayenne pepper include weight loss, good digestion, strong immunity, good blood circulation, and the fact that it functions as a treatment for heart diseases, dyspepsia, inflammation, headaches, and throat congestion.
Let’s have a look at how the health benefits of hot cayenne pepper can help you keep your health on track.
Improves Heart Health
Cayenne dissolves fibrin, which is unilaterally responsible for blood clots. So, by preventing blood clots it helps in protecting us against heart attacks. It also helps in reduction of cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels and hence is useful for the treatment of blood circulation problems, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats) and palpitations.
Capsaicin found in cayenne pepper has the ability to induce apoptosis (death of cancer cells) and hence arrests the cancer cells from migrating to other parts of the body. So, cayenne pepper can be useful for the treatment of lung, colon, prostate and breast cancer. Cayenne pepper also has antioxidant properties due to the presence of the compound beta-carotene that helps repair the damage caused by free radicals. Therefore, it is effective for the treatment of atherosclerosis and colon cancer.
Promotes Weight Loss
Cayenne, when added to the diet, helps in reducing appetite and increases nutrient absorption. Not just that, it also increases the rate of metabolic activity inside the body. Capsaicin produces extra heat in the body and burns more fat and calories responsible for weight gain. In simple terms, when you add a little bit of spice to your food you drink more water. This aids in your weight loss mission and flush your system out of extra calories.
Capsaicin present in cayenne peppers can thin the mucus and stimulate sinuses which aids in proper air circulation, thereby providing relief from sinuses. Hence, it effectively clears congestion caused by bronchitis, laryngitis and sinus infections. Capsaicin also advantageously influences rhinitis, a disease with symptoms like postnasal drip and nasal congestion. Some amount of cayenne pepper in tea is believed to be good for providing relief from conditions of cold and flu as well.
Beta-carotene in cayenne pepper helps in the development of healthy mucous membranes in the nasal passage, lungs, and urinary tracts. This helps block pathogens from invading your body. In addition, the various antioxidants present in the spice also add on to the immune responses produced by the body against pathogens.
Stimulates hair growth
Capsaicin present in cayenne pepper soothes skin redness and treats acne-induced skin discoloration due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the reservoir of vitamins present in cayenne peppers can contribute immensely to hair health. They can help add that extra volume and shine to the hair you always dream of.
How To Include Cayenne Pepper in Your Diet?
Want relief from congestion? Mix one teaspoon of cayenne pepper with half a glass of lukewarm water and have it at night before bed. On the other hand, you can simply add one teaspoon of it to a cup of hot water and drink it three times a day. This dilates the blood vessels in your nose, stimulates secretions, and drains the sinuses.
For long lustrous hair, mix some of the pepper with honey and apply to your scalp. Cover your hair with a cellophane paper and wash after 30 minutes.
Want to have a supple, smooth and clear skin? Make a paste of one spoon of the pepper with some cocoa powder and half a ripe avocado. Apply this mixture to your face and rinse after 15 minutes.
Try integrating this spice in your daily diet and you will be amazed at the astounding results it has on your health. Or if you already have, then share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: If you are taking medications for high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors, check with your doctor before trying capsaicin cream, as it may cause coughing. Also, if you take a blood thinner like warfarin, check with your doctor before trying cayenne peppers since they may increase your risk of bleeding.
100g of cayenne pepper provides 318 Calories, Carbs – 57g (Dietary Fibre – 2.7g, Sugar – 10g), Protein – 12g, Fat – 17g, Sodium – 30mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 832%, Vitamin C – 127%, Iron – 43%, Calcium – 15% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).