Hot peppers have been known for their feisty flavors for approximately 7,000 years! That's a lot of loving, and thanks to their health benefits, hot peppers will and should continue to be put on menus. What gives hot peppers their health benefits are 1) antioxidant carotenes and flavonoids, 2) compounds known as capsaicinoids, and 3) vitamin C.
Here are three hot pepper health benefits.
- Minimized arthritis pain. Studies have revealed that hot peppers can suppress Substance P production. Elevated levels of Substance P have been found in the synovial fluid in the joints of people who suffer from arthritis pain.
- Headache relief. Again, Substance P plays a part in pain when it comes to headaches by causing nerve fibers to swell, which, in turn, causes headache pain. Capsaicin has been shown to relieve and prevent cluster, sinus, and migraine headaches.
- Fights sinus infections. Because of its antibacterial properties, capsaicin is beneficial in helping to fight and prevent sinusitis (sinus infection). It has even been shown that small doses of capsaicin every day prevents chronic nasal congestion.
So go ahead and add chopped hot peppers to burgers, scrambled eggs, soups, stir-fries and more. And if you're curious about the heat level of peppers, you can consult the Scoville scale, a measurement of the heat of hot peppers. Here are some examples that you will find on the Scoville scale: bell peppers have a heat unit of 0; Anaheim, Jalapeno, and Peppadew peppers have heat units ranging from 1,000-4,000 heat units; and Habanero and Scotch Bonnet peppers have heat units ranging from 100,000-350,000 heat units - and these are not the hottest peppers out there!