What Is Cayenne Pepper?

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

Cayenne Pepper Benefits

We use cayenne pepper to add spice to our meals. But do you know how it can provide power to change your health? For the last nine thousand years, it has been used in food and medicine. It is a powerful little spicy pepper that can reduce your acidity and improves blood circulation.

What Is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne Pepper, also called Capsicum frutescens, is a vegetable that was founded in South and Central America. Now it grows in tropical and subtropical climates. We add Cayenne Pepper to food in its natural and powder form. Some people use it in the form of capsules and creams to take advantage of its detoxifying properties.

Its benefits are numerous. It is used to:

  • help digestion,
  • heal upset stomach,
  • slow intestinal gas,
  • stop stomach pain, 
  • stop diarrhea, 
  • deal cramps.

Currently, many studies are focusing on testing its ability to reduce pain when applied to the skin. We can get many benefits from Cayenne Pepper because of its nutrition value.  

Nutrition Facts

Cayenne pepper is not only a spice but also has various useful essences necessary for the human body to ensure that every organ works well. The following is a list of its nutrition value.

Calories

17

Protein

0.6 g

Fat

0.9 / 1 g

Carbohydrate

3 g

Dietary fiber

1.4 g

Sugar

0.6 / 1 g

Vitamin A

44% of the daily requirement

Vitamin B 6

6% of the daily requirement

Vitamin C

7% of the daily requirement

Vitamin E

8% of the daily requirement

Vitamin K

5% of the daily requirement

Iron

3% of the daily requirement

Potassium

3% of daily requirement

Manganese

5% of the daily requirement

Calcium

1% of daily requirement or 7.8 mg

Niacin

2% of daily requirement or 0.5 mg

Magnesium

2% daily requirement

Zinc

1% of the daily requirement

Phosphorus

2% of the daily requirement

Copper

1% of the daily requirement

You may have noticed, one tablespoon of Cayenne pepper is very beneficial for the health of your body. 

Health Benefits

Cayenne pepper has the following health benefits:

  1. Helps Digestion

One of the main positive effects of Cayenne pepper is on the digestive system. It helps in the production of saliva, which is very important for the digestive system and preventing bad breath.

According to a study, consuming this spice stimulates the salivary gland, which is effective for the digestive process and stomach health. (Shin, Y. H., Kim, J. M., & Park, K. 2016)

  1. Prevents Blood Clots

A blood clot is a blockage in your blood vessels and arteries that block blood flow through the circulatory system. Cayenne pepper has properties that help prevent blood clots by encouraging fibrinolytic activity.

Blod clot is one of the reasons for a heart attack; that’s why cayenne pepper is used to avoid heart attack (Adams et al. 2009).

  1. Provides Detox Support

Cayenne pepper can eliminate acidity and stimulate circulation. According to research, cayenne pepper opens the capillaries, reduces blood sugar, improves the digestive system, increases body temperature, boosts metabolism, and removes toxins and bacteria from our body.

According to a study, consuming cayenne pepper in breakfast helps you to eat fewer calories for the whole day. It is also useful for burning extra fats because of its metabolic booster properties (Srinivasan 2016).

Cayenne pepper can soothe bloating and inflammation that many people face as a result of allergies, infections, and food sensitivities.

  1. Supports Weight Loss

According to a study, consuming cayenne pepper in breakfast helps you to eat fewer calories for the whole day. It is also useful for burning extra fats because of its metabolic booster properties.

Cayenne pepper can soothe bloating and inflammation that many people face as a result of allergies, infections, and food sensitivities.

  1. Works as Anti-Irritant

Cayenne pepper has anti-irritant properties that make it effective in easing ulcer, cough, upset stomach, and stop diarrhea. When we consume this pepper in excessive amounts, it leads to gastric ulcers because of having acid-secreting and irritant nature.

People suffering from ulcers are advised to avoid or limit the use of chili. But many studies have shown that capsaicin is an active principle of cayenne pepper that is not the cause of ulcer formation (Satyanarayana 2006). 

  1. Treats Psoriasis

When skin cells replicate quickly, psoriasis occurs. Swollen patches under the skin of different parts of the body covered with whitish scales on the top. A study showed that 0.025% of cayenne pepper cream is effective in treating psoriasis (Shenefelt 2011).  

  1. Fights Cold and Flu

Another main benefit of cayenne pepper includes that it is full of antioxidant and beta carotene that boost our immune system. Cayenne pepper also raises your body temperature, which helps in sweating and increasing the activity of the immune system.

As a good source of vitamin C, cayenne pepper helps you to save from cold and flu.

  1. Boosts Metabolism

Cayenne pepper has the ability to regulate your metabolism. A study has found that this pepper suppresses hunger and balanced glucose levels. It normalized blood pressure and cholesterol levels (Henry, 1986).

  1. Source of Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining the health of eyes, vision, neurological function, healthy body, and skin. Studies have shown that Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that benefits eye health, helps in the growth of the foster cell, and boost the immune system. With two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, you get enough quantity of vitamin A (Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group 2001). 

  1. Contains Vitamin E

Cayenne is an excellent source of Vitamin E and beneficial for many organs in the body and useful in slowing the aging process naturally. It has the power to fight free radicals, balance hormones, balance cholesterol, and repair your damaged skin.  

How to Use

You can get cayenne pepper from health food stores and supermarkets in both fresh and powder form. It is good to buy fresh cayenne pepper because the powder is sometimes mixed with poor quality chemicals and herbs. But if you find natural cayenne pepper from a trusted company, the health benefits are still great.

Look for raw fresh cayenne pepper that has a fresh red color and healthy stems. Buy only those chilies that have not any mold, spots, or spoiled tips.

You can store fresh cayenne pepper inside the fridge in a plastic bag for a week. On the other hand, you can store dry pepper in airtight containers in a dark and cool place.

Here is a list of some simple use of cayenne pepper in your daily routine:

  • Add it to meals
  • Drink it:
  • Take capsules
  • Apply it topically

We have discussed cayenne pepper, its nutrition value, health benefits, and usage. I hope you will add this spice to your diet and get maximum advantages.

References

Shin, Y. H., Kim, J. M., & Park, K. (2016). The Effect of Capsaicin on Salivary Gland Dysfunction. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)21(7), 835. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070835

Shin, Y. H., Kim, J. M., & Park, K. (2016). The Effect of Capsaicin on Salivary Gland Dysfunction. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)21(7), 835. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070835

Adams, M. J., Ahuja, K. D., & Geraghty, D. P. (2009). Effect of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin on in vitro blood coagulation and platelet aggregation. Thrombosis research124(6), 721–723. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2009.05.001

Srinivasan K. (2016). Biological Activities of Red Pepper (Capsicum annuum) and Its Pungent Principle Capsaicin: A Review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition56(9), 1488–1500. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2013.772090

Shenefelt PD. Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 18. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/

Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group (2001). A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Archives of ophthalmology (Chicago, Ill. : 1960)119(10), 1417–1436. https://doi.org/10.1001/archopht.119.10.1417

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