You Won't Believe These Top 10 Capsaicin Health Benefits

Ever wonder what causes that heat sensation when you eat a pepper?

capsaicin health benefits

Well the compound responsible is called capsaicin, and it just so happens to have many health benefits.

Hot peppers and medicine have been intertwined and used back even in the ancient times.

Yes, that means hot peppers do more for you than just burning your mouth.

One of the most popular capsaicin packed peppers is the Cayenne pepper. This chili pepper is part of the nightshade family right next to jalapeños though Cayenne peppers pack more of a heat punch do to more capsaicin content.

 Cayenne peppers are native to South America but were migrated to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century.

 Here is a look at the nutrient profile of these tasty chili peppers:

5 grams of cayenne pepper contains

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

capsaicin-health-benefits1

 

Capsaicin is the major compound that not only determines the overall heat of a pepper, but also offers the main health benefits.

 Let's get into the amazing health benefits of capsaicin.

 

 1. Metabolism Boost

The heat you feel when you eat a capsaicin filled pepper is real, kind of...

Your body produces more heat when you eat capsaicin which takes energy and burns more calories. The scientific name for this is thermogenesis. capsaicin-health-benefits2

This extra calorie burning was found to be true in a study where subjects had capsaicin with their breakfast as well as a medium chain triglyceride oil source (coconut oil). These participants burned 51% more calories while eating breakfast than the placebo group that didn't have those ingredients in their meal. capsaicin-health-benefits3

A similar study found that over time your body will adapt to this peppers so it's important to note that the increase in metabolism is small and short lived. Though as listed below there are many more beneficial reasons to eat capsaicin sources.  capsaicin-health-benefits4

 

2. Appetite Suppressant

On top of the small metabolism boost, a more important weight loss effect from capsaicin occurs. Capsaicin makes you feel fuller for a longer period than you normally would after eating. There are various studies that show this beneficial effect. Eating less will always be the number one factor to weight loss as it comes down to calories in versus calories out (how many you burn in a day). capsaicin-health-benefits5capsaicin-health-benefits6

One method believed in the scientific community for causing this appetite suppressing phenomenon is the decrease in the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hormone responsible for making you feel hungry. capsaicin-health-benefits7

As study looking into the appetite suppressing potentials of capsaicin found that the participants who took capsaicin supplements ate 10% less calories throughout the day versus those who didn't take the capsaicin supplements.

Even more calorie reduction was noticed in the group that consumed a capsaicin beverage who ate 16% less calories through out the day. The participants who consumed the capsaicin sources stated that they felt fuller for longer. capsaicin-health-benefits8

 

3. Decrease High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is an increasing problem all over the world. Whether it's due to diet or genetics, capsaicin could be a beneficial aid.

Over 40% of adults who are older than 25 years have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. This increases future risks of stroke and heart attack.  capsaicin-health-benefits9

In a study consisting of hypertensive mice, it was found that consuming capsaicin over time helped reduce blood pressure. capsaicin-health-benefits10

A similar study in pigs found similar results. The capsaicin aided in blood vessel dilation which allowed the blood pressure to decrease. capsaicin-health-benefits11

 

4. Promote Digestion

Capsaicin may be able to help you digest your meals more efficiently. The capsaicin  filled Cayenne pepper has shown promise in aiding the stomach in defending off infections, increasing the production of digestive fluid, and aiding the enzymes in their journey to the stomach. capsaicin-health-benefits12

Even though spice food is associated with stomach ulcers, recent research has determined that this is actually the opposite of what''s true. The capsaicin in Cayenne peppers proved to help reduce stomach ulcers overall. capsaicin-health-benefits13

It was discovered that capsaicin stimulates the nerves responsible for sending a signal for injury protection. capsaicin-health-benefits14

capsaicin health benefits

 

5. Pain Reduction

Capsaicin proves as a great pain reducing agent when consumed or applied to the skin as a cream form. Capsaicin effectively decreases the level of substance P. Substance P is a neuropeptide which is responsible for the signaling of pain to the brain. Capsaicin is able to reduce this substance to a lower level undetected by the brain and therefor decreasing the feelings of pain. capsaicin-health-benefits15

This works as a cream applied to the skin or when consumed as capsaicin stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain which will ease pain overall.

Never apply capsaicin or capsaicin cream to open wounds.

Capsaicin cream can be applied to certain ailments like:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain after surgery
  • Pain from nerve conditions like shingles

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6. Psoriasis Aid

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself causing red rashes and scaly skin. As there is no cure for Psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases, treatments to reduce symptoms are needed. Capsaicin creams have proven to help ease the itchiness of skin and overall appearance of the rashes causes by Psoriasis. capsaicin-health-benefits17
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In a study where psoriasis patients were given cream with capsaicin, the results showed positive symptom reduction like decreased redness and scaling versus those patients who were not given the cream. capsaicin-health-benefits18
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One method believed to help reduce psoriasis symptoms is the reduction of pain signaled to the brain. As stated earlier capsaicin is effective in lowering the amount of substance P so the pain signals decrease. capsaicin-health-benefits19
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7. Decrease Cancer Risk

Cancer is one of the world's most deadly diseases. The uncontrolled growth a cells kills people every year. Capsaicin may be able to reduce this risk though. In certain studies capsaicin is able to effectively kill cancer cells. capsaicin-health-benefits20
Capsaicin can either slow the growth of cancer cells or even kill them in certain forms of cancer like prostate, skin, and pancreatic cancer.  capsaicin-health-benefits21

 

Capsaicin Dangers

Capsaicin is determined as safe to eat. capsaicin-health-benefits22

Never eat capsaicin on an empty stomach as you will become nautous and will fell intense stomach pain. capsaicin-health-benefits23

Certain medications may interact with capsaicin or capsaicin cream. Medications like ACE inhibitors or blood thinners. Always consult your doctor first before trying anything new. capsaicin-health-benefits24capsaicin-health-benefits25

 

Conclusion

Capsaicin and it's many health benefits may be a great addition to an overall healthy diet. If you want to benefit from the blood pressure lowering effects, appetite reducing, overall pain reduction, endorphin stimulation, and more, then capsaicin peppers may be for you.
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Always consult your doctor before adding any new substance or supplements to your diet as they may interact with certain medications. Capsaicin is a natural blood thinner and could interact with that category of medications.
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