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Should You Add more Paprika to Your Diet?

By Amy Silva

Paprika is used in an abundance of recipes all around the world. It can be orange, red or even yellow, and different flavor varieties make it easy to incorporate it into many types of dishes. From traditional Hungarian goulash to topping deviled eggs, paprika is a versatile spice due to its various colors and flavors and may also have health benefits.

About Paprika

The history of paprika dates back to the days of Christopher Columbus when he took Mexican chili peppers to Europe. There are three flavors and colors of paprika. One type that is popular in America is the sweet variety and it has no heat but does have the flavor and color of chili peppers. The second variety does have heat, just as hot peppers do. The last type of paprika is smoked over fire for an added smokey flavor.

Possible Health Benefits of Paprika

Paprika has vitamins including Vitamin A, E and B6, and is a good source of iron. It also has antioxidants including lutein and beta carotene. Some of these are thought to maintain or improve eyesight. Capsaicin, which is what adds the heat in hot peppers, has anti-inflammatory properties which may reduce inflammation, making it possible to ease arthritis pain. One study showed compounds found in paprika may reduce the risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. It may also slow the growth of cancer cells. It's possible paprika can increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

How to Incorporate Paprika Into Your Diet

In America, paprika is commonly used to top deviled eggs or used in spice mixtures to flavor meat, such as tacos. It can also be added to soups and stews and there are many other dishes paprika can bring color or flavor to including:

  • Vegetables - Adding paprika to potatoes or potato salad is a popular choice, as are other vegetables such as carrots
  • Meat and seafood - Ground paprika can be used with other seasonings and spices to create dry rubs or used in marinades for meat and seafood
  • International cuisines - Hungarian goulash, Spanish sausages or other ethnic food dishes are seasoned using paprika for its flavor and color

Paprika comes in different colors and flavors making it easy to add to almost any recipe. It also has potential health benefits that make it worth adding to your diet.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenville, S.C.

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