How hot is too hot for you? Do you settle for nothing less than a Carolina Reaper, or would you prefer to know whether or not red chili peppers can benefit you as much as the hellfire from the Reaper’s fire pits? Fortunately, chili pepper benefits don’t require a medical visit with flaming breath. You won’t need to be able to spit fire and burn down villages to benefit from chili peppers. Instead, today you’ll discover the many benefits of the key ingredient in hot chili peppers. Note you won’t need to fear a mouth of hellfire or have milk handy to embrace the benefits.
Chili Pepper Health Benefits
Dr. Robert Schmerling from Harvard states that chili peppers may have various health benefits because of the famous ingredient: capsaicin (25). But first, let’s discover the contents of chili peppers.
Check The Varieties Of Hot Peppers For Health Benefits
Not all chilies are equal. WebMD warns that in Mexico, the word chile can refer to any kind of pepper, including sweet and mild ones (17). In most other places, the word chile refers to hot peppers. This article focuses on the benefits of eating hot chilies with a vital ingredient called capsaicin.
Some varieties include:
- Ghost, Reaper, and Scorpion chilies (for the daring)
You’ll need to eat chili peppers with some capsaicin to benefit from them. A suitable method of rating the capsaicin in chili is to use the Scoville heat scale. The official Scoville Heat Scale measures capsaicin levels ranging from zero to over 1.6 million Scoville heat units (SHU) (12).
Red Chili Pepper Nutrition, Vitamins, And Minerals
Red Chili peppers are standard. The USDA shares the following nutritional facts for a 45g red chili pepper (14).
- Calcium: 6.3 mg
- Arginine: 0.043 g
- Vitamin A: 21.6 ߎg
- Fiber: 0.675 g
- Aspartic Acid: 0.129 g
- Vitamin B6: 0.228 mg
- Iron: 0.464 mg
- Folate: 10.4 ߎg
- Vitamin C: 64.8 mg
- Magnesium: 10.4 mg
- Glutamic Acid: 0.119 g
- Vitamin E: 0.31 mg
- Manganese: 0.084 mg
- Leucine: 0.047 g
- Vitamin K: 6.3 ߎg
- Phosphorus: 19.4 mg
- Niacin: 0.558 mg
- Potassium: 145 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.039 mg
- Protein: 0.842 g
- Thiamine: 0.032 mg
- Zinc: 0.117 mg
- Tryptophan: 0.012 g
7 Red Chili Pepper Benefits
Red chili peppers are more common than most, adding spicy hues to food, drinks, and more. Eating them dried, powdered, or fresh may bring numerous benefits. Let’s see what you can do with red chili and other peppers.
May Improve Eye Health
Dr. Rex Hamilton recommends adding bell peppers to food to slow down age-related macular degeneration (21). Bell peppers contain vitamins A and C and carotenoids, which may delay age-related vision loss.
May Protect Your Skin
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that capsaicin blocks the reduction in collagen synthesis caused by UV damage in vitro and in mice (7). This means capsaicin might slow down skin aging.
May Improve Your Hair
The Nagoya City University studied how capsaicin could help people with alopecia regrow hair (2). Alopecia is a horrid condition that causes hair loss. However, capsaicin and isoflavone combined may increase insulin-like growth factor 1 to encourage hair growth.
Works As An Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant
The National Institute of Agricultural Sciences confirmed that chili peppers contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (4). They only focused on the capsicum annuum type of chili. Still, suggested its use to fight oxidative stress and inflammation successfully.
Fights Fungal Infections
The Gastrointestinal Microbiology Research Group found that the antibacterial properties of hot chili peppers may work against bacterial infections (3). The results were incredible because capsaicin might even help your body fight bacterial infections, which are resistant to medicine and antibiotics.
Fights The Flu And The Common Cold
The Gastrointestinal Microbiology Research Group found that the antibacterial properties of hot chili peppers work against influenza (3). The results were incredible because capsaicin could help your body fight bacterial infections resistant to medicine and antibiotics.
Decreases Neurological Pain Signals
The ingredients in hot chili peppers can stop pain signals. The FDA approved a capsaicin patch to reduce neuropathic pain signals (20). Neuropathic pain is related to nervous system damage, and capsaicin successfully stops the pain signals at the source.
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3 Surprising Chili Pepper Water Benefits
Chili pepper in water benefits sounds odd. Still, it is said to help with discomfort and ailments. Let’s discover how using chili pepper water might help you feel better.
Might Help With Itchy Skin
Ego Pharmaceuticals’ Department of Research and Development reviewed multiple topical treatments for itchy skin related to atopic dermatitis (5). They mention that capsaicin has been reported as an effective treatment for the itch, but one recent study found that capsaicin made the itch worse.
Unblocks A Runny Nose And Fights Allergies
The Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center suggests that chili pepper may help to unblock a runny nose in some cases (6). That said, it cannot cure chronic sinusitis.
Can Stop Migraines And Cluster Headaches
The National Headache Foundation suggests that intranasal capsaicin might reduce pain from migraines and cluster headaches (11). The researchers from one study believe that the ingredient may show promising effects against headaches because it desensitizes the trigeminal nerve and inhibits a certain neurotransmitter.
3 Dietary Benefits Of Chili Pepper
Possible dietary benefits include improving metabolism, fat-burning abilities, and insulin absorption. So, let’s see how chili peppers may benefit your diet.
May Reduce The Risk Of Mortality
The University of Vermont College of Medicine conducted a large cohort study on red chili peppers to see how it relates to mortality (24). They found that consumption of red chili peppers was associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause. This suggests that chili pepper might have some benefit to health, although it is not clear specifically why.
Speeds Up Metabolism and Regulates Appetite
The Peking Union Medical College Hospital reviewed the mechanisms by which red chili peppers might affect metabolism (13). Capsaicin in red chili peppers may reduce appetite, increase fat burning, and increase energy expenditure – all of which could be helpful for weight loss.
Aids In Weight Loss
Qatar’s Weill Cornell Medicine studied chili peppers as a body weight-loss food (10). They describe how chili pepper may aid weight loss by increasing energy expenditure and improving insulin control.
6 Eating Chili Pepper Benefits
Chili peppers don’t stop with gut health and weight loss. The possible health benefits of hot chili peppers and capsaicin extend to your overall wellness. Let’s see how it achieves improved wellness.
Alters The Redox Status Of Red Blood Cells
India’s Amity University Uttar Pradesh found that capsaicin can alter the redox status of red blood cells. (19). They suggest that this could have a protective effect against age-related diseases.
Reduces Joint Pain
Korea’s Ehwa Women’s University reviewed how effective capsaicin is in treating various pains, including joint pain (16). Capsaicin continues to shut down pain signals from the brain, resulting in reduced joint pain. Meanwhile, the anti-inflammatory effect may reduce pain further.
May Increase Cognitive Functions
China’s Third Military Medical University discovered how eating spicy food with capsaicin can improve cognitive functions and prevent memory loss (23). Eating spicy foods showed positive results in the biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
May Increase Immune Functions
China’s Third Military Medical University found that eating spicy food with capsaicin may improve cognitive functions and prevent memory loss (23). Eating spicy foods was associated with higher cognition scores and fewer biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
May Improve Heart Health
The American Heart Association reviewed data from 4 large international studies, including 570,000 individuals (22). After careful analysis, the studies revealed that eating chili pepper may reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 26%.
May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
The American Heart Association found another incredible benefit when reviewing data on over 500,000 study participants and chili peppers (22). They found that the risk of death from cancer dropped on average by 23% in those who consume chili peppers.
May Extend Longevity
The American Heart Association’s meta-analysis revealed the internal benefits of chili peppers (22). They also found that eating chili peppers was associated with a 25% reduced risk of death from any cause.
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How To Use Chili Peppers For Weight Loss Benefits
Spice food, add powdered chili to smoothies and salads, or eat them raw. Evlin Symon from Healthline recommends making a tincture with hot water and powdered cayenne pepper for a daily weight loss dose (18).
- Prepare a cayenne pepper water drink early before breakfast.
- Add one teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper to an eight-ounce glass of hot water.
- Allow the drink to steep for 10 minutes.
- Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture in additional water a few times per day.
Is Chili Pepper Good For You?
Chili pepper has incredible benefits for your health and body. However, too much of any good thing will land you in hot water. WebMD warns not to eat too many chili peppers to avoid digestive problems, nausea, and stomach pain (17).
Is Chili Pepper Healthy?
The Cleveland Clinic recommends chili pepper as a rich source of vitamins A, B6, C, and K (1). From one fresh Cayenne pepper, you’re already consuming 72% of the necessary vitamin C daily, and you’ll also enjoy 50% of your daily vitamin A content. It’s healthy and vitamin-packed.
What Are The Benefits Of Chili Pepper?
The American Heart Association found incredible mortality benefits among data from over 500,000 participants regarding chili peppers (22). With chili pepper consumption, the risk of death from cancer dropped by 23%, and the risk of death from heart disease dropped by 26%. It may reduce two significant health risks.
How Much Cayenne Pepper For The Health Benefits?
Evlin Symon from Healthline recommends 28 grams of fresh chili peppers or one gram of dried chili peppers daily to enjoy the benefits (18).
The Bottom Line
Chili peppers may have attractive benefits for your skin, hair, weight loss journey, brain, allergies, and overall health. Capsaicin should become your best friend. Don’t worry; you’ll grow accustomed to the tang as you eat and drink more. Welcome chili pepper benefits.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 5 Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper – Cleveland Clinic (2021, clevelandclinic.org)
- Administration of capsaicin and isoflavone promotes hair growth by increasing insulin-like growth factor-I production in mice and humans with alopecia – PubMed (2007, nih.gov)
- Antibacterial properties of capsaicin and its derivatives and their potential to fight antibiotic resistance – A literature survey – PMC (2021, nih.gov)
- Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities about the Flavonoids Composition of Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) – PMC (2020, nih.gov)
- Breaking the Itch–Scratch Cycle: Topical Options for the Management of Chronic Cutaneous Itch in Atopic Dermatitis – PMC (2019, nih.gov)
- Can snorting red pepper cure a sinus infection?: Nadia Caballero, M.D.: Sinus Specialist (n.d., advancedsinusandallergy.com)
- Capsaicin, a Phytochemical From Chili Pepper, Alleviates the Ultraviolet Irradiation-Induced Decline of Collagen in Dermal Fibroblast by Blocking the Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species – PMC (2022, nih.gov)
- Capsaicin, the Spicy Ingredient of Chili Peppers: Effects on Gastrointestinal Tract and Composition of Gut Microbiota at Various Dosages – PMC (2022, nih.gov)
- Capsaicin triggers immunogenic PEL cell death, stimulates DCs, and reverts PEL-induced immune suppression – PMC (2015, nih.gov)
- Chili pepper as a body weight-loss food – PubMed (2017, nih.gov)
- Chili Pepper Plant Extract Brings Relief | National Headache Foundation (n.d., headaches.org)
- Chili Pepper Scoville Scale | scovillescale.org (n.d., scovillescale.org)
- Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications – PMC (2017, nih.gov)
- FoodData Central: Peppers, Hot Chili, Red, Raw (2019, usda.gov)
- Fungal Seed Pathogens of Wild Chili Peppers Possess Multiple Mechanisms To Tolerate Capsaicinoids – PMC (2020, nih.gov)
- Harnessing the Therapeutic Potential of Capsaicin and Its Analogues in Pain and Other Diseases – PMC (2016, nih.gov)
- Hot Peppers: How These Hot Plants Can Boost Your Heath (2022, webmd.com)
- How Does Cayenne Pepper Help You Lose Weight? (2018, healthline.com)
- Influence of Dietary Capsaicin on Redox Status in Red Blood Cells During Human Aging – PMC (2015, nih.gov)
- Label (n.d., fda.gov)
- Natural Foods That Help Boost Eyesight – Hamilton Eye (2020, rexhamiltonmd.com)
- People who eat chili pepper may live longer. – ScienceDaily (2020, sciencedaily.com)
- Spicy food consumption is associated with cognition and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease – PMC (2021, nih.gov)
- The Association of Hot Red Chili Pepper Consumption and Mortality: A Large Population-Based Cohort Study – PMC (2017, nih.gov)
- Will eating more chilis help you live longer? – Harvard Health (2020, health.harvard.edu)