Many people consider cayenne peppers to be the king of medicinal herbs.

体育投注网址In fact, these peppers have been used for thousands of years to help treat many health problems.

Not only do they have medicinal properties, but cayenne peppers are also great for cooking and contain several beneficial nutrients.

Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper. They belong to the nightshade family of flowering plants and are closely related to bell peppers体育投注网址 and jalapeños.

体育投注网址They were originally grown in Central and South America, but brought to Europe in the 15th century by Christopher Columbus.

Cayenne peppers are a popular spice used in many different regional styles of cooking, and they have been used medicinally for thousands of years.

These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following ():

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

体育投注网址Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties.

体育投注网址It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.

Here are 8 science-backed benefits of cayenne pepper.

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It does this through a process called diet-induced thermogenesis, which causes an increase in your metabolism.

In one study, people who ate a breakfast containing capsaicin and medium-chain triglyceride oil burned 51% more calories during that meal, compared to people who had neither for breakfast ().

But while capsaicin helps boost metabolism, the overall effect is small.

In another study, people who ate 1 gram of red cayenne pepper only burned 10 more calories over four and a half hours, compared to those who didn't eat any cayenne pepper ().

It's also important to know that people who regularly consume cayenne peppers don't continue to reap the same benefits from them over time, as their bodies adapt to the effects ().

Summary: The capsaicin in cayenne peppers may help boost your metabolism. However, its effect is small and you may build up a tolerance.
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How it does this is not completely understood, but one study showed that it reduces the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin ().

One study showed that people taking capsaicin ate less food throughout the day than those who didn't take any. Specifically, those taking capsaicin supplements ate 10% less, while those who drank a capsaicin-containing beverage ate 16% less ().

People in the same study also reported feeling fuller, while eating fewer calories ().

Summary: The capsaicin in cayenne peppers may help reduce your hunger, helping you eat less throughout the day.

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Interestingly, animal studies have shown that the capsaicin in cayenne peppers may reduce high blood pressure.

One study in mice with high blood pressure showed that the long-term consumption of dietary spices containing capsaicin helped reduce blood pressure ().

体育投注网址Another study showed that capsaicin helped relax blood vessels in pigs, leading to lower blood pressure ().

It's important to note that the findings above are based on animals, and capsaicin's effects may differ in humans. It is best to take these findings with a grain of salt.

Summary: Capsaicin has appeared to reduce blood pressure in animal studies. Human studies are needed before making a recommendation.
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It does this by stimulating nerves in the stomach that signal for protection against injury ().

While some believe that spicy food may cause stomach ulcers, a review paper has shown that the capsaicin in cayenne peppers may actually help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers ().

Summary: Cayenne peppers may help improve your digestive health and reduce your risk of stomach ulcers.
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When less substance P is produced, pain signals can no longer reach the brain, and feelings of pain decrease ().

Capsaicin is available as a skin cream and is often recommended for the following conditions (, ):

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain after surgery
  • Pain from nerve conditions like shingles

Additionally, it's important to note that capsaicin cream should not be applied to an open wound or broken skin.

Summary: Capsaicin has powerful pain relief properties. It relieves pain by reducing the amount of substance P that your body produces.
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One study showed that psoriasis patients treated with capsaicin cream had significantly reduced scaling, redness and patchiness than patients who received a placebo cream ().

It's believed that substance P plays a role in psoriasis. As mentioned previously, capsaicin helps reduce the amount of substance P produced by your body ().

Summary: Capsaicin creams may help improve symptoms of psoriasis by helping reduce the amount of substance P produced by your body.

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In fact, studies have shown that capsaicin can slow the growth of cancer cells and even cause cell death for many different types of cancer, including prostate, pancreatic and skin cancer ().

While capsaicin's effects on cancer cells seem promising, it's important to note that the current findings are based on laboratory and animal studies.

体育投注网址Capsaicin's effects on cancer in humans has not yet been studied, so it's wise to take this information with a grain of salt.

Summary: Capsaicin has shown promise in cancer research, although human studies are needed before any conclusions can be made.
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You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper spice to many of your favorite foods, such as eggs, homemade fries and even marinades.

体育投注网址Alternatively, you could slice whole cayenne peppers and add them to salads.

If you haven't eaten a cayenne pepper before, be sure to do a small taste test to see if you can tolerate the heat, as they are very spicy.

Summary: Cayenne peppers are easy to incorporate into your diet. Try adding a pinch of it to some of your favorite meals.

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However, eating too much cayenne pepper in one sitting may give you a stomach ache and make you feel sick ().

If you are taking medications for high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors, check with your doctor before trying capsaicin cream, as it may cause coughing ().

Also, if you take a blood thinner like warfarin, check with your doctor before trying cayenne peppers since they may increase your risk of bleeding ().

体育投注网址Lastly, when applying capsaicin cream to your skin, do not apply it to an open wound or broken skin.

Summary: Cayenne peppers are generally safe to eat. However, if you take blood thinners or blood pressure medication, check with your doctor before trying cayenne peppers or capsaicin cream.

体育投注网址 Cayenne peppers may have many health benefits that are the result of their active component, capsaicin.

They may reduce your appetite and help lower blood pressure, among many other benefits.

体育投注网址If you're worried that cayenne peppers may interact with your current medication, it's best to check with your doctor.

For most people, cayenne peppers are a great way to add a kick to your diet.