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10 Reasons Why Eating Hot Peppers is Worth the Heat

Pepper on fire

The documented health benefits from hot peppers, which is an herb, continues to grow at a break-neck speed, similar to the increasing popularity of consuming hot foods in various forms. The heat and health benefits comes from a chemical called capsaicin. Historically, spicy additions to food helped prevent spoilage in warm climates before the invention of refrigeration. Capsaicin’s anti-microbial properties inhibit as much as 75% of bacteria growth. People from cultures who lived and survived due to the use of various spices passed down to the next of kin spicy recipes and taste buds desiring extra zing in food. Adding hot peppers, hot sauces and hot powders to food continues to protect us from food poisoning even though we now refrigerate food.

Other health benefits of capsaicin in the form of pepper powder abound.

1. Benefits the Digestive Tract

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the capsaicin in pepper powder acts as an anti-irritant. People with ulcers have been told for years to avoid hot spicy foods, but research has actually revealed that pepper powder is beneficial to ulcers. For example, pepper powder provides trace amounts of anti-oxidants and other chemicals to aid digestive issues such as, healing an upset stomach, reducing intestinal gas, curing diarrhea and acting as a natural remedy for cramps. It does this by reducing the acidity in the digestive tract that causes ulcers. It also helps produce saliva and stimulates gastric juices aiding digestion.

2. Promotes a Healthy Heart

Habanero PeppersIt also aids the circulatory system and prevents heart disease by lowering blood serum cholesterol and reduces lipid deposits, and therefore, reverses excessive blood clotting. It also dialates the blood vessels to aid in blood flow.

3. Mitigates Migraines

Have you ever had a pain on a body part that was your sole focus until you had another pain that was even worse? The original pain simply disappeared when your brain focused on the new injury. This phenomenon is what happens to a migraine when you consume hot pepper powder. Your body becomes desensitized to the migraine and the overall sensation of pain is lessened.

4. Relieves Joint Pain

Due to the powerful pain-relieving properties of the capsaicin from pepper powder, it can be applied to the skin to reduce the chemical P, the ingredient that carries pain messages to the brain. Ultimately, the pain receptors exhaust themselves by depleting the body’s reserves. Once this happens, the capsaicin acts as a pain reliever. It is used effectively for shingles, HIV neuropathy and other types of pain.

5. Improves Metabolism / Promotes Weight Loss

Pepper powder revs up the metabolic rate by generating the thermogenic processes in our body that generates heat. That process utilizes energy, and thereby, burns additional calores. In addition, if hot pepper powder is consumed at breakfast, the appetite is suppressed the rest of the day which ultimately helps in weight loss. It may even alter proteins in your body to combat fat accumulation. Capsaicin also has been studied as a holistic method to for weight loss. It will selectively destroy nerve fibers that send messages from the stomach to the brain.

6. Quells Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an itchy skin condition resulting in ugly skin patches. Capsaicin cream will significantly reduce the number of cells to replicating and aids in the reversal of the auto-immune skin lesions.

7. Reduces Cancer Risk

Since tne capsaicin in pepper powder has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is being studied as a cancer-fighter. It reduces the growth of prostate cancer cells, while leaving normal cells unharmed. Research also shows consumption of large quantities of peppers effective against breast, pancreatic and bladder cancers. (8 large habaneros per week)

8. Fights the Flu, Colds and Fungal Infections

Sneezing womanPepper powder is chalked full of beta carotene and antioxidants that support your immune system and will aid in fighting off colds and the flu. Research has found that nasal sprays containing capsaicin reduce congestion. Increased body temperature from the ingestion of hot pepper powder triggers the immune system into action in fighting the norovirus (cold), flu viruses. Consumption of pepper powder fights against 16 fungal strains by reducing fungal pathogens.

9. Prevents Bad Breath

To keep the significant other attracted to you, eating hot pepper powder acts as a disinfectant to the air you breathe out by improving the odor of your breath.

10. Prevents Allergies

Due to the anti-inflammatory benefits of capsaicin, pepper powder prevents allergies and symptoms from allergies.

 

References

Cayenne Pepper Benefits Your Gut, Heart & Beyond – Dr. Axe. (2015, May 23). Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://draxe.com/cayenneof-pepper-benefits/

Food bacteria-spice survey shows why some cultures like it hot | Cornell Chronicle. (n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/1998/03/food-bacteria-spice-survey-shows-why-some-cultures-it-hot

Using Chili Peppers for Pain Relief. (n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/14/chili-peppers-pain-relief.aspx

Which Hot Peppers Speed Up Your Metabolism Best? (2013, August 16). Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/36905-hot-peppers-speed-up-metabolism/

Zhang, W., & Po, L. (1994, March 22). The effectiveness of topically applied capsaicin. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00196108?LI=true#page-1

4 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Eating Hot Peppers is Worth the Heat

  1. Scott says:

    I had no idea that peppers could be used to relieve joint pain. I can see why this would be important to be aware of if experience this kind of pain. I don’t usually like to eat any kind of spicy food other than barbecue things. I’ll have to slowly start to try other kinds of foods so I can get this benefit from them.

    • Michael J. Louw says:

      Scott,
      I have heard that in some countries, people sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on their hot chocolate. Well, I liked the idea – but with one small difference! I take a little cayenne in my coffee every morning and have done so for 20 years. It spices up the coffee and makes it a little more “interesting”. By the way, I add a few grains of salt (kills acidity and enhances flavour) and a sprinkle of Cinnamon (helps regulate blood sugar) to my coffee, as well.
      My point being, if you start off with a little cayenne in a hot drink such as Chai tea, hot chocolate or coffee, you’ll quickly become accustomed to the spice and be able to imbibe larger quantities.
      Wishing you improved health and freedom from pain!

  2. Stacie S says:

    I take powdered cayenne in capsules. Dr schultz carries powder and liquid. The active ingredient is known to prevent strokes and stop a heart attack if taken soon enough of course. I went through a period of time with heart palpation and after having taken cayenne capsules (sometimes 3 or more at a time) the palpations stopped. Liver cleanse expert Andreas Moritz recommends cayenne pepper for the blood. I would think that any powered hot peppers would do the same such as what is sold here (just put in capsules form).

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