Cayenne pepper is regularly included in lists of goods that will help improve your health. But it’s one of those often overlooked at the same time. We know that it can be good for us, but isn’t regular black pepper good enough?
It’s time to start using it in more of your meals. There are many ways that you can easily add it in, whether you’re looking to spruce up your lunches, dinners, or even snacks.
Here’s a look at 10 reasons why you need to start adding cayenne pepper to your meals. Just start one meal at a time and build your way to using it more frequently if you’d like to get used to the taste! It’s just important for your health that you use it.
Helps Improve Weight Loss Efforts by Reducing Hunger Pangs
Do you constantly get the feeling of hunger? You had just finished your breakfast an hour ago, and you’re already grazing. This has a knock-on effect to your weight loss efforts. You start to eat more calories than you burn, causing yourself to gain weight. Even if you balance out the calories or eat fewer than you burn, you’re not creating enough of a calorie deficit actually to lose weight.
Hunger pangs also put us on our diet. We don’t feel satisfied, which means we’re not happy. The human body has a very normal and understandable fear of hunger. We don’t like the feeling, and our minds focus on it until we find something that will satisfy our hunger pangs.
The more you push yourself away from the snacks, the more you want them. Rather than keep telling yourself no, you want to find a way to handle the hunger feelings throughout the day. You need to find a way to keep yourself satisfied for longer after each meal.
Cayenne pepper has shown some positive results for this. It’s full of capsaicin, which has been linked to appetite suppression. When you suppress the appetite, you won’t feel the need to eat as much throughout the day. There is still more research needed, as scientists don’t quite understand why capsaicin works so well. All we know is that studies have shown the body doesn’t produce as much ghrelin, the hunger hormone when you have good levels of capsaicin in the body.
And you can get the benefits by eating or drinking your pepper. In fact, drinking something that contains capsaicin makes you 16% less likely to eat more compared to the 10% less like if you ate it! This is likely because drinking the nutrient helps it absorb quicker, so it can be used more effectively.
Not only will you find it easier to eat fewer calories throughout the day, but you’ll also find it easier to stick to your diet. It becomes a way of life instead of a crash diet forced onto you.
Your Weight Loss Efforts Are Supported with a Better Metabolism
The weight loss benefits don’t just stop with the appetite suppression. Cayenne pepper also supports the metabolism. So not only will you eat fewer calories but you’ll burn more throughout the day. You get a bigger calorie deficit to help you lose the excess weight.
How does this work? The pepper increases the heat within your body. When your temperature goes up, your body has to burn off more calories throughout the day. You can get this benefit from any spicy food, but cayenne pepper is one of the easiest to add throughout the day.
The process is known as diet-induced thermogenesis. It is highly popular and recommended by doctors since it is a natural way to boost your metabolic rate. Studies have shown that it’s possible to burn more than 50% more calories during a meal that contains cayenne pepper—or anything with capsaicin—compared to those who didn’t bother adding it in.
However, the bad news is that the effects are small. You’ll burn 10 more calories with 1g of cayenne pepper. It’s still more, but you will still need to make sure that you follow a healthy and balanced diet. Regardless, it works, but it’s not a miracle cure. If it were, we’d all be using it, right?
It is possible for the body to build up a tolerance. The good news is that studies don’t show the appetite suppressant element is something your body builds up a tolerance to, so you still get that weight loss benefit.
Improve Your Digestive Health Overall
It’s not just about weight loss. Cayenne pepper offers other health benefits, especially within the digestive system. It doesn’t just work
to keep you feeling full, but can help to boost your defenses within the stomach and intestines.
This is where 80% of your immune system lives, so you want it to be as strong as possible. When the immune system in your gut plays up, it causes inflammation, bloating, gas, and stool problems. With the help of cayenne pepper, you’ll find that digesting fluids and food aren’t as difficult. There is less pain felt throughout the day, which means you don’t feel sluggish or upset after eating.
There are beliefs that spicy food leads to ulcers. This hasn’t been proven in studies when it comes to the use of cayenne peppers. The capsaicin (yes, that again) helps to support the nerves within the stomach. They are stimulated to protect against injuries, including stomach ulcers. You can ward them off!
Of course, when your stomach and digestive system are in good working order, you feel like you can do more!
Lower the Risk of Cancer
We are all still looking for the causes of cancer and how it develops. Researchers are also still looking for ways to permanently kill it. We’ve come a long way in the last few decades, but the research continues.
One thing that researchers have found is that capsaicin can be good for cancer risk reduction. We know that antioxidants can help to fight off free radicals, but capsaicin can help to fight off the cancer cell growth. It attacks the pathways that cancer uses to grow and spread. There are studies that show it is possible to reverse some types of cancer, especially skin and pancreatic cancer.
It’s worth pointing out that the research continues in this. While it helps, there’s no guarantee that it will work. Cayenne pepper can be used in conjunction with normal medical options to help reduce the risk of cancer developing or starting in the first place. Don’t just stop all medicinal treatment in favor of this herbal remedy.
There are also studies needed to see just how effective the cayenne pepper is in humans. While animal’s studies have shown somewhat beneficial, there is a lot that we don’t yet know.
It Can Lower the Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a silent killer. You won’t know you have it until it’s too late. Well, it’s time to find a way to keep your blood pressure down and not just through stress release techniques!
It turns out that your diet can help. More importantly, it turns out that the capsaicin can help. Animal tests using cayenne pepper have currently proven beneficial, but there are still studies that need to be done.
The studies show that the element in cayenne pepper helps to relax the blood vessels. This means that the blood doesn’t have to fight as much to pass through, so the blood pressure is lowered. Boosting the metabolism and raising the body temperature may also help, as it forces more blood to flow through the system.
Like some of the other benefits, we don’t have all the facts yet. The studies haven’t been conducted on humans just yet. What we do know is that there are few reasons not to eat cayenne pepper, so any hope for lowering blood pressure with it is positive.
Improve Aching Joints, Muscles, and Chronic Pain
If you’re a fibromyalgia sufferer, you may want to turn to cayenne pepper for some relief. Studies show that this pepper can help to reduce the feeling of pain throughout the body, especially in the joints and muscles. This is again thanks to the capsaicin within the cayenne pepper.
Most over the counter pain medications include capsaicin as an active ingredient. It’s effective for treating muscle pain, arthritis, and other chronic conditions. The benefit is that it prevents the transfer of pain signals from the nerve endings to the brain, so your body doesn’t recognize the feeling.
This can be gained by adding cayenne pepper to the diet, but it is also useful as a topical treatment. Studies have shown that it can be applied directly to the skin. While it burns at first, this is the skin getting used to the capsaicin within the cayenne pepper. Make sure you add it to olive oil to make it easier to spread across your body.
Some doctors recommend using cayenne pepper after surgery to help relieve some pain. It can also be effective for those with phantom pain syndrome after an amputation, while also reducing pain felt from diabetes and osteoarthritis.
Like with other conditions, there is still some more research needed. You may want to use other pain medications at first. Or you may want to try the cayenne pepper alone to see the effects and add in over the counter medications when and where necessary.
Reduce Your Flu Symptoms and Fight Common Colds
There is no treatment for common colds. While medications can reduce the symptoms, there is nothing that will help to get rid of the virus. That is except cayenne pepper.
Again, it’s capsaicin to the rescue. This element helps to decongest the body and removes mucus from your respiratory system. It opens up the airways and will help to give the immune system a boost. Not only do you protect against the symptoms, but you’ll have an active ingredient against the viral infection.
Cayenne pepper is also full of beta-carotene, which helps to support your immune system. This antioxidant breaks up the mucus and forces it out of the body. It will also increase your body temperature, improving the chances of sweating the virus out of your system.
You’ll want to add this to your list of ingredients to use when you’re ill, especially within the first few hours. It is possible to beat colds within a 24 hour period, so you don’t have to put up with feeling sluggish and congested while you’re at work!
Reduce Migraine Pain Naturally
We’ve already looked at how cayenne pepper can help to reduce chronic pain. It also works, in the same way, to get rid of migraines. Researchers have found that the benefits work slightly differently to other pain relief.
The spice helps to stimulate pain elsewhere. The body is so focused on that pain that it can’t focus on the pain you experience in your head. This can seem counterproductive since you’ll end up with pain somewhere else instead.
However, the other pain that you experience won’t be as bad as your migraine. You’ll get rid of the ache in your eyes, and you’ll stop feeling as sick. You may find that you can get up and get on with your day as normal, without that need to be in a dark room all the time. After all, a migraine is more than just a headache!
At the same time, the capsaicin helps to put a limit on the amount of pain that you will feel elsewhere. While the mind is focused on it, it won’t stop you in your day to day processes.
Detox Your Whole Body
We’ve looked at how cayenne pepper can help improve your digestive system, but did you know it can also help with detoxifying your body? It helps to boost your circulation to eliminate more acid from your system. Yes, this helps to improve your digestion, but it also helps to improve your overall health.
The cayenne pepper will open up your capillaries. Your blood sugar is regulated, so your body can work on the toxins working around your system. The liver can release the right chemicals to fight against the toxins and draw them out of your system. Of course, a good working digestive system is also good for this.
A boost to the metabolism is also highly effective for removing the toxins. Your body works faster at getting rid of everything, so the toxins do less damage.
Treat Skin Conditions Like Psoriasis
If you have psoriasis and other similar skin conditions, you’ll want to add more cayenne pepper to your diet. Psoriasis occurs when the skin cells replicate as a faster than needed rate. You’ll get swollen patches under your skin, which looks like white scales over the top.
In short, your skin will be inflamed in some areas, causing a problem for your overall health. The skin will be irritated and sore. There are very few treatments for psoriasis, but cayenne pepper is showing to be one of the most beneficial herbal remedies.
You only need a little capsaicin to slow down the skin cell production. The element helps to reduce the inflammation while supporting the cell health, so you’re doing two jobs at the same time. Studies have shown positive results in human testing on severe psoriasis.
It is worth pointing out that the treatments have used a cream that has added capsaicin. You don’t need to choose an over the counter remedy but can opt for a homemade paste with some cayenne pepper and olive oil.
While working on the condition, the cayenne pepper will also reduce some of the common symptoms. There are also studies that show it is useful for reducing allergies and other skin conditions.
Add More Cayenne Pepper to Your Diet
Cayenne pepper is one of the easiest ingredients to add to your diet. You just need to sprinkle it onto your food or add a teaspoon of it to water to drink. Replace your regular black pepper with it if you’re worried about too much spice or heat being added to your meals.
Yes, this is an ingredient that you can add to every meal of the day. You’ll certainly benefit from it, with no adverse side effects noted.