Cayenne pepper is certainly famieadliar to everyone who like spice. Capsicum annuum belongs to the Solanaceae family and is tall, slender, and bright red. It’s linked to sweet bell peppers and the notoriously hot ghost peppers, among other capsicums. The cayenne pepper isn’t as fiery as the ghost pepper, but it still delivers a punch.
Cayenne pepper is supposed to have originated in the French Guiana town of Cayenne. Drying and grinding it into a fine powder is usual. It can also be used fresh in a variety of recipes. It can be found growing in regions like India, East Africa, Mexico, and parts of the United States. It’s not only delicious, but it also adds a bit of heat to your cuisine and has some amazing health advantages.
Cayenne peppers can provide a varieties of health benefits. Some of which include:
Cayenne peppers, like other spicy peppers, contain capsaicin, the compound responsible for their “heat.” Capsaicin, when applied topically, can help to relieve pain by lowering the amount of a neuropeptide known as substance P that travels to the brain to signal pain. Pain is reduced when substance P is reduced.
Capsaicin boosts your metabolism and causes you to burn more calories by increasing the amount of heat your body produces. It also helps to reduce hunger, causing you to eat less throughout the day.
Capsaicin stimulates the nerves in your stomach that send signals for injury protection. The pepper may aid in the production of digestive fluid, the delivery of enzymes to the stomach to aid in digestion, and the protection of the stomach against infections.
Lowering Blood Pressure
According to animal studies, capsaicin may help to lower blood pressure, which lowers the risk of developing heart disease.
According to some studies, capsaicin can slow the growth of cancer cells. It may even be capable of killing cancer cells in certain types of cancer, such as prostate, skin, and pancreatic cancer.
Cayenne pepper, like other spicy peppers, contains the compound capsaicin. It contains numerous antioxidants, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Beta carotene
Cayenne peppers contain the following nutrients in addition to these:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
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Per Serving Nutrients
A tablespoon (5.3 grams) of cayenne pepper contains:
- Calories: 17
- Protein: 0.6 grams
- Fat: 0.9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 3 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Sugar: 0.5 grams
Things to Be Wary Of
Cayenne peppers are safe to eat and make a delicious, spicy addition to a variety of dishes. However, eating too many can result in unpleasant side effects such as upset stomach or heartburn. If you are sensitive to spice, you may experience an unpleasant burning sensation in your mouth.
Cayenne pepper may also interact with certain medications, including:
- Blood thinners
- ACE Inhibitors
How to Use Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is more likely to be found as a ground spice in your local grocery store, alongside the other spices. Fresh peppers are available in the produce section of some stores. When buying fresh, look for peppers that are bright, shiny, and firm. Avoid any that are wrinkly, soft, or have dark spots.
Place fresh cayennes in a paper bag or wrap them in paper towels and store them in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Avoid using plastic bags because they can trap moisture and cause your peppers to spoil faster. When you’re ready to use them, wash them.
Cayenne pepper, both fresh and ground, can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- A pinch of cayenne pepper can be added to a soup or stew.
- Sprinkle it on top of scrambled eggs, quiches, or egg salad.
- Combine it with hummus.
- Mix in a pinch of cayenne pepper to your hot chocolate.
- Stir into homemade lemonade for a tasty kick.
- Sauté vegetables with fresh cayenne (or ground cayenne).
- Fresh peppers can be added to your favorite cornbread recipe.
- Combine cooked bitter greens like collards or kale with fresh peppers and lemon juice.