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Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits, Nutrition

Cayenne pepper is a spicy hot member of the capsicum family and is usually used in Indian cuisine as well as other Asian and South American cuisines. It is known to add flavor to dishes and is additionally referred to as the Guinea spice or bird pepper. Cayenne pepper contains a substance called the capsaicin, which is responsible for the spice content in it. Simply put, the more the levels of capsaicin, the spicier is the pepper. Studies have shown a great range of cayenne pepper nutrition benefits.

Cayenne pepper has also been FDA approved for topical usage. Ancient medicine has also used cayenne in treating various ailments. Among its uses, cayenne pepper helps to cure dyspepsia and stomach ulcers. It is said to be good for the digestive system on the whole. It also has cardiovascular benefits and can reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It is known to boost immunity as it has a high content of beta-carotene or vitamin A. This is also characterized by its red color. Cayenne pepper nutrition benefits also include antibacterial benefits, pain management, and weight loss as some studies suggest. Consuming cayenne peppers leads to an increase in heat production of the body, which, in turn, leads to an increase of calories burnt. This can help in tackling obesity and bringing about weight loss.

Cayenne Pepper Nutrition Facts

Nutritional content in cayenne pepper indicate a high amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A). Vitamin A is great for the eyes and is also being seen as a way to prevent brain illnesses like Alzheimer’s. Beta carotene is also known to reduce symptoms of asthma and arthritis. Vitamin E and vitamin C are great antioxidants as well. It is low in sodium and cholesterol as well as a good source of riboflavin, iron, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber. A five gram serving size contains about 17 calories, of which 8 calories are from fat. Side effects of cayenne pepper are usually rare. As it is spicy, too much intake may cause a burning sensation in the stomach and can also irritate the food passage. Applying it as an ointment can lead to a stinging sensation at times. However, if you break out into rashes after consumption, chances are that you are allergic to it. Do not hesitate to get immediate medical attention.

Nutritional Advantages Of Cayenne Pepper

Weight Loss:

Cayenne pepper can also suppress hunger and lead to less intake of food, which will ultimately impact weight. Cayenne pepper contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which is a vital part of a lot of remedies. This capsaicin has been studied and proved to reduce high blood pressure as well as prevent the absorption of cholesterol and other fats in laboratory animals. By not absorbing fat in the blood, it helps to reduce the thickening of artery walls which generally lead to cardio vascular complications. Therefore consuming cayenne pepper supplements can lead to a lesser chance of getting heart disease and high cholesterol. Cayenne pepper also improves blood circulation and helps to distribute important nutrients all over the body. Recent studies have shown that cayenne pepper can help in fighting prostate cancer cells. Cayenne pepper is also known for its antibacterial properties. It can fight infection and studies have also shown that consuming cayenne pepper can help against ear infections. It is also known as a pain reliever and is used to cure cluster headaches and arthritic pains. The spicy flavor helps to clear up congested lungs and stuffy nose as well.


Cayenne pepper for stomach ulcer has surprisingly beneficial results, contradicting the common misconception that they can actually cause ulcer formation. An intake of cayenne can prevent ulcers by killing any bacteria present in the food that aid in its formation. It also helps in stimulating blood flow, which helps in the distribution of nutrients that help to heal ulcers. Cayenne can also relieve discomfort caused by heartburn and indigestion. An intake of supplements can help to ease the pain; however, consult your doctor about the dosage before using it. Additionally, research has shown that cayenne peppers can help dyspepsia patients by reducing symptoms. It also aids the digestive system by detoxifying the body and eliminating waste through increased bowel movement.  Its antibacterial properties can help stem diarrhea as well.

Skin Problems:

Cayenne pepper has been used to cure certain dermatological conditions. Psoriasis and eczema are two skin ailments that can cause severe itching as well as other unusual conditions. Studies have shown that patients taking cayenne pepper experienced lesser itching and skin lesions than those who did not take them. Due to the presence of capsaicin, the topical application of cayenne pepper is also used to treat people with shingles. Capsaicin helps to reduce pain signals being sent to the brain and therefore, can be used as temporary relief against shingles. Additionally, cayenne pepper can also help in generating body heat and is useful for people staying in cold climates.

Sore Throat:

Cayenne pepper, as it contains capsaicin, which is known to help dulling pain, can be used as a temporary cure for a sore throat. This has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries and is used as a fight fire with fire solution. In case you have a rash or ulcers in the mouth, it may be advisable to consult your doctor first. Cayenne with honey or gargling with cayenne water or cayenne tea are the best ways to consume it as a cure for a sore throat. It may cause some discomfort initially as it is spicy and can irritate the throat. Research still needs to prove the benefits of pepper with sore throat; however, it can be used as a temporary solution.

Hair Growth:

Cayenne pepper has been used as an herbal remedy for hair growth as far back as the 1800’s. A paste of cayenne pepper and olive oil massaged on to the hair for at least half an hour is believed to rejuvenate the scalp. This is thought to be due to capsaicin, though this has not been proved scientifically. In case your scalp feels itchy or if you are allergic to cayenne pepper, please check with the doctor immediately. Make sure that the cayenne pepper does not get into your eyes. This could be painful. Repeatedly rinse your eyes with water till the stinging sensation subsides.


Arthritis is a name given to pain, swelling, and inflammation of any joint in the body. There are many kinds of arthritis, for instance, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Cayenne pepper’s magical ingredient called capsaicin is known to stop the transmission of substance P in our body. Substance P is a chemical that transmits messages of pain to the brain. Interfering with this communication can therefore dull the pain we are feeling. Scientists have proved that cayenne pepper does have beneficial pain reducing effects for patients with arthritis. Applying it as an ointment will initially cause a stinging sensation, which translates into dulling the nerve transmissions of pain to the brain. Cayenne pepper has multiple benefits, many of which are still being researched and proven. Being aware of the health benefits of various vegetables is the best way to make better choices about our diet choices and to live a healthy life.

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Submitted on January 16, 2014