Sure, you may love the taste of hot peppers, but what if something that tasted great was also good for you?
It turns out that’s the case with cayenne peppers. Not only can they be used to flavor just about anything, but they’re packed with a seemingly endless number of added health benefits. The cayenne ranks just moderately high on the hot pepper scale, but that doesn’t mean you’re not in for a high dose of health benefits. To begin with, cayenne is high in vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. It also contains vitamins K and B6, plus magnesium, and potassium, too. The antioxidants naturally found in cayenne peppers may help prevent certain heart conditions. The vitamins and nutrients are good for your overall health, too.
Some of the biggest benefits of all are tied to capsaicin.
That’s the compound found in hot peppers that makes them hot, and cayenne pepper is rich in capsaicin. It can help lower blood sugar levels, improve athletic performance, and provide relief from inflammation and pain. While the health benefits are plentiful, even too much of a good thing may not necessarily be good for you. You may want to check with your doctor if you have certain health conditions, because cayenne can sometimes interact with blood thinners. You should also watch out for any issues with heartburn or stomach problems after consuming hot peppers.
Assuming everything is fine, cayenne peppers can easily be added to some of your favorite meals.
Try adding fresh or powdered cayenne pepper to marinades and sauces, or to omelets. You can also try it out in soups, chilis, and stews. Peppers work well in stir-fry, too. Now that the weather’s a bit cooler for many of us, you may even want to try a little powdered cayenne pepper in your next mug of hot chocolate. It’s a spicy twist that’s sure to warm you up on a cold winter day.