Hot Stuff!

Chili peppers contain an impressive list of plant-derived compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. In fact, that heat you taste is from capsaicin, and it does a lot more than just make you sweat!

  • Fights Cancer: A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that capsaicin eliminated almost 80 percent of prostate cancer cells mice. Additionally, the prostate tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in untreated mice.
  • Provides Pain Relief: Capsaicin is a recognized topical treatment for osteoarthritis pain. It also inhibits the key transmitter of pain to the brain, Substance P.  Studies have also found that capsaicin can relieve and prevent cluster headaches, migraine headaches and sinus headaches.
  • Prevents Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion: Capsaicin has potent antibacterial properties that fight and prevent chronic sinus infections, or sinusitis. The heat in capsaicin stimulates secretions, helping to clear mucus from your nose and relieve nasal congestion.
  • Reduces Inflammation: Capsaicin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It works by inhibiting Substance P, which is also associated with inflammatory processes. Capsaicin is being looked at as a potential treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.
  • Burns Fat: Capsaicin  increases metabolic activity which increases the bodies ability to burn calories and fat.
  • Protects the Heart: In a recent study where mice were fed a high cholesterol diet that included varying amounts of capsaicinoids – the active compound in chili peppers – researchers found that the dietary additions resulted in lower total cholesterol levels compared to control groups in the study.

That’s not all the humble chili offers! Additional benefits include:

  • A rich source of vitamin-C. A potent water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen – the main structural protein in the body! Vitamin C also protects againstscurvy; boosts immunity and fights against damaging free radicals.thaA good of source antioxidants like vitamin A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthins, which offer protection against the free radicals that are generated during stress and illness.
  • A good source of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • A good source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).

Chilis are popular in many ethnic foods, such as Thai, Indian and Mexican, but they’d be great in your turkey burgers too! Try experimenting, the health returns are too good to pass by!


3 comments to Hot Stuff!

  • New info! Just came across thisinformation … An Oxford University study found that adding just 3 grams of chili peppers to meals increases your fat-burning metabolism.

    Hope that helps!

  • Hi Laura,

    Sorry for the time lapse for an answer!

    At this time there’s no quantification in the studies. The research was spurred by the difference in overall health in different cultures and their diets. The studies so far are looking at broad responses to diet. We looked for any research that would give us a specific amount to ingest, but it just isn’t available (to our knowledge). However, one thing we heard across the board is … these health gains are real, and the addition of chili peppers is a real plus!

  • Laura Pokas

    Peter, how many chili peppers does one need in order to reap the benefits you talk about.

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