Prehistoric remains in Peru prove peppers have been around for the past several thousand years. Since at least 7500 BC, people have been eating delicious, spicy hot and milder versions of peppers. While most individuals consume peppers as a means of spicing up a meal, the food does have sound medicinal value that shouldn’t be ignored. Among the many health benefits of peppers, perhaps the ability for the food to aid in weight loss or ease pain are the most recognizable.
The magical ingredient in red, orange, brown, purple and green peppers, habaneros and seranos, chile, jalapenos and more – capsaicin – is what gives these fruit their ‘bite.’ The magical capsaicin is also what grants peppers their pain-reducing and weight-managing abilities. In study after study, peppers have proven to reduce pain of all kinds: pain caused by heat, chemicals, injury, and more by producing a special, naturally occurring chemical in the body called ‘substance P’ which tells the nerves to feel hurt and discomfort. And for those overweight, well, the connection between capsaicin and weight loss is continuously studied.
From the Greek word meaning ‘I bite,’ capsaicin is not just a substance that targets pain that is skin-deep. Pepper-derived capsaicin has helped with osteoarthritis, in neuropathy that many diabetes patients suffer from regularly, and even the itch of psoriasis.
More Benefits of Eating Peppers:
- They are packed with vitamins A and C, often just a handful will provide your daily recommended dose
- Reduce inflammation
- Help to treat Diabetes
- Full of beneficial phytochemicals and carotenoids including beta-carotene
- Vitamin B6 helps to reduce strain on the nervous system and regenerates sight
- Full of Vitamin E to help beautify hair, skin and nails
- Lutein enzymes also protect eyesight and prevent macular degeneration
- Boost immunity
- Low calorie for those desirous of losing weight
- Sulfur content in peppers helps in treating certain cancers
No matter what type of peppers you enjoy – hatch, bell peppers, or jalapenos, you can be sure that continuing your spicy habit is boosting your health in numerous ways, and of course – relieving you from pain.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.