Health Benefits

The list of health benefits from hot peppers continually grow at a break-neck speed, as well as the increasing popularity of consuming hot foods. The heat and health benefits of peppers comes from a chemical called capsaicin.

Historically, the addition of spicy peppers to food helped prevent spoilage in warm climates, before the invention of refrigeration. Capsaicin has anti-microbial properties that inhibit as much as 75% of bacteria growth. People from cultures who lived and survived due to the use of various spices, passed their receipes down to the net of kin.

Benefits the Digestive Tract

It might sound counter-intuitive, but capsaicin in peppers actually acts as an anti-irritant. People with ulcers have been told for years to avoid hot spicy foods, but research has revealed that peppers are beneficial to ulcers. Here is one such report.

Promotes a Healthy Heart

Surprising fact, adding some spice to your life might also add years to your life, according to new research.

The pungent, fiery chili pepper can help reduce the risk of dying from major medical problems like heart attack and stroke, according to a new study published December 16 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. If eaten regularly, it could lower your risk of death by all chronic illnesses by as much as 23%.

Relieves Joint Pain

Capsaicin—a substance in chili pepper plants that makes them spicy hot—exerts its pain-attenuating effects by triggering a signaling cascade that results in the inactivation of mechano-sensitive transmembrane channels in neurons, according to a study published this week (February 10) in Science Signaling

Initially causing a burning hot sensation, the compound is used as a topical pain medication because, when applied regularly, results in numbness to local tissue. Despite being widely used, researchers have previously not known how capsaicin exerts its pain-killing effects.

Improves Metabolism/ Improves Weight Loss

Adding some spicy hot peppers to a healthy meal isn’t a magic bullet, but it may help you burn a few extra calories and a bit more fat, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles tested a compound related to the capsaicin found in hot peppers to see if it could give dieters a boost. It’s called dihydrocapsiate or DCT, and it’s not spicy hot like jalapenos.

Quells Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition where skin cells grow at a rapid rate, causing an accumulation that forms lesions around the body. Psoriatic lesions typically affect the knees, elbows, hands, feet, eyelids, mouth, lips, ears, face, and scalp. Psoriatic lesions tend to favor the folds of the skin and are known to cause feelings of discomfort, such as itchiness, burning, and stinging.

Reduces Cancer Risk

In the lab, capsaicin seems to kill cells linked to more than 40 types of cancer, including the colon, liver, lung, and pancreatic cancers and leukemia. The spicy chemical changes how some genes linked with cancer cells act and even stops them from growing. But other research suggests capsaicin itself may be linked to cancer. More studies are needed.

Here is one such study that is beginning looking into the cancer fighting properties capsaicin has. And another study showing the possible benefits of capsaicin fighting colorectal cancer.

Fights the Flu, Colds and Fungal Infections

The characteristic red color of chili peppers is an indication that it is rich in beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Vitamin A is key in maintaining a healthy respiratory, intestinal, and urinary system. Also, vitamin A and vitamin C in the chili peppers are vital in building up your immunity against infections and illnesses.

Prevents Bad Breath

Bad breath or halitosis is a common cause for worry and embarrassment for many people especially when the condition becomes chronic, meaning the person suffers from it all the time. It makes them very conscious of their surroundings and it may hinder the social life of the person. Those people may want to begin eating more cayenne pepper, as it has been proven to be a simple solution to many bad breath problems. While it will probably not work as a permanent remedy, cayenne pepper has been noted as a possible substance for treating mild cases of halitosis.

Prevents Allergies

Now on the market are effective sinus-clearing nasal sprays based on capsaicin, the fiery substance in hot peppers. In recent research, capsaicin has been used to treat not only sinus problems, but also headaches, pain, inflammation, gastric problems, obesity, and even cancer.

Capsaicin based sprays desensitize the mucous membranes in the nose, making them less irritated by airborne particles and quickly relieving symptoms of allergies and sinus congestion. By stimulating secretions to help clear mucus, these sprays prevent allergy triggers while keeping your nasal passages moist, clean, and free of bacteria.

Helps Migraine Sufferers

An extract from a chili pepper plant is showing promise in the treatment of cluster headache and migraine.

The extract—capsaicin, from the plant capsicum annuum—has been used as a pain reliever for centuries, and a study showing its success as treatment for headache and migraine pain was presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in late April and early May.