How much of chilli peppers do you like to take? To some, pepper is simply not a part of their diet. In Nigeria, it is generally believed that people of south-western part of the country are often given to too much pepper in their diet.
Do you know that capsaicin, the stuff that gives chilies their heat, is well known for its painkilling properties in creams and patches? Some early research even suggests that eating hot peppers, instead of putting them on your skin, may reduce and prevent inflammation too. And when you feel the hot pepper on your tongue, the “burn” also tricks your brain into releasing endorphins, which block pain signals. Let us look at a few other benefits of pepper.
1. Red peppers contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps the proper absorption of iron. If you are iron deficient, try combining red peppers with your iron source for maximum absorption.
2. Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate. Both these vitamins and minerals can help prevent anaemia.
3. Red bell peppers help support healthy night vision. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. So when it comes to bell peppers, seeing red is a good thing!
4. Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants. The combined effects of vitamin A and C create a great antioxidant capacity, and with lycopene in the mix, the red bell pepper becomes a top notch super food. Lycopene is what makes tomatoes and peppers red. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent many cancers including prostate and lung.
5. Burn more calories with red bell peppers. Recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate. Red bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is what makes peppers hot and causes us to sweat, but they do have a mild thermogenic action that increases our metabolism without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure like the hot peppers do.
6. Cancer crusher
Sprinkle on this spice to calm a cold, detox your skin, and even help fight cancer.
A little pepper may go a long way with your health—it might even help ward off breast cancer. A chemical compound in peppercorns called piperine may be able to help prevent a breast cancer tumor from developing, a University of Michigan Cancer Center study suggests. Pepper’s potential cancer-preventing properties are heightened when it’s paired with turmeric; combine the two in a delicious Indian-style dish, such as yellow curry.
7. Laundry aid:
Are your favorite clothes starting to fade? Grab your pepper shaker! The spice may keep colors vibrant longer, says Karyn Siegel-Maier, author of The Naturally Clean Home. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of ground pepper per load, along with detergent, into your washing machine at the start of the wash cycle. It will drain away with the water, so there’s no extra cleanup
8. Skin scrub
Get a smoother, clearer complexion with a scrub made from pepper. It stimulates your circulation to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the surface of your skin, and the grains help slough off dead cells, says Wendy Allred, education manager at Bliss Spa.
HOW TO PREPARE PEPPER FOR SKIN USE: In a bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unscented massage oil, 6 drops orange essential oil, and a pinch of ground pepper; stir together with a spoon. Rub the scrub onto wet skin in the bath or shower, wash off, then enjoy the lingering spicy scent (and your buffed body).
9. Cold tamer
All stuffed up? Pepper is a natural decongestant because it contains chemicals that irritate your mucus membranes, making them produce a thinner, more watery mucus (translation: giving you a runny nose) to
help clear out your nasal passages, explains Neil Schachter, MD, a professor at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu. Just add a few pinches of pepper to a bowl of chicken soup, the perfect comfort food when you’re sick and you’ll soon be breathing easier.
10. Color cues
Black, white, and green peppercorns are all fruit of the same plant, so you can use them interchangeably. Their flavors differ: Black pepper is hot and pungent, white pepper is hot but less aromatic, and green pepper has a fresher flavor. Pick the one that suits your palate.