What is cayenne pepper?

Spicy and hot, cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum) is a member of the Capsicum family of vegetables, popularly called chili peppers. The word "cayenne" comes from the town where these peppers originated in French Guiana off South America's northeast coast. This pepper is used for flavoring cuisines throughout the world. Cayenne pepper provides high nutritional value. Cayenne pepper is a rich supply of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. Cayenne Pepper also contain generous amounts of potassium, calcium, and manganese, and fiber. It's widely utilized in Indian families and is a staple food for many people in India's rural areas.

Chili peppers, such as cayenne, originated thousands of years back in Central and South America, not surprising considering these areas are known for their spicy tastes. First used as decoration, their usefulness enlarged into culinary and medicinal locations. Christopher Columbus became comfortable with chili peppers when he researched the Caribbean Islands and brought them back to Europe to substitute for the cost-prohibitive black pepper. Nowadays, cayenne and other chili peppers are grown on all continents.

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Cayenne pepper nutritional facts

About 100 g of Cayenne pepper comprises 30mg sodium, 2014mg potassium, 17g fat, 318 calories, 12g protein, 57g carbohydrate, and 0mg of cholesterol. In keeping us balanced, all of these nutrients play a very significant role.

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Cayenne peppers health benefits

Cayenne peppers have a higher concentration of capsaicin, the compound that triggers their fiery hot feeling. Capsaicin also inhibits substance P, a neuropeptide related to inflammatory pain processes. Capsaicin has been intensively studied for many health benefits.

The other health benefits of cayenne include the use of it as a topical analgesic. Several clinical trials suggest benefits for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, shingles, and diabetic neuropathy, capsaicin lotion may temporarily relieve chronic pain.

Further study is required to confirm that topical cayenne may be used to get back pain and cluster headaches. Orally, cayenne pepper may promote cardiovascular wellness, suppress appetite, and increase body fat burning. It has also been shown to help avoid ulcers and the drainage of congested nasal passages. Modern herbalists recommend cayenne in order to stimulate the circulatory system and as a treatment for upper respiratory infections. One common prep uses cayenne with lemon juice and honey as a syrup for sore throats.

Along with being an outstanding vitamin A source, cayenne pepper is a fantastic supply of vitamin Vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, manganese, and dietary fiber. The following are some of the many health benefits:

- Boosts Immunity System

Cayenne pepper is known for its immune-boosting potential. A strong immune system readily fights infections and keeps a healthy body. Apart from the anti-inflammatory effects of capsaicin, cayenne is also an exceptional carotenoid source beta carotene -- a potent antioxidant that can help prevent free radical damage. Its high vitamin A levels (2 tsp of cayenne pepper offers 47 percent of vitamin A's daily value) boost immune function.

- Blood Circulation

For the optimal performance of your body, fantastic blood circulation is crucial. The cayenne pepper doesn't enable the blood to thicken with age and facilitates healthy blood circulation.

- Arthritis

The disorder of the joints, Arthritis, is among the most dreaded diseases that affect millions of people globally. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may lead to life-threatening conditions. A few of the symptoms associated with arthritis include inflammation, swelling, and acute pain in joints. 

- Metabolism

Cayenne pepper, when used responsibly, can improve your metabolism by increasing your body's warmth, thus assisting you to burn more calories than normal. It normally grows and improves the procedure called diet-induced thermogenesis to help boost your metabolism. In contrast to the other health benefits of cayenne pepper, however, its effect is minor.

- Nasal Congestion

Individuals suffering from respiratory tract disease or congestion should regularly consume cayenne pepper. Studies reveal that the compound referred to as"capsaicin" within this pepper stimulates secretions, making it much easier for mucus to pass out from the nose and lungs, reducing the chance of sinus infection. Afterward, in many parts of rural India, cayenne pepper is used for treating cold and influenza.

- Lowers asthma risk

Studies show that beta-carotene in cayenne pepper will help decrease the signs of respiratory disease like asthma. Beta-carotene boosts the optimal functioning of the lungs and the breathing tract.

- Prevents cancer

Cancer is among the deadliest disease known to man, and the very sound of the word can frighten people. Research shows that cayenne pepper can help fight cancer. The availability of beta-carotene is a wonderful supply of antioxidants that avoid free radical damage and thereby protect the body from atherosclerosis and cancers of the colon.

- Headaches

If you suffer from frequent headaches, you should regularly consume cayenne pepper. The compounds present in this pepper provides anti-analgesic capacity that cures headaches. Therefore, you should stop using aspirin and instead smell cayenne pepper once your head throbs.

- Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Bad cholesterol (LDL) thickens the arteries' walls and sets stress in your heart to perform brilliantly. Gradually, LDL impairs heart health and causes heart attacks and, finally, death. Subsequently, physicians recommend cayenne pepper to grow the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) or decrease LDL.

Research indicates that with regular usage of cayenne pepper, an equilibrium between good and bad cholesterol is preserved and dissolves fibrin, which is responsible for the formation of blood clots, which reduces the chance of heart diseases.

- Bad Throat

Studies reveal that a combination of cayenne pepper and water may clear a sore throat. When gargled, this mixture can effectively deal with a sore throat, as it contains vitamin C.

- Digestion

Some people widely use cayenne pepper for healthy digestion. Cayenne pepper, when contained on your diet, frequently aids in preventing stomach aches and cramps. Mirchi also stimulates the creation and flow of saliva and other secretions from the gut, thus helping digestion.

- Weight Loss

Cayenne pepper comprises suppressants that greatly reduce the appetite and increases your water intake capacity. The sensation of "full stomach" significantly controls your daily diet and eases weight loss and its maintenance.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for immune system

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Cayenne pepper uses

Cayenne pepper, being rich in vitamins, may be utilized in treating many different ailments, including arthritis, cancer, weight loss, sore throat, headaches, congestion, and blood flow. Additionally, it treats cholesterol and heart disorders. Dried or fresh Cayenne pepper may be used. Fresh green or red cayenne peppers may be utilized similar to fresh jalapeños: as a garnish or chopped and added to sauces and dips. By extracting the seeds, you will diminish the degree of spiciness. 

To minimize transferring the debilitating irritants to sensitive areas, do this while wearing gloves and avoiding contact with the eyes and face. You may also dry fresh, ripe red cayenne peppers. Wash and put on a wire rack until dry and brittle, which takes around three weeks. These wholes, dried peppers can be kept in a sealed container away from light for up to a year. Dried cayenne pepper is more versatile and functions as well as refreshing in most dishes. It may be added to cocoa for a little spice, and when paired with lemon juice, it works with almost all vegetables. Dried cayenne ought to be kept in a tightly sealed glass jar, away from direct sunlight. It will last for up to three decades.

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Side effects

Consuming excessive amounts of cayenne pepper may cause gastrointestinal disorders (irritation or a burning sensation in the stomach), several respiratory problems, irritation to skin and eyes. It is suggested to reduce and limit the consumption of cayenne pepper during summers, as it may boost your body heat beyond your capacity to keep up the heat. Overheating of the body can lead to bleeding from the nose.

See: Six Tastes In The Ayurvedic Diet

References

- Nadeem M, Anjum FM, Khan MR, Saeed M, Riaz A. Antioxidant potential of bell pepper (Capsicum annum L.) a review. Pakistan Journal of Food Science. 2011;21(1-4):45-51. [Cited Jun 26, 2019].

- Singletary K. Red pepper: an overview of potential health benefits. Nutrition Today. 2011 Jan 1;46(1):33-47. 

- Altınterim B. Cayenne, Capsaicin and Substance-P. Research & Reviews: Journal of Herbal Science STM Journals, Vol 2(3), 2013.


See: Inhibition of human low density lipoprotein oxidation by active principles from spices.

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