If you enjoy a dash of heat in your meals, you should check out the many cayenne pepper health benefits. Sprinkle some of this powerful spice onto your favorite dishes and take full advantage of its health-giving properties. Chances are, when you use cayenne pepper in your food, you’re not thinking of the health benefits it has to offer. It’s likely the flavor that has you using this common household spice. But this spicy little number is not only a tasty way to liven up your food. Indeed, it also boasts numerous health benefits. For example, cayenne pepper health benefits include detoxing your body, alleviating arthritis pain, and fighting headaches.
Cayenne Pepper: Heat and Health, All Rolled Into One!
Cayenne pepper is typically used to add spicy flavor to foods, but its benefits go far beyond your taste buds. It can be used to aid in digestion, heal an upset stomach, relieve cramps, improve circulation, lower cholesterol and even help protect against heart disease. Cayenne pepper contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, manganese and potassium. Here are 10 reasons why you should start using it as a staple in your kitchen!
10 Fantastic Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits
1. Aids in Digestion
Cayenne pepper helps produce saliva, which is vital for healthy digestion (and for preventing bad breath). The spice stimulates the salivary glands which helps to kick-start the digestion process. It also stimulates enzyme production, an important part in the digestion process.
2. Helps Prevent Blood Clots
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps to clear and dilate arteries and blood vessels to remove clots. This is also the reason why cayenne pepper can help reduce the risk of a heart attack. It helps to increase circulation and combat thick blood which leads to clots and other complications.
3. Detoxes the Body
Cayenne pepper has the ability to stimulate circulation and eliminate acidity from the body. It regulates blood sugar while helping the digestive system move bacteria and toxins out of the body. For a great detox water recipe, stir half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper into a tall glass of lemon-infused water. All three of these ingredients are perfect for detoxifying your body.
Psst! As described below, cayenne pepper is also a great metabolism booster!
4. Provides Pain Relief
When applied topically, cayenne pepper has powerful pain-relieving properties. It works by reducing the amount of a substance that carries pain messages to the brain. Studies have shown that it can reduce pain after surgery, and alleviate pain from nerve damage, muscle pain and joint pain.
5. Aids in Weight Loss
Sprinkling a little cayenne pepper on eggs or toast in the morning can help suppress one’s appetite throughout the day. It also gives the metabolism a boost, helping to burn more calories. Cayenne pepper is an anti-inflammatory, so it has the power to soothe inflammation and bloating.
If you’re trying to lose weight, then, be sure to add cayenne pepper to your meals. When you’re watching what you eat, it can be hard to find a healthy way to add flavor to your food. Cayenne pepper, however, is one of many great, healthy ways to enjoy your nutritious food without foregoing taste.
6. Relieves an Upset Stomach
Cayenne pepper is an effective tool for relief from an upset stomach. It has anti-irritant properties that work to ease ulcers and diarrhea. Studies have shown that it inhibits the secretion of acid in the stomach while stimulating alkali and mucus secretions, which can help in the prevention and healing of ulcers.
7. Fights Cold and Flu
Full of beta carotene and antioxidants that support the immune system, cayenne pepper aids in breaking up mucus that causes congestion. It can help get rid of a cold or flu and increase immune system activity.
Sore Throat? Try this!
If you have a sore throat, try mixing pure, raw honey with chopped up garlic and a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Swallow a teaspoon of the mixture three times daily until symptoms disappear. Not only will this concoction help relieve a sore throat, but it will also help fight any infection that may have settled in. Be sure to drink plenty of water with this mixture.
8. Vitamin A Source
One teaspoon of cayenne pepper contains 44% Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy skin and good vision, and it’s also an antioxidant that fights free radicals and reduces inflammation. Vitamin A is linked to good health and longevity, and just two teaspoons of cayenne pepper a day is enough to get your fill of Vitamin A.
9. Prevents Allergies
Food allergy is a response to consuming a specific food which causes inflammation. With its strong anti-inflammatory properties, cayenne pepper can prevent allergies and symptoms that stem from them. Mix up some cayenne pepper lemon tea for a natural allergy remedy.
10. Possible Anti-Cancer Agent
Studies suggest that the capsaicin in cayenne pepper may play a role in the prevention of prostate cancer. A study from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine found that capsaicin is able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent the formation of new ones.
How to Enjoy Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits
New to cayenne pepper, or not sure how to use it in your meals? If you like spicy, you’ll definitely want to give this spice a try. To reap cayenne pepper health benefits, here are some ideas of how you can use it in your every-day food:
- Add a dash or two to your favorite soups or stews. It’s a much more healthier alternative to salt, without sacrificing flavor!
- Sprinkle it on roasted stuffed bell peppers. Yum!
- Mix a little into your favorite pasta salad for an extra little kick.
- Sprinkle it on roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Add extra heat to your tacos.
- Mix it into rice, beans, or homemade hummus.
- Add to chocolate truffle recipes, or even to hot chocolate. Sweet and spicy is a fantastic mix!
- Stir in into a glass of purified water and fresh lemon juice for an ultimate detox water!