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20 Reasons Why Cayenne Pepper Is So Good For You

By Dr. Michael Richardson
Updated October 14, 2016

Cayenne peppers, also known in their fresh form as red hot chili peppers and in their powdered form as red pepper, are not only highly effective in adding some heat to delicious meals, but they also boast natural properties that can keep you healthy in a variety of ways.

Rich in capsaicin, the component that provides hot peppers with their intensely spicy flavor, the cayenne pepper can have a positive impact on the functioning of your muscles, bones, immune system and other bodily processes when ingested. If you are seeking a plant-based remedy for health complications such as pain, congestion and infection, consider adding cayenne pepper to your diet on a consistent basis.

The following 20 reasons to consume cayenne pepper, many of which are backed by scientific studies, can help you to further learn why this vegetable, whether fresh or dried, is so good for you.

1. Protects You From Migraines And Headaches

Cayenne pepper is thought to be effective in relieving pain from headaches and more intense migraines due to its capsaicin content. In a study, capsaicin-based nasal spray was found to lessen headaches, sinus pain and sinus pressure quite rapidly.

2. Helps You To Digest Food Efficiently

As a spice, cayenne has a long history of aiding various digestive processes in the body, including the flow of gastric juices, the production of digestive enzymes, the metabolization of food and the promotion of smooth intestinal peristaltic motion.

3. Reduces Your Risk Of Blood Clots

Studies have been carried out looking into the benefits that capsaicin offers in treating symptoms of cardiovascular disease. One such complication is the formation of blood clots, which cayenne pepper can help to prevent by stimulating proper blood flow.

4. Eases Joint Pain

Cayenne pepper can be applied topically to the skin in order to treat joint pain and stiffness and other arthritic symptoms. The topical preparation allows capsaicin’s heat to permeate the skin and direct pain relief to the joints.

5. Treats Skin Wounds, Bites And Sores

In addition to easing bothersome irritation in the joints, cayenne pepper is also a great topical agent for the treatment of skin conditions such as wounds, animal bites and rashes. One study examined capsaicin’s positive effects on psoriasis.

6. Shows Promise In Preventing Cancer

In studies, capsaicin has been linked to the possible prevention of malignant lung tumor formation, and it has also been researched as a preventive measure for cancerous liver tumors. Another study examined the chili pepper’s potential role in cancer treatment.

7. Relieves Bothersome Symptoms Of Allergies

Capsaicin’s ability to relieve nasal congestion means that cayenne pepper can be used as a natural remedy for allergies to pollen, dander and other irritants. Keep cayenne pepper in your cabinet for when the spring allergy season comes around.

8. Soothes Throat, Stomach And Bowel Irritation

As a natural anti-irritant, cayenne pepper can stave off health conditions such as a sore throat, a cough, a stomach ulcer, indigestion, an irritable bowel and diarrhea. Red pepper and capsaicin were studied and found to ease digestive issues in rats.

9. Improves Conditions Causing Skin Redness

The study in which topical capsaicin was evaluated for the treatment of psoriasis noted an easing of scaling and skin redness in participants. Cayenne pepper can also be useful for lessening general skin redness and flushing.

10. Has Preservative Properties That Fight Bacteria

If you are worried about the possibility of eating food that may not have been preserved well and carries the risk of bacteria, try adding cayenne pepper to your recipes regularly. The pepper’s preservative properties can protect you from illness.

11. Provides Relief From Tooth And Gum Pain

Pain from various tooth and gum infections ranges from mild to severe, and when you need a quick, natural remedy for this discomfort, cayenne pepper can often do the trick. Several types of peppers have been studied for these benefits.

12. Clears Congestion From Colds And Flu

The build-up of mucous in your nose and throat due to a cold or flu can be eliminated with cayenne pepper, which works to break up congestion and get it moving through your system. Capsaicin has been researched for this purpose.

13. Promotes Optimal Saliva Production

Not only does adequate saliva production help to keep your digestive system functioning properly, but it also has a positive effect on the state of your mouth, gums and teeth. Stimulate saliva production naturally by eating lots of spicy cayenne pepper.

14. Works As An Anti-Fungal Agent

In addition to its anti-allergen, anti-irritant and anti-bacterial properties, cayenne pepper also offers benefits to your health as an anti-fungal agent. Plant-based fungal pathogens such as collectotrichum and phomopsis can be prevented from forming through the use of cayenne.

15. Stimulates Fat Burning And Weight Loss

The jolt to your system that cayenne pepper provides can facilitate weight loss in several ways, including raising your metabolism, suppressing your appetite and providing energy for workouts. Cayenne pepper was studied in conjunction with other weight loss-promoting herbs.

16. Aids In Detoxifying Your Body

If you are looking to generally detoxify your body in order to eliminate waste build-up and promote optimal organ function, go about this the natural way with a beverage made from cayenne pepper, lemon juice, maple syrup and water.

17. Keeps Your Heart Functioning In Peak Condition

As noted above, capsaicin sourced from chili peppers shows promise in keeping your heart healthy. Some of its functions for encouraging peak cardiovascular health include balancing triglycerides and lowering blood pressure to stable levels.

18. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Cayenne pepper, along with other spices, was found to improve the health of rats who were fed a high-cholesterol diet. Its heart-friendly properties may also be useful in lowering cholesterol in humans.

19. Offers A Robust Antioxidant Profile

Cayenne pepper is an ideal source of several antioxidants, which work to prevent cell damage in your body. This type of pepper primarily provides your body with antioxidants through its flavonoid content.

20. Provides Beneficial Vitamins And Minerals

Studies support the nutritional profile of cayenne pepper as being rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. It also contains nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese and potassium. Pin It

Start boosting your health with cayenne pepper by adding it to any number of recipes. You do not need to stick to using this spice in a traditional manner, such as when you cook soups and sauces; cayenne pepper also pairs wonderfully with cocoa powder for making desserts!

Try combining cayenne with some lemon juice to season your vegetables, or add it to dips to enhance their flavor. If you enjoy highly spicy dishes, use fresh cayenne peppers with their seeds, or if you’d rather dial back the spice factor, you can still benefit your body with a dash of the dried, seedless variety.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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