Do you know that red ground spice that’s put on green mangos and tastes like heaven on earth? Apparently, it’s super nutritious, and you should add it to more of your meals. If you’re a fan of chillies, then you definitely understand the thrill that comes with that tingly sensation on your palette, and cayenne pepper is guaranteed to give you just that.
The word cayenne comes from the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, its supposed city of origin. Today, the spice is grown largely in India, East Africa, Mexico, and the United States, in fact, most tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Cayenne pepper was cultivated in Mexico 7,000 years ago and in Peru 4,000 years ago. Native Americans have used cayenne as a food and as a medicine for stomach aches, cramping pains, gas, and disorders of the circulatory system for 9,000 years. Cayenne was brought to Europe in the fifteenth century by Christopher Columbus.
Here are the nutritional benefits of Cayenne pepper, and why you should incorporate it into your diet.
- Boosts metabolism
The body metabolism is defined as the whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. A person with a low metabolism will burn fewer calories at rest and during activity and therefore has to eat less to avoid becoming overweight. On the other hand, a high metabolism means your body burns energy from food at a faster rate than your peers. This means that the person will require more energy from food to grow and develop.
To boost your metabolism, cayenne pepper is essential. Research shows that the capsaicin in cayenne peppers has metabolism-boosting properties. It helps increase the amount of heat your body produces, making you burn more calories per day. This, in the long run, can help you to lose weight.
Weight loss: 10 great fat burning foods
- Promotes cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular conditions such as abnormal heart rhythm, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, and heart failure are very common in our world today. Apparently, cayenne peppers can help to promote the health of the heart. The capsaicin in cayenne helps to clear away lipid deposits and dilate arteries. These both work to counteract the cause of heart attacks and keep the heart as healthy as possible to pump blood through the body.
Health: What Should You Do to Keep Your Heart Healthy?
- Boosting antioxidant activity
Cayenne pepper contains many antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. All these antioxidants work together to help the body remove free radicals which are toxic substances that can cause harm if there is too much build-up. Removing free radicals may help prevent a range of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Health: Foods That You Should Eat To Boost Your Immunity
- Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is a lifestyle condition where the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. If you have high blood pressure, this higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this extra strain increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure can also cause heart and kidney disease and is closely linked to some forms of dementia. Cayenne pepper has been said to lower blood pressure. It opens up blood vessels and helps increase blood flow. This decreases blood pressure naturally, by increasing the rate that blood flows through your system. If you suffer from this condition then you can make it a regular thing, by mixing a half-teaspoon of cayenne into a glass of warm water and honey each morning and drinking it.
- Aids in digestive health
Cayenne pepper has numerous benefits in terms of promoting the health of the digestive system. It may help boost the stomach’s defence against infections, increase digestive fluid production, and help deliver enzymes to the stomach, thereby aiding digestion. On top of this, it also counteracts acid to stop an upset stomach and diarrhoea naturally. Cayenne also benefits digestion by encouraging saliva production. Lastly, research has proven it reduces the risk of stomach ulcers.
8 Ways To Ease The Symptoms Of Acidity
- Reduces cancer risk
Cancer is a disease characterized by the uncontrollable growth of cells. It is a major reason for death in our world today. The capsaicin in cayenne peppers shows promise in reducing the risk of cancer. It may do this by attacking many different pathways in the cancer cell growth process. Research in the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment proves how capsaicin has been shown to alter the expression of several genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth arrest. Capsaicin exhibits strong anticancer activity through targeting multiple signalling pathways and cancer-associated genes in different tumour stages including initiation, promotion, progression, and metastasis.
Here are some other spices you should be taking regularly – ginger, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and garlic. Also check out Turning to nature for relief: 8 common spices that act as medicines.
Health Benefits Of White Pepper And/Vs Black Pepper