22 Benefits of Cayenne Pepper


Image via Bembu

By Bembu

Cayenne pepper is more than a spice you add to your favorite dish if you want to give it a bit of a kick. It contains incredible medicinal properties that can be used for everything from weight loss to blood clot prevention and improved circulation. While it might seem hard to digest, cayenne pepper is also useful for your gut. It has been shown to reduce intestinal gas, stomach upset, diarrhea, and even cramping. Got a toothache? How about the pain caused by shingles? Did you drink too much last night? Cayenne pepper can help with these, too.

The shrub gets its long list of benefits from its impressive nutritional profile, and a little bit goes a long way. One teaspoon of cayenne contains 17 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of carbs, and 1 gram each of sugar and protein. It also includes about 44 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 8 percent of vitamin E, and 7 percent or less of vitamins C, B6, and K, as well as magnesium and potassium. Here are 22 benefits of cayenne pepper we bet you didn’t know about.

1. Prevent Cancer Tumors


Studies show that the active ingredient in cayenne pepper known as capsaicin may have anti-cancer properties. One study found that capsaicin may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent new ones from forming. Specifically, the study found that cayenne pepper may be especially beneficial in helping prevent lung cancer in people who smoke or have smoked in the past. This is because the vast amounts of capsaicin found in cayenne can stop the formation of tumors in the lungs due to tobacco use. Another study indicated that similar results were noted in research that involved liver tumors and prostate cancer. While some people find that taking capsaicin in supplement form helps, you can also get the same benefits by adding it to dishes.

2. Improves Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by itching patches of red skin. It occurs when your skin cells replicate very fast, and dead skin cells cannot be cleared from the surface quickly enough before new ones are formed. This causes a buildup of scaly patches of red, swollen skin. Research shows that 0.025 percent capsaicin from cayenne pepper cream can be used topically to treat psoriasis. One study found that subjects with psoriasis who used cayenne pepper for six weeks had a significant decrease in the redness and scaling associated with their condition. Another study from the same source indicated that when the capsaicin cream was used four times a day for six weeks, it significantly decreased thickness, redness, itching, and scaling of the subject’s psoriasis patches.

3. Reduces Migraines

Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

It might sound strange, but cayenne pepper can help relieve your migraine pain by causing you to feel pain in different parts of your body, which diverts your attention away from your migraine. Before you write this method off as something you’d never try, consider that some research indicates you can reduce your pain levels by merely using brain power anyway. For example, if you perceive your pain as not as bad as it really it, it may help reduce your actual levels. Additionally, you’ll minimize substance P or the nerve pain chemical from the nerve fibers in the area where the pain is detected. In other words, you tricked your brain to feel less pain. Talk about using your brain.

4. Prevents Blood Clots

Cayenne pepper can be used to prevent blood clots, which helps support your heart health. Blood clots are blockages that occur in your blood vessels and arteries. They limit blood flow throughout your circulatory system and make it harder for your heart to pump. Additionally, limited blood flow throughout the body may also increase your risk of stroke. Blood carries oxygen and other vital nutrients throughout your body, so you don’t want to mess with this system. Cayenne pepper prevents blood clots by encouraging fibrinolytic activity. Capsaicin is also good at clearing away lipid deposits that narrow your arteries and dilating them so that blood is free to flow through without any blockages.

5. Removes Toxins

Removes Toxin 22 benefits of cayenne pepper


If you’ve ever looked at some of the ingredients listed in a detox beverage, you may have noticed that it contains cayenne. This is because cayenne contains antioxidant properties that clear toxins out of the body. Removing toxins helps improve your skin health. It also improves the efficiency of your digestive tract, blood flow, and metabolism. For a yummy detox drink, try combining two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, two tablespoons maple syrup, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to a glass of water. Some people as many as eight glasses a day to clear out their system and reboot their metabolism. You can also use this as a one-time drink concoction if you just want a quick pick-me-up. Avoid the maple syrup if you’re watching your sugar intake.

6. Lowers Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure may go up if you’re stressed, inactive, or if you eat a poor diet. It’s a widespread condition. In fact, approximately 40 percent of people over the age of 25 have it. Adding cayenne to your daily diet is one thing you can do to lower your levels. One study found that mice with high blood pressure who ate capsaicin daily reduced their blood pressure levels. Another study found that capsaicin helped relax blood vessels in subjects, which lead to lower blood pressure. Although these trials were animal studies, they show promising results that if you eat a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods, it may help reduce your blood pressure, which has many benefits for your heart.

7. Reduces Hunger

Reduces Hunger benefits of cayenne pepper

Several studies have found that eating cayenne peppers can help reduce your hunger, make you feel full for longer, and help you eat less. Although the mechanisms are not exactly understood, it appears that cayenne minimizes the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin that prompts you to eat. One study (12) found that cayenne pepper helped decrease appetite in Japanese women and total energy intake in Caucasian men. Additionally, the researchers related cayenne pepper to an increase in sympathetic nervous system activity in the Caucasian male group. Another study found that people who took capsaicin supplements ate 10 percent less on average than a control group while those who drank a beverage that contained capsaicin reduced their energy intake by 16 percent.

8. Boosts Metabolism

In addition to helping you eat less, cayenne pepper may also boost your metabolism. It does so by increasing the amount of heat your body produces, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day, according to one study. This heat-induced process is known as thermogenesis, and it quite literally heats up your metabolism. One study found that people who ate a breakfast that contained capsaicin and medium chain triglyceride oil (which helps you absorb the capsaicin) burned 51 percent more calories while eating that meal. This was compared to people who did not eat either MCT or capsaicin for their breakfast. Other studies show that the metabolism-boosting effects of capsaicin are small, but hey, any little bit helps, right?



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