Cayenne pepper is a member of the Capsicum family of vegetables, popularly called chili peppers. The botanical name of cayenne pepper is Capsicum annum. It owes its common name “cayenne” to a town in French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America, wherein the pepper was extensively cultivated. Cayenne pepper is hot and spicy and adds intense flavor to the dishes. It is available throughout the year. The cayenne pepper’s cultivation can be traced to Central and South America, which are known for hot and spicy foods. It is being cultivated in these places for more than seven thousand years and spread to other parts of the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. Christopher Columbus found the pepper while on his way to the Caribbean Islands. He brought it to Europe, where it was eventually used as a substitute for black pepper. Today, cayenne pepper forms one of the main spices in most of the cuisines of the world. It has a lots of health benefits to its credit. China, Turkey, Nigeria, Spain and Mexico are the largest commercial producers of cayenne pepper. We bring you the several health benefits of cayenne pepper in the lines below.
Health Benefits Of Eating Cayenne Pepper
- Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which helps in preventing inflammation. Capsaicin inhibits the action of substance P, a neuropeptide closely associated with inflammation.
- The pepper proves to be an effective treatment against the pain resulting from arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.
- It decreases the risk of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
- The capsaicin present in cayenne pepper helps remove the mucus accumulation in nose and lungs. It breaks up the congestion caused by mucus and provides a great relief to the body.
- It is rich in beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A, which is a requisite for healthy epithelial tissues, including the mucus membrane present in the lungs, nasal passages, urinary tract and intestinal tract.
- The vitamin A present in cayenne pepper helps defend the body against invading pathogens.
- The beta carotene present in cayenne pepper helps in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. It has an antioxidant activity, which prevents the free radical damage that is an integral factor for atherosclerosis, colon cancer and diabetic complications like nerve damage and heart disease.
- The heat produced after consuming cayenne pepper takes away calories from the body. Through this process, the pepper helps body lose extra weight.
- The pepper is very effective in treating headaches and osteoarthritis pain.
- Cayenne pepper reduces blood cholesterol, platelet aggregation and triglyceride levels.
- It boosts up body’s capability to dissolve fibrin, which is an integral element for the formation of blood clots.
- The pepper prevents stomach ulcers, by killing ingested bacteria and simultaneously stimulating the cells lining the stomach to secrete ulcer-preventing juices.
- Cayenne pepper plays a significant role in treating sensory nerve fiber disorders.
- Cayenne pepper is hot and spicy and may be intolerable to some, especially when consumed in higher quantity. It can cause a burning sensation when consumed in excess.
- Excess amount of cayenne pepper can cause stomach pain and vomiting. It can also worsen ulcers, when taken in larger quantities.
- People allergic to bananas and avocados may have an allergic disposition to cayenne pepper as well.
- It causes irritation to the mucus membrane, in its powdered form. It can cause burning and stinging sensation in and around the eyes, nose and mouth as well.
- Cayenne pepper can cause burning sensations in the skin where it is applied, for treating arthritis pain.
- You can place a container of cayenne pepper on your dining table, so that anyone willing to add a pinch of extra spice to the meal can do it without any difficulty.
- Canned beans taste extremely delicious when cayenne is added to them.
- A combination of cayenne and lemon juice can help turn out a great treat out of cooked bitter greens, like collards, kale and mustard greens.
- The pepper goes well with almost any non-vegetarian gravy items, like roasted, duck, meat sauces, goulash, sea foods, etc.
- To have less spice out of the fresh pepper, remove its seeds and ribs before adding to the food.
- Do not touch your eyes or nose while cleaning or handling cayenne pepper, as it can cause burning sensation.
- In case you have added more cayenne than required and find the dish too spicy, add potatoes, noodles or some coconut milk to lower the spiciness.