Cayenne is one of those ingredients that you can certainly apply to the saying, “A little goes a long way.” It’s spicy, super nutritious, and very valuable in the kitchen and any natural health program. The benefits of cayenne pepper are numerous, from weight loss, digestion improvement, cardiovascular health, and immunity, just to name a few.
In this post, I hope I give you enough reasons to start using this powerful spice, as well as other nutritionally dense spices like turmeric and cinnamon. The health benefits of cayenne pepper are as diverse as the dishes you can make with it, so go ahead and enjoy! Add to freshly made salsa, ground grass-fed beef, soups, poultry, basically anything you can think of (even hot chocolate gets a bit of a kick with a dash of cayenne!).
1. Weight Loss
Eat anything spicy and it is bound to make you sweat. This happens because a compound called capsacian in the pepper increases heat within the body. This heat may be helpful in raising metabolic rate and increasing energy expenditure at rest. Incorporating cayenne into your varied diet may be very helpful for your weight loss goals. Remember that there are other natural methods for losing weight that you should also incorporate, such as daily activity, relaxation, laughter, healthy nutrition, sunlight and sleep.
Like practically all spices and herbs, cayenne pepper host anti-inflammatory benefits that may be helpful in fighting pain in the joints, muscles and tissues. Some research suggests that cayenne pepper can help those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis by decreasing pain symptoms. Since aging, cancer and weight gain are also connected to inflammation in some way, cayenne pepper may be helpful in decreasing the risks for these diseases and dis-orders.
Do you find your nose stuffed up in the morning? Are you battling a cold? Try cayenne. This spicy spice will clear your nasal passages in no time by stimulating blood flow and heat throughout the body. Make cayenne tea with 1 tsp. cayenne and 1 cup hot water. Allow it to cool and sip it slowly. Key word here is slowly. You might try adding a little lemon juice and some stevia to make it a little more bearable. This is sure to get your nose and head clear.
Anything spicy is guaranteed to wake you up, and cayenne is no exception. Again, because it stimulates heat and blood flow all throughout the body, it also increases energy and energy expenditure. If you’re feeling tired or run down for no apparent reason, and you don’t want to grab caffeine or sugar, then stimulate your energy centers through natural nutrition by consuming cayenne, either in tea or in your foods.
5. Heart Health
Cultures that include a lot of cayenne in their diets have much lower rates of heart attacks than other cultures who do not. This makes sense, as cayenne pepper has been shown to help reduce harmful cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while also helping the body to dissolve fibrin, a substance important for the formation of blood clots. Increased blood and oxygen flow to the heart, as well as to the rest of the body, also aids in cayenne pepper cardiovascular benefits.
Cayenne contains almost half of your daily requirements for vitamin A in just two teaspoons. Vitamin A is important not only for immune health, but also for strengthening the mucus membranes that line the nose and lungs, helping to catch unwanted and harmful particles before they enter into the body.
The spiciness of cayenne promotes the production of saliva which contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes needed to digest food. This may explain some of the weight loss benefits of cayenne, as proper digestion is needed to order to assimilate fat burning nutrients and eliminate wastes.
Eat spicy foods in moderation, as too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Some spicy foods can be irritating to the throat to some people, especially when eaten in excess. Love your spicy foods, as well as all other foods – bland, bitter, sweet!
Tomorrow, I will be sharing a recipe using peppers, as well as other nutritious, raw ingredients that I know you’ll love. Stay tuned. 🙂
This is The Healthy Advocate.