Cayenne pepper is often seen as a spice only and many do not know it is a storehouse of vital and essential nutrients that your body depends on for survivals.
Many health experts consider cayenne pepper to be the king of herbs in terms of medicinal values. This pepper has been used to treat a lot of health problems for thousands of years.
This post will help you see that apart from cooking and enhancing the taste and aroma of your foods, cayenne pepper has a lot of impressive health and medicinal benefits.
The health benefits of cayenne pepper are based on their amazing nutritional profile. 5 grams of cayenne pepper which is approximately a tablespoon of cayenne pepper contains:
17 calories, 3% of the RDI of riboflavin, 1 gram of fat, 3% of the RDI of potassium, 3 grams of fat, 5% of the RDI of manganese and vitamin K, 1.4 grams of fiber, 6% of the RDI of vitamin B6, 0.6 grams of proteins, 7% of the RDI of vitamin C, 44% of the RDI of vitamin A, and 8% of the RDI of vitamin E.
The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is Capsaicin, and this, is responsible for the medicinal properties of this spice. It is also the compound that gives the spice its hot taste. The hotter the pepper is, the more capsaicin it contains.
Below are ten amazing health benefits of cayenne pepper.
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10 Health Benefits of Cayenne pepper
1. It Boosts Your Metabolism
A slow and sluggish metabolism can cause health problems and complications. One of the ways to boost your metabolism and keep it running is to regularly include cayenne pepper in your diet.
Its active ingredient, capsaicin has powerful metabolism-boosting property, it increases the calories you burn every day by increasing the amount of heat produced by your body.
In case you are wondering what metabolism is, it is the sum total of all the reactions that take place in your body.
2. It Is an Anti-irritant
Cayenne pepper contains anti-irritant properties, this makes it effective in treating digestive problems, ulcers, stomach upset, diarrhea, cough, and other symptoms of irritation.
Recent studies have revealed that cayenne pepper does not induce ulcer but rather relieves its symptoms. Capsaicin inhibits the secretion of acid, it boosts the secretion of mucus, and stimulate alkali.
It also increases the flow of blood in the gastric mucosal system and this helps in preventing and healing all types of ulcers in your digestive system.
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3. It Prevents Allergies
Cayenne pepper can prevent allergies because it has anti-inflammatory property. It also fights food allergies or food intolerance. It fights allergies by preventing leaky gut.
Leaky gut is also known as intestinal permeability, this happens when food particles enter your bloodstream from your gut, this leads to systemic inflammation and allergies.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cayenne pepper help relieve the symptoms of inflammation and allergies.
4. It prevents Blood Clots
Blood clots are dangerous and they can cause complications because they can block your blood vessels and limit the flow and circulation of blood all through the body.
When the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, a heart attack can arise and when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked, it can result to a stroke.
Cayenne pepper prevents blood clots by inducing fibrinolytic activities. It also eliminates deposits in your blood vessels that can block blood flow.
It helps to dilate your arteries and prevent heart attack.
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5. It Relieves Pain
Capsaicin is a powerful painkiller. It reduces the volume of substance P, this compound is a neuropeptide produced by the body. It travels to the brain to signal pain whenever you are in pains.
Capsaicin reduces the volume of this compound in your body, when this happens, substance P can no longer travel to your brain and signal pain. This makes the feeling of pain to reduce.
Some creams contain capsaicin, they are applied topically on the skin and it helps in relieving lower back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, and pains after surgery.
Please note that capsaicin cream should not be applied on broken skin and open wounds.
6. It Lowers High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a risk factor for a lot of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and stroke. Long-term consumption of capsaicin helps one reduce hypertension.
It also helps in dilating your blood vessels, thereby preventing high blood pressure.
7. It Is a Rich Source of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a very important vitamin in your body. It has a lot of critical functions like boosting eyesight and vision, promoting a healthy skin, and fighting free radicals.
It is also an antioxidant that boosts your overall health and thereby promotes longevity. It induces cell growth and boosts immunity. Cayenne pepper is a very rich source of vitamin A.
Just two teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a day gives you your vitamin A requirement for the day.
8. It Fights Fungal Infections
Cayenne pepper has anti-fungal activities. This gives it the ability to fight fungi in the body and treat fungal infections. It prevents fungal pathogens from forming inside your body.
Studies have shown that cayenne pepper is effective against 16 different strains of fungi and candida is not left out.
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9. It Relieves Migraines
Remember we said that cayenne pepper is a natural painkiller, this property makes it effective in relieving migraine pains.
It does this by reducing the levels of substance P and also stimulating a pain response in a different part of your body, thus taking the attention of the brain away from the head.
10. Help Treat Psoriasis
Cayenne pepper help treat psoriasis, this is an autoimmune disease that affects your skin. It occurs when the body attacks itself, thereby leading to the formation of red, scaly, and itchy patches on the skin.
Right now, there is no cure for psoriasis, but capsaicin cream helps in relieving the itching and irritations. It also improves the area of the skin affected by psoriasis.