The Spicy Health Benefits of Jalapenos

The jalapeno is the king of kings when it comes to peppers. While there are peppers that beat it out when it comes to spice, like the habanero, carolina reaper, and ghost pepper, it is unmatched in overall flavor, versatility, and universality. What it may lack in kick (and let’s face it jalapenos are fairly hot) it makes up for with overall quality. Seriously, this pepper can’t be beaten. It is one of my all-time favorites and tastes delicious with almost everything. Moreover, hidden inside its humble appearance is a vast array of health benefits, which makes it even more mouth-watering.

1.) Jalapenos are High in Nutrients

Jalapenos are low in calories, which is a major plus, and full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. One of the most unique compounds found in jalapenos is capsaicin, which is an alkaloid that gives peppers their characteristic spicy quality and is responsible for many of their health benefits.

2.) Jalapenos Promote Weight Loss

Did you know eating spicy food can help you lose weight? Hot, spicy foods like jalapenos may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, increasing fat burn, and reducing your appetite.

3.) Jalapenos May Help Fight Against Cancer

Lab studies have shown that capsaicin has strong anti-cancer properties and is capable of killing over 40 types of cancer cells without damaging normal cells. Capsaicin helps fight cancer by stopping the growth and division of cancer cells, slowing the formation of new blood vessels around cancerous tumors, and preventing cancer from spreading to other areas of the body. However, more studies are needed to better determine and understand how capsaicin and chili peppers influence the risk of cancer in humans.

4.) Jalapenos May be Natural Pain Relievers

Capsaicin is an effective pain reliever when it is utilized externally. It soothes pain by temporarily blocking pain receptors in the area where it is applied. In fact, capsaicin lotions and patches are frequently used to relieve pain caused by the shingles, diabetic nerve pain, and chronic muscle/joint pain. While capsaicin lotions and sprays may be effective at treating pain, it is unclear whether eating jalapenos or applying them to the skin has the same effect.

5.) Jalapenos Can Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers

While it is commonly believed that spicy foods like jalapenos can cause or agitate stomach ulcers, research has proven this to be false. In fact, capsaicin in chili peppers may help protect the stomach from developing ulcers in the first place. It may accomplish this by reducing stomach inflammation in people with H. pylori and even help kill off other infections. However, it is unclear whether the amount of capsaicin in jalapenos is large enough to have this effect.

In addition, chili peppers can help reduce stomach damage caused by the overuse of pain relievers and alcohol, potentially preventing stomach ulcers from the beginning.

6.) Jalapenos May Help Fight Infections

Spices and herbs have long been used in cooking and have even been utilized to help prevent food spoilage or poisoning. This is because compounds in spicy chili peppers are especially potent at slowing the growth of common foodborne bacteria. Beyond food poisoning, recent research suggests that capsaicin can help prevent other types of infections, such as strep throat, bacterial tooth decay, and chlamydia. These early studies suggest that chili peppers may have strong antimicrobial properties. Further research is being conducted to help us better understand peppers and their role in the fight against disease.

7.) Jalapenos May Boost Heart Health

Some of the top risk factors of heart disease are diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Capsaicin can help reduce the impact of these negative variants and may help promote heart health. Overall, preliminary research suggests that capsaicin and chili peppers may be extremely beneficial to the heart, but more studies are needed.



Erica Julson

March 10, 2018

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