Chili pepper is the fruit of the plant that belongs to the genus Capsicum. Characterized for their bright coloring and eye-watering spiciness, chili peppers have long been prized for its many health benefits.
The most beneficial component of chili is capsaicin. This chemical inhibits substance P, a type of neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. Research shows that capsaicin works as an antioxidant, protecting the body from chronic diseases including cancer. In today’s post, we are listing down all the other amazing health benefits of eating chili peppers:
Cuts the Risk of Sensory Nerve Fiber Disorders
Did you know that capsaicin heals damaged nerves and reduce inflammation? Studies show that this chemical may one day become the treatment for all types of sensory nerve fiber disorders including diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, and psoriasis. Arthritic lab animals injected with pure capsaicin exhibited significant improvements after treatment. In topical form, capsaicin also eases osteoarthritis pain!
Protects from Blood Clots
Blood clots are dangerous because they can block the arteries causing strokes and deep vein thrombosis. The fibrin in chili peppers helps thin out the blood to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating chili peppers also lowers blood cholesterol level and minimize platelet aggregation to reduce blood clots. The bioactive in chili peppers may also protect the fats in the blood from free radical damage. Studies show that people who eat more chili peppers are at a much lower risk of heart attack and strokes.
High in Antioxidants
Chili peppers are high in beta-carotene and ascorbic acid, vitamin A and C respectively. Both nutrients act as antioxidants, protecting the cells and tissues from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of cell mutation, which is the precursor to cancer. The vitamin A in chili peppers helps maintain healthy vision. Beta-carotene also keeps the mucous membranes healthy. The vitamin C in chili peppers promotes immunity and collagen production.
Protects from Cancer
In a study published in the Cancer Research journal, researchers found that capsaicin triggers cancer cells to “kill themselves” or literally commit suicide. The experiment shows that capsaicin effectively shrunk tumors and inhibited cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body. In a separate study, researchers found that capsaicin has the ability to stop the growth of leukemia cells.
Another study published in the American Association for Cancer Research website found that capsaicin has the ability to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in lab animals without causing “gross toxicity to the animals.”
Keeps the Heart Healthy
The same chemicals that cause a burning sensation when ingesting chili peppers can also improve the entire cardiovascular system! In fact, the chemical may even increase the chances of surviving a heart attack. Researchers of the University of Cincinnati found that lab mice given OTC capsaicin salve during a heart attack improve the animals’ chances of recovering from cell damage to the heart. That said, capsaicin salves are not recommended for people who suffer from hypertension. Before using the salve, consult your doctor.
Boost Weight Loss
Frustrated over your weight? Try eating fresh chili peppers or spicy foods. Studies show that chili peppers can boost the body’s metabolic rate temporarily. The capsaicin in chili peppers also suppresses the appetite, preventing overeating!