When was the last time you cooked with chili peppers? As these and other foods from around the world become more abundant and available to us, we are learning that not only do they add a lot of flavor to our food but there is also a wide range of health benefits as well.
Chilies produce capsaicin, this is what produces the hot burning sensation we feel in our mouth. Beyond leaving our mouth on fire, chili peppers have health benefits as well.
Scientists have proven that capsaicin can reduce cancer cells and, in some cases, even kill the growth completely. There have been several scientific clinical studies completed that have shown that natural capsaicin directly slows and reduces the growth of leukemic cells.
Capsaicin is a natural antioxidant and helps protect against disease caused by toxins. Recent studies by the
World Health Organization indicate that countries where dietary intake of capsaicin is high, show a significant reduction in cancer deaths as compared to countries that consume less hot and spicy foods.
In the South America region, colon cancer rates and intestinal/stomach problems are very low by comparision to the United States. Medical experts agree that this low cancer rate may be tied to the large amounts of capsaicin in their diets. Most of the main dishes at every meal in their regular diet contains some form of capsaicin-based food, like jalapeno peppers and hot cayenne peppers.
According to a team of researchers from the Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers from UCLA, the pepper component capsaicin caused human prostate cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death or apoptosis.
Capsaicin is an active ingredient in many of the most popular "fat burning" supplements on the market. A thermogenic agent, capsaicin helps to increase overall metabolism rate and helps the body burn calories and unwanted fat.
Additional benefits of eating chili peppers that are interesting are:
To help prevent and relieve arthritis, peppers work well; they are a natural anti-inflamatory and will help increase your circulation.
Eating hot chili peppers helps maintain strong cell walls in your circulatory system and will help lower your blood pressure naturally.
People that suffer from cluster headaches and migraines can rub chili peppers on the temples to find relief.
Capsicum increases endorphins and other mood elevating, good feeling substances, thus, it helps fight depression and relieves stress.
Hot chilies slow down the growth of H. pylori, the bacteria that causes certain kinds of ulcers.
Psoriasis and other skin conditions benefit from spicy foods and can help heal the skin.
Chilies have been shown to have a positive effect on an overactive bladder by blocking contractions that cause unpredictable loss of urine.
Spicy foods will help increase sex drive and libido and will improve your love life.
A good bowl of chili is always a great meal on a cold winter day. Not only does it warm us up, it also helps protect us from common winter conditions. Capsicum may reduce cold/flu symptoms, sinusitis, and respiratory problems.
A natural remedy for herpes: Cut a chili pepper open and rub it and watch the infection disappear. Capsicum ointment is now available in the form of a prescription drug. It can be applied directly to the skin to aid in controlling the pain associated with herpes.
Capsicum is a natural muscle relaxant and pain reliever. Again, a hot chili pepper cut and placed directly on the skin will do the trick. There are also a number of creams that have capsicum in them to soothe and heal painful muscles.
So if you can handle the heat, add chili peppers into your meals. They will not only add flavor to the food but will also adds so many extra health benefits. Eat healthy, exercise on a regular basis, and enjoy a long and healthy life!
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