What Capn’t Capsaicin do?
While peppers have a variety of active ingredients, one chemical stands alone as both the hottest and healthiest: capsaicin. Capsaicin, the chemical which gives peppers their trademark kick, is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also increases heat through metabolic stimulation, literally heating up your metabolism to increase weight loss.
This week, we take a deep dive into five health benefits of capsaicin:
- Pain relief: Black pepper has long been a miracle spice for joint pain. Due to high levels of capsaicin and piperine, the anti-inflammatory abilities of black pepper are an effective anti-arthritic. Studies show that treating rheumatoid arthritis with black pepper may reduce one’s dependence on over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Reduces Cancer Risk: Researchers found a spicy new link between capsaicin’s antioxidant properties and prevention of certain cancers. The study found eating 8 large habanero peppers a week may prevent prostate, bladder, and breast cancer.
- Reduces Diabetic pain: Topical salves with capsaicin can ease the pain of diabetic neuropathy. These FDA-approved salves capitalize on one effect many spicy food lovers know all too well: capsaicin tells your pain transmitters to go into overdrive, which creates a numbing sensation.
- Alleviates Headaches: In a promising trial study of 18 migraine sufferers taking capsaicin intra-nasally, 13 experienced complete pain relief for 30 minutes to several hours. Be warned: all participants in the study noted 10 minutes of intense nose stinging and burning eyes… So don’t inhale any Cayenne just yet!
- Digestive health: No one likes heartburn, but gut burn? Count us in. Eating spicy peppers can reduce indigestion, bloating, and kill harmful gut bacteria. Capsaicin heat increases gastric mucus production in the stomach and speeds up the digestion process. So enjoy next week’s spicy specialties!