Hot Peppers! My Sassy, Spicy Health Secret.

Red PeppersBeing a Texas native has some nice side affects. One being… I love hot peppers! And did you know I eat many foods with out hot peppers or hot sauce? Right now I just can’t think of any, dang. Did you know all of that hot stuff does the body good? “How’s that?” you say. Well, glad you asked, pardner!

How about strong anti-inflammatory properties along with helping arthritis, muscle pain, fighting cancer, and aiding in weight-loss. Good news for some is that it does not have to always be the “hot peppers” that help.

Rich In Vitamins, Low in Calories

Most all peppers are high in vitamins A, C, E and K, potassium and folic. Red hot peppers are where all the action is, besides just being hot to the taste buds, they offer great health benefits. Antioxidant vitamins A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and diseases related to aging, and they support immune function.

Not to be left out, bell peppers are very high in vitamin C with a count of 156% of the daily recommended amount. To get the maximum amount of vitamin C from the bell pepper it needs to be fully ripe. The sulfur compound support offered by bell peppers has also been shown in studies to be an aid in cancer fighting.

One note of caution: Keep in mind that peppers are nightshades, so if you have issues with nightshades you might want to steer clear, or limit consumption.

Hot In There

All that heat in that thar’ pepper comes from capsaicin, which acts on the pain receptors, not the taste buds, in our mouths. You can reduce the heat in the pepper by cutting out the white membranes where the majority of the capsaicin is stored. Watch out though, since the seeds are often imparted with the capsaicin’s heat as well.

You might want to keep some of that heat since capsaicin has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Add to this that it boosts immunity, and reduces the risk of stomach ulcers by killing bacteria in the stomach that can lead to ulcers. And here we thought it was just because people that eat hot peppers all the time don’t have stomachs anymore. 😉


Many researchers have been shouting about hot peppers. While you and I bet it is just a need to put out the fire, it is actually the anti-inflammatory properties in peppers that have been used for treatment of migraines, arthritis, asthma, and muscle pain. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps protect cells from oxidation related damage.

Got cold feet, don’t! Hot peppers are a quick way to increase circulation. Hot peppers actually can raise the body temperature a bit, as it stimulates circulation and blood flow to the skin. Cayenne has become a popular home treatment for mild high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels.

When dealing with peppers, the word moderation can mean a lot.


Peppers contain no carbohydrates making them low in calories. Hot peppers, besides lighting your fire, have been found to be an effective appetite suppressant. With the great amount of fiber they provide they can also add some pep to a weight-loss menu. And how about their ability to aid in digestion. Better digestion means less food eaten = less calories consumed = less weight!

The great thing is, sweet peppers, along with their hot cousins, contain substances that have been shown to increase the body’s heat production and oxygen consumption for about 20 minutes after eating. Super! Your body is burning extra calories, which helps weight loss!

Cancer Fighter

Red peppers have been found to be a good source of lycopene a carotenoid, which has been gaining a shining reputation for helping to prevent prostate cancer along with a whole posse of cancers like; bladder, cervix, and pancreas. Not to be out done by big brother is Beta-cryptoxanthin, another carotenoid found in red peppers, that has been found to help prevent lung cancer from smoking, and secondhand smoke.

Capsaicin visits again and shows to be effective against leukemia. Are you starting to see a trend here? Seems like cancer does not like the hot stuff.

How To Get It In

While it might be the greatest thing for some of us to eat hot peppers, not all enjoy the heat. You can still enjoy the benefits of eating hot peppers without eating them! What!? Yup, you can take a supplement. Cayenne pepper can be purchased ground, and in capsules. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center as an adult you can take 30 to 120 mg of cayenne pepper capsules, up to three times a day.

Let me caution you! Make sure you take them with a meal to bury them so to speak. If you don’t, that hot cayenne may talk back to you later. I found that if you start with one a day and add more after you get used to it, you will experience less adverse issues. What are the adverse issues? Well how about a burning feeling down in the belly.

Stop The Burn

When eating hot peppers it is good to build up overtime, they can be hot! If you do find that you went to far, milk can save the day! Casein protein in milk works as an excellent anti-burn, or fire-stopper. This also works great if you take too much cayenne pepper capsules before you are ready.

One last caution; Be sure to wash your hands after handling peppers… better yet wear gloves. I can tell you what it feels like hours after working with hot peppers to rub your nose or eyes. You will find out real fast if you missed washing your hands good enough. If you have a great family like I do it provides great entertainment! 😉

Just use some caution, and enjoy all the health benefits peppers can offer.


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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute "No Cost" informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .

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