I guess you might not know that pepper have so many health benefits to offer to as many that consumes it. They contain lots of nutrition, low in calories, and these made them a good dietary component. All the varieties of pepper are good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. In addition to all these nutrients, they also spice up the taste of foods and make it more satisfying.
Pepper comes in variety of sizes, shapes, colours and tastes. They can also be processed into various forms such as whole, dried, grounded, fresh, frozen or canned. Some add heat to dishes while others are sweet. The bell pepper, for example, can be found in green, red, green or yellow.
The red pepper contain the highest nutrition content, because they have been on the pepper vine for long period, unlike the green ones which are harvested earlier before they ripen and change their colours.
Pepper can be prepared in different forms, and they can be added to quite a good number of dishes to obtain their nutritious and health benefits,, and also to add more taste to dishes. In this post, you will get to see some of the health benefits of pepper as proven by science.
15 Health Benefits of Pepper
1. It boosts metabolism
Capsaicin, a substance found in Cayenne peppers, is in charge of their hot spicy flavour. The same substance also has metabolism boosting properties. Pepper boost your metabolism by increasing the amount of heat produced by your body, thereby increasing the number of calories burnt per day.
This is achieved through a process known as diet-induced thermogenesis which results in increase of the body’s metabolism.
However, it is important to note that regular consumption of dietary pepper such as cayenne pepper over time, makes your body to adapt to their effects and thus may reduce the benefits you have been gaining from it before.
2. It regulates blood pressure
It is reported that over 40% of adults above 25 years old are suffering from high blood pressure. It is evidently a big health risk nationwide.
Various studies on animals also showed that the same capsaicin found in cayenne peppers may also help in reduction of blood pressure. Bell peppers are also rich in potassium, and lots of evidence have linked potassium to lowering of blood pressure and reduction of hypertension occurrence by 17%.
Bell peppers also contain another substance known as quercetin, and it is also associated with lowering of blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension.
3. Aids digestive health
Most dietary spices that are been added to foods, together with their active component, have lots of benefits to the stomach. Take for example, cayenne pepper helps to boost the stomach’s defense against infections, increase the production of digestive fluid and helps to deliver digestive enzymes to the stomach, thereby aiding digestion. All these, is achieved through stimulation of the nerves in the stomach which signal for anti-injury protection.
Quercetin, a major constituent of yellow peppers, has been proven to prevent ulcers. This flavonoid is able to achieve this by protecting the body against attack by Helicobacter pylori and increasing gastric mucus production and protects your body from excessive secretion of gastric acid.
Unlike the popular belief that spicy foods causes stomach ulcers, a study showed that capsaicin in peppers may actually reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
4. Reduces cancer
Cell can simply be described as an abnormal and uncontrollable cell growth. Pepper is potent in the prevention of cancer by fighting against various channels in the process of the growth of cancer cells. Research have also proven that capsaicin in pepper can actually slow down the growth of cancerous cells, and even kill them in different types of cancer such as prostate cancer, skin cancer and pancreatic cancer, etc.
Bell pepper contains folic acid, alpha-carotene, lycopene, and luteolin. These compounds helps if shielding the body against varieties of cancers. Leteolin for instance, have the ability to induce the death of cells and also prevent metastasis, cell proliferation, and angiogenesis, all of which contributes to the growth of cancerous cells. The same luteolin was discovered to prepare the cells which are cancerous to cytotoxicity, thereby preventing their growth and multiplication.
Research have also proven that vitamin C, which is highly concentrated in pepper, reduces i high rate the risk of developing several types of cancers such as; breast cancer, stomach cancer, rectum cancer, oral cavity cancer, cervical cancer, esophagus cancer, pancreatic cancer, and also non-hormonal cancers.
Though the effects of pepper in cancer are quite interesting and promising, you should note that these findings are based on research conducted on animals in the laboratory. Its effect on humans are yet to be studied and need to be explored before any conclusion.