Should you eat pepper seeds?

By now you’ve probably heard some of the health benefits of eating hot peppers, but what about the seeds?

If it’s healthy to eat hot peppers, it’s certainly healthy to eat the seeds, right? Not so fast. It turns out you don’t want to overindulge in pepper seeds, as this could actually be bad for you. It seems eating pepper seeds can lead to everything from mild abdominal discomfort to even some severe digestive issues. That’s because pepper seeds contain compounds such as piperine. In high doses, piperine can be toxic. There’s also the danger of a compound called solanine, which can result in some pretty serious issues itself when consumed in high amounts.

There’s a way to avoid the problem.

You can reduce the harmful compounds found in pepper seeds by roasting seeds in the oven. There are also some varieties of peppers on the hot pepper scale that contain a lesser number of volatile compounds. That’s good news because pepper seeds do have some benefits. They’ve been used in the past to aid with digestion, as a natural anti-inflammatory, and to lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol. It’s also thought pepper seeds may help reduce blood pressure, and potentially reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. It’s probably a good idea to talk to your doctor about it before you try them.

Peppers aren’t the source of capsaicin, but they do sometimes have capsaicin on them, simply because of where seeds are located inside a pepper.

They also are sometimes bitter in taste, which is why many people do choose to remove them before cooking peppers. While it’s not recommended you eat raw pepper seeds in large quantities, you can always leave them in the food you make for extra texture, flavor, and nutrition. They’re a good source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

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