Cayenne pepper has been used to add flavor, color, and a hit of heat to dishes for thousands of years. Some people love it, while others cackle at their heat-intolerant friends who chug water after they secretly doused their food in cayenne. Love it or hate it, there are many benefits to using this ancient spice, with more being discovered all the time.

6 Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Firstly, you should know that chili powder is not the same thing as cayenne pepper. Storebought chili powder is usually mixed with other spices, including both spicy options and even milder flavors like cinnamon.

To take advantage of the following benefits, look for 100% cayenne pepper or try this cayenne pepper extract.

1. Prevent Foodborne Illness

The use of spices in countries with hot climates dates back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Before refrigeration was invented, people used spices to kill bacteria and pathogens in their food.

Capsicums and hot peppers, including cayenne, kill up to 75% of the bacteria they come up against, helping to prevent food-borne illness and death for generations.

2. Digestive Aid

Capsaicin, the compound in cayenne pepper that makes it hot, has been found to act as a digestive aid. It does this by increasing saliva production, improving gastric motility, and may also stimulate digestive enzyme production.

3. Anti-Inflammatory and Cancer Prevention

Studies show that capsaicin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, making it a promising candidate for treating inflammatory diseases and cancer. It inhibits the enzyme activity of specific proteins that may cause these illnesses.

4. Heal Stomach Ulcers

New research shows that capsaicin inhibits stomach acid secretion and stimulates mucus secretions and blood flow to the stomach. It activates neurons in your stomach that signal for protection against injury causing agents, and therefore prevent and help to heal gastric ulcers.

5. Pain Relief

Cayenne pepper and capsaicin have shown to help with a variety of pain, including arthritis, fibromyaglia, pain from skin conditions such as shingles and psoriasis, nerve damage and pain related to diabetes, lower back pain, as well as headaches and chronic migraines. The exact mechanism for this in unknown, however it may have to do with cayenne’s anti-inflammatory properties. Try this cayenne pepper pain relief cream.

6. Weight Loss

Some studies suggest that cayenne pepper and capsaicin may help to decrease appetite and help people feel fuller, longer.

How to use Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is easy to use and can be incorporated into almost any meal or even dessert. If you are new to spice, start off small. As you build a tolerance for heat, you will be able to add more. Here is a list of easy recipes to include more cayenne in your diet:


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