10 Ways Cayenne Pepper Can Improve Your Health

Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper (Wikimedia Commons)

Winter weather got you down? Spice up your life with cayenne pepper.

Forget those foot warmers you see in the "impulse aisle" while waiting to check out at the mega discount store. Save money by simply sprinkling cayenne pepper into your socks. That will warm those tootsies in no time! Just make sure you don't have any open cuts or blisters on your feet, or you'll get too much heat.

Cayenne pepper is extremely hot to the touch. Pepper Spray is made with cayenne pepper and is an effective method to fend-off attackers when sprayed in the assailant's eyes. The intense, burning sensation on the eyes is overwhelming, thus allowing the victim time to escape.

Cayenne peppers are 10 times hotter than Jalapeño peppers. In fact, the Scoville heat measurement scale, which rates the heat emitted from a spice, rates cayenne peppers at 40,000 units, compared to Jalapeño peppers, which rate a mere 4,000.

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The ingredient that causes the fiery sensation is the wonderful capsaicin, which benefits us in a number of ways. Most of us use cayenne pepper dried, out of a bottle. But if you ever actually touch the pepper itself, wear gloves or you will burn your hands when you touch the inside of the pepper, particularly the seeds.

As it turns out, the heat in cayenne peppers is very good for us for both the prevention and treatment of many things that cause us health problems.

Here are 10 health benefits of cayenne pepper:

1. Lowers inflammation. Cayenne pepper inhibits "substance P," which is associated with inflammation, both the type that cannot be felt (such as the kind of inflammation that causes heart disease) and the kind that can be felt (such as the kind that causes arthritis).

2. Cardiovascular health. When we eat cayenne pepper, the amount of heat our body emits is increased. This increases circulation and blood flow to all major organs, which means oxygen and nutrients are delivered more efficiently.

3. Weight loss. Cayenne pepper boosts metabolism and suppresses appetite.

4. Lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke.

5. Improves liver function.

6. Helps regulate the digestive system.

7. Pain reliever. Used topically, cayenne can be used for back pain and cluster headaches.

8. Relieves ulcers. Cayenne Pepper Tea (steeping 1/4 tsp. in 1 cup water) relieves ulcers.

9. Immune system booster. Cayenne contains carotenoids, including beta carotene and high levels of vitamins A, B6, C, E, K and manganese.

10. Treats upper respiratory infections. Cayenne with lemon juice and honey is an effective syrup for sore throats.

There are many ways to add cayenne pepper to your diet. For example, add it to hot chocolate for a bit of kick. When combined with lemon juice, it is an exciting way to prepare vegetables. Obviously, cayenne can be added to Mexican dishes like tacos and enchiladas.

So spice up your life with cayenne pepper. Ingested or placed on the skin, it can improve your health in a variety of ways.

For the original article, visit cbn.com.

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