I love spicy foods and the hotter the better although I usually like to stop at the point when I start sweating or my nose starts running from the heat! But I almost always add cayenne pepper to my recipes (even when it is not called for) because life without spice is just not worth living!
But not only do I have a taste for heat but cayenne pepper is also great for your health and well-being and with that, here are the 10 health benefits of cayenne pepper. There are additional health benefits besides these 10 of course but these 10 should give you what you need to develop a taste for cayenne pepper if it isn’t already a part of your life. If it is, this is added motivation to keep it there.
Other names for cayenne pepper include red pepper, Tabasco, capsicum, etc.
10 Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
The healing and heat relating to cayenne pepper is due to one compound that it contains known as capsaicin.
One of the most touted health benefits of cayenne pepper relates to weight. Researchers have found that those who added cayenne pepper to what they ate for breakfast had less appetite which led to less caloric intake throughout the day which of course leads to weight loss. The heat from capsaicin also helps to boost metabolism which means that you will burn more calories per day which can help with weight loss.
2. Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetes has reached epidemic levels around the world and while weight loss is an important part of diabetes management which cayenne pepper can help with as discussed above, this spice can also help with diabetic neuropathy which is one of the complications of diabetes. This complication causes pain in the arms, hands, legs, feet, etc. Applying a capsaicin containing cream to these areas has been shown to help relive pain, improve sleep and cause you to have greater ability to walk, work and participate in various recreational activities.
3. Eases congestion
Another of the health benefits of cayenne pepper is that it helps in breaking up and moving congested mucus if you’re dealing with cold, flu or allergies.
4. Digestive problems
This spice is able to stimulate the secretion of saliva and stomach acids. Saliva contains enzymes which initially help to break down carbs while various stomach secretions contain enzymes and acids which break down the food even further.
5. Joint Pain Relief
Osteoarthritis which is the most common type of joint pain and stiffness has been shown to be relieved by using an ointment containing capsaicin a few times a day.
While spicy foods are usually recommended to be avoided by those who deal with psoriasis, applying a capsaicin containing ointment may be able to relieve itchy psoriasis patches.
7. Heart health
Some animal studies have discovered that capsaicin could help reduce serious heart arrhythmia and improve cardiac blood flow.
8. Cluster headaches
Cluster headaches can cause severe pain on one side of the head and some studies have found that applying a capsaicin preparation inside the nostrils on the affected side for several days can help provide relief.
Some studies have found that cayenne pepper can help promote longevity. Not only have people who consume red pepper daily been found to live longer than those who don’t, but it has also been found that cayenne pepper helps to reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart issues, respiratory disease, etc, which increase risk of death.
10. Self defense
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in self-defense sprays like Mace which is why they are sometimes known as pepper sprays. Spray this into an attacker’s eyes and the pepper causes pain and blindness for up to 30 minutes although it doesn’t damage the eyes.
These are some of the many health benefits of cayenne pepper being part of your life.
Do you like spicy foods or not? If you do, are you a low, medium or a “no pain no gain” type? Comment below.