Another big health benefit tied to eating red peppers

You’ve probably heard a few health benefits already when it comes to eating red peppers, but now it turns out there’s even more to celebrate.

Not only can chili peppers help with a host of health-related issues, but they can also help specifically target gut health. Previous studies have already show capsaicin, the compound found in hot peppers that makes them so hot, can benefit a regular diet. Capsaicin has some anti-inflammatory benefits and has been shown to help protect against obesity. In one of the latest studies, researchers found consuming capsaicin made it possible to alter short-chain fatty acid levels and gut microbial structure.

Using an in vitro model of the human gut, researchers combined NextGen sequencing and metabolomics.

They found regularly consuming capsaicin changed the gut’s microbial community structure. When it’s possible to increase the diversity, scientists say it likely leads to better health. A decrease, on the other hand, in this type of gut microbial diversity is sometimes associated with illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe changes in the gut could be what’s to credit for the health benefits you get when you consume capsaicin.

Capsaicin, of course, is naturally found in hot chili peppers. The higher the concentration, the higher the pepper ranks on the scoville heat scale. Apart from just the health benefits, capsaicin is often used to flavor food and sometimes used to mask the taste of food. It’s also been used for medicinal reasons. In the past, capsaicin’s been associated with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-hypertensive effects. It additionally appears to have some association with lower obesity and lower cholesterol. So, the next time you’re thinking about adding more flavor to meal or snack time, you may want to take a look at one of the many choices when it comes to hot peppers. Your body, and especially your gut, may thank you.

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