Vitamin Spice: Why You Should Be Eating Hot Peppers

Like grown up sprinkles, most adults enjoy giving their food a fun kick by tossing a dash of hot and spicy right on top. Sometimes seen as a sign of machismo, being able to add a good amount of spiciness to your meal may actually be very beneficial to your overall health, making you truly strong and ready for whatever the day may have in store.

That light burning tingle that is signature to hot peppers , is caused by a specific property called capsaicin. This compound not only heats up your tongue, it warms up your whole body. The thermogenic nature of capsaicin increases circulation in the body, which detoxes and reinvigorate the entire body’s cell function including brain, heart, and nerve functioning, as well as helping your skin clear away acne and glow from the inside. It also raises metabolism, which means that your body burns fat more rapidly, and capsaicin has been found to diminish cravings for salty, sugary, fatty snacks, making it a great addition to your food if you are on a diet or trying to maintain a healthy weight or life style.

Capsaicin is also an anti-inflammatory making it a good pain reliever for those who suffer from inflammation and experience pain caused by that inflammation like arthritis and milder forms of neck and back pain.

Although typically we only add a tiny bit to our meals, the hot spice of chili flakes has been found to contain vitamin A, C, E, and B-6, as well as iron, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Over time, this tiny daily addition adds up and impacts how you feel and look.

Hot peppers, when consumed in moderation, also help to prevent stomach ulcers, diabetes, and heart attacks. They are also incredible for clearing congestion, which is an issue for anyone battling colds or with asthma problems.

Polyphenols are antioxidants found in the hot peppers that help to combat oxidation in the cells, which fights aging, cancer, and increases immune function. Combined with the effects of capsaicin, it makes them a zippy and tasty illness fighter.

cayenne-pepper-225x300Hot pepper comes in many forms and styles. You can buy or grow fresh ones. Some species are substantially hotter than others and most of the spice is typically hidden within the seeds more than the flesh of the pepper. You can purchase the dried crushed flakes or use the common hot sauce, all of which contain similar benefits.

My favorite is to chop fresh hot pepper into miniscule pieces and add it to a tomato or pineapple salsa and serve it with guacamole and nachos. Be careful to only add a tiny bit and then taste if you’d like it to be more spicy, otherwise if you put too much in right away the whole dish is impossible to eat. In the winter months, it is very easy to simply add a sprinkle of the chili flakes to the top of your soup or any veggie or meat you have roasted for dinner. The spicy flavor pairs well with lemon juice and garlic no matter what you are seasoning and all together they help keep you strong throughout the winter.

Let us know what your favorite way to spice up your life is in the comments below.


Photo Credit: One, Two

17 thoughts on “Vitamin Spice: Why You Should Be Eating Hot Peppers

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