Chili peppers are the magical food that can spice up our life; they put a fiery flame to our tongue, sweat to our brow, tears to our eyes, and create a challenge to see who can eat the most or hottest. Many foods would not be what they are without them. Guacamole would be simple mashed Avocado’s. A bowl of chili would just be beans and meat. Some things in life just need a touch of heat to make them what they are. Though they add lots of flavor to our foods, they also have a wealth of healthy benefits for us.
Studies by many health institutes and organizations show that the active component capsaicin is what causes the heat we feel in our mouth. It is a known antioxidant and is the photochemical that generates the heat in peppers like the Ancho, Cayenne, Jalapeño, Habaneras, and Serrano. The sweet peppers such as the red and yellow bell peppers only contain trace amounts of capsaicin. Typically the hotter they are, the more capsaicin they have.
The World Health Organization has discovered that countries that have a higher intake of foods using capsaicin have a much lower death rate due to cancer. Citizens of countries like South America have lower reported rates of stomach, intestinal, and colon cancer issues compared to those who live in the United States.
Researchers from the Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai medical center have formed the opinion that capsaicin causes cancer cells in the prostrate to apoptosis.
Capsaicin is an ingredient that can be found as an analgesic in some topical ointments and as Sinol-M in nasal sprays. It is used as a temporary pain reliever for minor aches and pains associated with muscle or joint pain.
It works as an anti-inflammatory helping relieve pain from arthritis.
It is a thermogenic agent that can help increase metabolism rates helping to burn additional calories and aids in weight reduction.
The carbohydrates will breakdown after eating causing capsaicin to help regulate the blood sugar levels in our bodies.
Studies suggest capsaicin is able to kill off lung and prostate cancer cells through the undergoing of apoptosis. These studies were concluded through the use of capsaicin treatments to adult mice with tumors similar to those with cell cultures related to prostate cancer in humans. The results showed that the mice treated with capsaicin had tumors about one-fifth the size than those untreated.
It can help build stronger arteries and blood veins, resulting in a natural way to help lower blood pressure.
Through increasing endorphins, it can help elevate a person’s mood while promoting a reduction in stress and depression.
Psoriasis, herpes and other skin conditions all benefit from the use of Capsaicin.
Hot chilies have a positive effect on an overactive bladder.
Spice up your sex life with the increase in libido from the peppers.
The Different Forms of Capsaicin
Capsaicin comes in two different forms. It comes in a natural form, through the use of hot pepper and through synthetic, which is made in laboratories. The effectiveness of both forms seems to be identical. The different levels of hotness can be viewed by looking on the Scoville scale.
The natural form is available in different strength powers, such as 95%, 50% and 40%. It is also available in pure oil at different strengths which are 50% and 40%. It is naturally used for food preparation, and sometimes in pharmaceutical settings.
The synthetic form is more often used as a deterrent. It can fend off mammalian pests, such as deer, rabbits, insects, squirrels and other such nuisances.
Also, capsaicin is found as the active ingredient in pepper sprays for personal protection and riot control.
Depending on how you desire to use chili peppers, the natural health benefits that accompany them are enormous. Chili peppers can be enjoyed cooked or in powder form to help improve your health or for self-protection from others or pests. Either way, learning to love the heat and enjoy the benefits provided through chili peppers is a natural and healthy choice.