Pass the Peppers Please
Sometimes current health advice rings a bell. It may fit what you have always suspected, or just happen to be what you already do. I was pleased when I spotted EasyHealthOptions.com advice on cayenne chili peppers. They cited Italian research that found eating these fiery chili peppers may reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
I grew up loving chili peppers, and am delighted to know it is such a healthy choice. Scientists from the Mediterranean Neurological Institute say the cayenne chili peppers may have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Their research on 20,000 people over eight years found people who ate the peppers four times per week were 40 percent less likely to have a heart attack. They were also half as likely to have a stroke.
The plant compound capasaicin is the medicinal secret to the health benefit of the peppers. It's also the spicy kick to their taste. Check this list of additional benefits.
Metabolism may get a boost - More calories are burned by the heat generated by the peppers. Over time the body builds up a tolerance and the boost is gradually reduced.
Hunger may drop back - The capsaicin in the peppers may help reduce hunger, prompting you to eat less throughout the day.
Blood pressure may be lowered - Lab studies with mice showed long-term consumption of capsaicin helped reduce blood pressure. Human studies will be needed to be sure the same effects are achieved.
Digestion may improve - Scientists believe capsaicin may help deliver enzymes to the stomach to improve digestion, increase digestive fluid production and help fight infections.
Pain may be reduced - Capsaicin relieves pain by reducing the amount of substance P, a neuropeptide generated by the body that signals pain to the brain. In addition to being eaten in chili peppers, capsaicin is also available as a skin cream for lower back pain, joint and muscle pain, shingle nerve pain, and post surgery pain. Note: if you try the creams be sure to wash your hands afterwards and avoid touching your eyes.
Easy to incorporate in your diet - You may eat chili peppers, use cayenne pepper, or chose a supplement. Whatever you do, start with small amounts. Start with mild peppers such as poblano or Anaheim peppers or pepperoncini. Then graduate to jalapenos, chipotles, serranos and cayenne pepper. Finally, consider spicy habanero, Thai or the Charleston hot pepper and always wash your hands after handling them; understand these can be be quite hot, to the point of making you uncomfortable.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.