Taste isn't the only thing that makes peppers powerful; they are also high in nutrition...especially once they turn red. Remember, the green peppers are the unripened state of a pepper. They have lots of Vitamin A, E as well as niacin and many other vitamins and minerals. A really good vegetable to include in your diet.
So what about health benefits? Peppers "contain antioxidants like beta carotene (carotenoid), lutein and zeaxanthin (phytochemicals) and vitamin C. After consumption of capsicum, the body converts beta carotene into retinol, which is one of the most usable forms of vitamin A." 2
"Capsicums are known to lower the fat stored in blood corpuscles, called triglycerides, and thus help in burning calories. This can vastly improve the body metabolism." 3
"Apart from these benefits, capsicums promote cardiac health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It has anti-inflammatory properties, stimulates stomach secretions and improves digestion." 4
But that's not all. The reason I wrote this post is to share about a component in peppers; capsiacin. This chemical is the one responsible for the "hot" in hot peppers. It's also been found to help relieve pain when applied topically. I have used commercial preparations containing capsaicin for a good 15 years.
I have used capsaicin faithfully for years and I feel like it's been a life saver during bouts with pain. Capsaicin is not for the faint of heart though. It packs a whollop of heat and needs to be used sparingly. If my pain is intense, I am able to use quite a bit, but it's important to follow directions when using."Topical ointments and creams containing capsaicin are helpful in relieving pain from many different conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve pain and lower back pain, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. While capsaicin is not a cure for pain caused by these conditions, it does lower the amount of substance P, a chemical that helps transmit pain signals to the brain, when applied directly to the skin." 5
However you slice them, capsicums are a powerful, pain-relieving plant that deserve a place in your garden, diet AND medicine cabinet. Blessings!!
Have you used capsicums or capsaicin?
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