5 Spicy Benefits of Eating Hot Peppers

The hotter the better!

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Hot peppers are full of health benefits.

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When it comes to peppers, the hotter the better. Not only do they give food a spicy kick, hot peppers –especially ones that are red – have medicinal properties too. That’s because the heat and the benefits come from capsaicin which is a powerful antioxidant and the main bioactive plant compound in hot peppers, according to Healthline.

Historically, hot peppers were added to foods to help preserve them because Capsaicin contains anti-microbial properties that can destroy harmful bacteria, according to Pepper Head. Now, after refrigeration, these same hot peppers continue to protect people against food poisoning and could actually aid in gut health by killing harmful bacteria.

There are hundreds of varieties of hot peppers. Whether you use them fresh, canned, powdered – the powdered variety is known as paprika – , or in hot sauces, eating hot peppers comes with some spicy health benefits

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Hot peppers are rich in vitamins C, A, B6 and K1, Healthline wrote, as well as minerals including  potassium and copper. These spicy peppers also contain other carotenoid (antioxidants) besides capsaicin that may aid against chronic diseases.Since people only eat a small amount of the peppers at a time, you don’t get much of your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals but what you do get packs quite a punch.

Dried hot peppers.

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Could Help Reduce Pain

The capsaicin in hot peppers could reduce pain because it binds with the pain receptors (the nerve endings that sense pain) by creating a burning sensation but not actual pain. This could help to reduce heartburn pain from acid reflux, A clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who were given 2.5 grams of red chili peppers daily for 5-weeks, experienced increased pain at first but that the pain lessened in time.

May Aid in Migraine Relief

The pain-relievers found in hot peppers may also work for other pain, according to Web MD. Using a special nasal spray made of capsaicin may numb your brain’s trigeminal nerve (this is where headaches and migraines start) and this could provide relief from painful headaches. 

The hotter the better.

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Helps to Calm a Runny Nose

If you are suffering from a runny, sneezy, or stuffy  nose, a whiff of hot peppers could help to clear your non-allergic rhinitis. While this will sting at first, the capsaicin will kick in and help calm your symptoms.

Could Aid in Blood Sugar Control 

Eating hot peppers may help maintain blood sugar and insulin levels, according to Diabetes Self-Management Magazine. That’s because the capsaicin in peppers does not cause a blood spike and could help regulate glucose levels after eating. So you can indulge your spicy tooth without fear of diabetic complications.

Various colored hot peppers.

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