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Spices Health Facts: Cayenne

Cayenne pepper or popularly known as just cayenne is one of the widely used spices in many cuisines particularly Mexican, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Argentinean and even Western cuisines. When added to a dish, it releases its hot and pungent taste which greatly adds to the spiciness of a food.

For many centuries now, cayenne is not only valued for its culinary uses but also for its many health benefits.

Nutritional Components of Cayenne Pepper:

  • Alkaloid compound called capsaicin which aids in many health problems
  • Vitamins A, C and B-complex
  • Anti-oxidant flavonoids including lutein, carotenes, cryptoxanthin and zea xanthin which help protect the body from free radicals
  • Minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.

Health Benefits of Cayenne

  • Allergies – Cayenne is known for its anti-inflammatory properties which could also help relieve or prevent certain allergies.
  • Arthritis – People suffering from arthritis can find relief from the symptoms of this condition by including cayenne pepper in your regular diet.
  • Cancer – A study conducted at Loma Linda University shows that cayenne pepper can help prevent lung cancer among smokers. There are also some studies that show it can inhibit liver tumors.
  • Cold and Flu – if you are experiencing cold and flu or you simply have a cough, cayenne pepper can help alleviate your condition. It aids in breaking up and removing mucus congestion which is one of the common symptoms of cold and flu.
  • Detoxification – Cayenne tea which is a combination of cayenne powder plus honey and lemon juice makes an excellent morning tea that can aid in body detoxification.
  • Digestive Problems – Cayenne helps the body produce hydrochloric acid which is very important in good digestion. Because of this, cayenne can help soothe digestive problems such as indigestion, upset stomach and diarrhea. It also helps relieve intestinal gas.
  • Fungal Infection – Studies have shown that cayenne pepper is able to prevent the formation of fungal pathogens including collectotrichum and phomopsis.
  • Heart Problems – Regular intake of cayenne in the diet helps normalized the blood pressure in the body while assisting the body in getting rid of LDL cholesterol which is a common cause of heart problems.
  • Joint Pain – When applied topically, cayenne pepper can help relieve joint pains.
  • Oral Health – Cayenne also helps in the production of saliva which is very vital for oral health.
  • Stroke or Heart Attack – Because of its ability to help in reducing atherosclerosis and in facilitating fibrinolytic activity, cayenne pepper is very helpful in preventing blood clots which in turn helps reduce the chance of stroke or heart attack.
  • Toothache – To soothe toothache and other gum disease, simply apply cayenne pepper topically in the affected area.
  • Weight Loss – According to a study conducted in Quebec at Laval University, respondents who took cayenne pepper during breakfast have less appetite during the rest of the day leading to a smaller intake of food rich in calories. Additionally, cayenne also boosts metabolism, helping the body burn excess amount of fats.
  • Others – Cayenne pepper is also effective in healing, preventing or alleviating symptoms of other health conditions such as delirium, heartburn, gout, tremors, fever, dyspepsia, paralysis, sore throat, hemorrhoids, diphtheria, tonsillitis and many more.

Cayenne pepper has so many health benefits that we should never overlook or take for granted. A dash of cayenne pepper powder a day or including fresh cayenne pepper in our dish can help our body become healthier.

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