Most of us are used to finding chili peppers in Mexican and other spicy foods–and while they taste great, we don’t always consider them important for good nutrition. Chili peppers actually have several important health benefits that are essential for good health. Here are four health benefits of adding chili peppers to your diet.
1. Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Research has found that foods which are high in saturated fats, such as those found in red meat and dairy, can lead to the development of high cholesterol levels. This in turn can result in cardiovascular disease and even death. Cayenne, which is one of the major components of chili peppers, has been found to be effective not only in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but can also decrease platelet aggregation which often leads to fatal blood clots. These health benefits are all very important for people who are concerned about the development of cardiovascular disease, or who have already been diagnosed with the condition.
2. Reduced Inflammation
Another great health benefit associated with the consumption of chili peppers is the ability of this product to reduce inflammation, such as that associated with arthritis. Chili peppers have also been found to be an effective pain reducer. The reason behind these health benefits appears to be the high amount of capsaicin in the peppers. There are currently several creams being offered that contain high amounts of capsaicin, all of which appear to be extremely effective in the treatment of arthritis, back pain and other similar conditions. It is important to note that in this case, the cream is used externally only. No research has yet been found regarding the ability of ingested capsaicin to produce the same results.
3. Improved Digestive Conditions
For years, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals have told people to avoid chili peppers if they suffer from acid reflux or stomach ulcers. But recently, researchers found that cayenne, which as discussed earlier is found in high amounts in chili peppers, may actually be important to reduce the occurrence of stomach ulcers. Cayenne has been found to be a major supporter in the production of hydrochloric acid, which has been found not only to be important in the digestion of food, but may also help to ease stomach pain associated with ulcers. In addition, cayenne has been found to be great for the reduction of gas and bloating.
4. Maintains Bone Health
Researchers have found that chili peppers contain high amounts of calcium, which is important in maintaining strong bones and teeth. As some people have allergies to dairy or simply choose not to consume it as is the case in lacto-vegetarians, chili peppers can provide them with the same minerals essential to keep their teeth and bones strong.