Friend or Foe? Health Benefits of Chili Peppers

Some of us may have love and hate relationship with chili peppers. Perhaps you get stomach span just by looking red hot chili peppers on Thai dish. Well, chili peppers are one of the very popular spices used in various kinds of dishes. It has both medicinal and health benefits despite the fiery hotness and small size. The strong and hot taste of chili comes from active alkaloid compounds such as capsanthin, capsaicin, and capsorubin.


Even though some of us describe the taste of chili peppers as “atomic” or “deathly” but still, we cannot leave this spice behind. This is because we tend to find pleasure in pain similar to the addictive thrill of a reading roller coaster. Despite the taste, this small spice has tremendous hidden health benefits as the following.

Boost immunity

The bright red chili peppers indicate that it contains high pro-vitamin A or beta-carotene. Consuming red chili peppers for two teaspoons provides daily needs of vitamin C for around 6% and more than 10% for vitamin A. No wonder if chili peppers are called anti-infection vitamin for it contains high vitamin A and vitamin C. These two vitamins are beneficial to protect the body from pathogens or virus.


The main compound in chili peppers is capsaicin. This compound gives peppers the characteristic taste which varies from mild to spicy. The fact is capsaicin is beneficial to prevent inflammation. To put in simple, the spicier the chili, the more capsaicin it contains. Some of the hottest chili varieties are Scotch bonnet and habanero chili. On the next level is jalapenos followed with milder chili varieties such as Anaheim, Spanish pimentos, and Hungarian cherry pepper. The study about capsaicin found out that it can be an effective treatment to sensor never fiber disorders such as psoriasis, arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy.

Protection against cancer

Another great health benefit of chili pepper is it has the ability to kill leukemia cells and other cancer types as well. The same benefits can be found in fellow spice, turmeric, which also has the ability to slow cancer spread and tumor growth. The effect of eating chili peppers for protection against cancer is the same as certain cancer drugs.

Help losing weight

What is the first thing you notice after eating chili peppers? Your body will produce more sweats and also breathe faster. This is because chili peppers take energy and calories. The fact is, even the sweet red chili peppers contain substances which increases heat production or thermogenesis and oxygen consumption after 20 minutes of consumption.

Anti-ulcer aid

Chili peppers mostly have been mistakenly blamed for contributing stomach ulcers. The truth is chili peppers actually prevent stomach ulcers by killing bacteria. This is because chili peppers help to stimulate the cells lining in the stomach to produce protective buffering compounds. In addition, the heat from chilies also acts as digestive aid and pain reliever. Even though some people may be bothered by spicy food, but considering the health benefits, it is not a bad thing to add some jalapenos to the diet.


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