Some like it hot

cayennes

Since no one has declared a special day for cayenne peppers I’ve decided to declare this it.  To celebrate, you can toss a healthy sprinkle into some water and toast the day – an added benefit is that it will plump up your lips as big as Priscilla Presley’s

I’ve always been a fan of hot sauces and peppers, but now I hear they may have hugely important medical implications aside from opening your sinuses.  Yay.  Finally!  Something I like is actually considered healthy.

 

chiliMy son gave me a lava rock mortar and pestle recently and I’ve been experimenting with grinding the many varieties of peppers he raises.

My favorite is the cayenne which adds zest (but not too much) to pretty much anything –especially chocolate.  Lindt is selling a Chili Pepper Bar at Walmart which I’m especially fond of.

The heat produced by cayenne is caused by its high concentration of a substance called capsaicin.. Capsaicin has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, its cardiovascular benefits, and its ability to help prevent ulcers. Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages. ( I haven’t tried it, but who’s to say it won’t open a clogged drain in your bathroom.)

mortar

When I chugalugged my cayenne juice just now, I probably burned an extra 50 calories writhing around to get it down.  Ironically, I had the beginnings of a toothache and within minutes it was gone..

A study reported in Physiology and Behavior Magazine found that about half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (that sounds like a LOT of pepper) either mixed in food or swallowed in a capsule helped normal-weight young adults burn about 10 more calories over a four-hour period, compared to eating the same meal but without the red pepper.

All chili peppers, including cayenne, are a potent inhibitor of inflammation. When animals injected with a substance that causes inflammatory arthritis were fed a diet that contained capsaicin, they had delayed onset of arthritis, and also significantly reduced paw inflammation. (I wonder how the researchers knew that. The animals in my house y have never learned to talk even though I give them 15 minutes a day of intensive speech lessons.)

Cayenne peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A, through its concentration of good stuff like beta-carotene. In addition, its antioxidant activity make it useful in preventing the free radical damage that can lead to atherosclerosis, colon cancer, and diabetic complications, like nerve damage and heart disease.

Now, don’t you think this pepper deserves it’s own day?

One thought on “Some like it hot

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