The name Cayenne Pepper came from the name of the region of French Guinea, Cayenne. But the cayenne pepper is mostly grown in India where the natives call it Laal Mirch. The other version of the cayenne pepper in India is Kashmiri Laal Mirch.
Cayenne pepper extract is widely used in the Indian Subcontinent as spice making the recipe hot and imparting an attractive red color to the food prepared by mixing a small amount of cayenne pepper powder.
The beneficial effects of ingesting Cayenne Pepper
- Improves digestion: Small amounts of cayenne pepper can stimulate the release of digestive juices and useful enzymes which aid in the process of digestion.
- It improves the metabolism.
- Cayenne pepper is a rich source of antioxidants. Due to faulty metabolism free radicals are generated in the body raising oxidative stress. These free radicals are harmful for the tissues as well as organs. Lot of attention is being given to neutralize the free radicals from the body to reduce its harmful effects. Antioxidants have been found to eliminate the free radicals efficiently. Cayenne pepper contains flavonoids which also acts as antioxidants.
- The cayenne pepper has a detoxifying effect on the body. It is best to take with warm water and lemon juice in the morning. It makes a good start by increasing the body temperature and also enhancing the levels of metabolism.
- Cayenne pepper extract maintains a proper PH level in the guts which is important for the balance of microbiome inside the guts.
- Cayenne pepper builds the body’s immunity against allergens and is also known to prevent migraine.
- One research was carried out in IIT Madras to find the effect of the heat which is produced by ingesting cayenne pepper. It was concluded that the heat due to the chili can kill the cancerous cells in prostate cancer. Researchers are trying to find some form of drug using the ingredient capsaicin, found in the cayenne pepper to fight cancer cells.
- Fights cold and flu: by ingesting a small amount of cayenne pepper the temperature of the body increases. This heat helps in fighting the cold and flu. It also decongest mucus and helps in breathing freely.
- It has an anti-inflammatory property which makes it useful in relieving pain. Due to this property of cayenne pepper it has been included in many ointments meant for pain relief.
- It is claimed that cayenne pepper can regulate blood pressure levels. When consumed in a predetermined quantity the cayenne pepper can act as an anticoagulant.
- Weight loss: cayenne pepper is used for losing weight. As the ingredient can trigger the process of thermogenesis by producing heat, it helps in melting the excess fats and losing weight. By improving the secretion of saliva in the mouth prior it helps in digestion and healthy gum as well as teeth. By improving the digestive process the cayenne pepper helps in flushing out the fats from the body.
- Cayenne pepper has a role in protecting the health of the heart. It has a vasodilatory effect by which the blood vessels get wide allowing more and more blood flow. In this way it helps reduce BP. Potassium in the cayenne pepper regulates heartbeat.
- Capsaicin of the cayenne pepper helps enhance the immunity by releasing immune factors.
- Cayenne pepper has antifungal as well as antibacterial beneficial effects which have been established through scientific investigation.
- Vitamin C of the cayenne pepper improves the texture of the skin. Again vitamin A contained in the cayenne pepper fights skin infections and provides the skin with firmness.
Study on the effects of cayenne pepper on fungus
Fungal infections are a continuous threat to human civilization. The most prevalent invasive fungi are candida albicans, aspergillus fumigatus and cryptococcus neoformans.
Many novel antimicrobial compounds can be sourced from the plants which have been used by our ancestors for centuries to contain the growth of the microbes. Cayenne pepper contains a novel fungicidal saponin called CAY-1. CAY-1 has been found to be active against quite a number of strains of fungus. Though further research and investigation will be required to conclude the multifaceted beneficial effects of CAY-1, its antifungal effects cannot be denied.
Pros And Cons
Pros of cayenne pepper extract
- Cayenne pepper is used as a mouth wetting spice all over the world specially in the Indian continent.
- The cayenne pepper has a lot of beneficial effects such as improvement in digestion, improving digestive, gum and teeth health, fighting fungus infection, reducing inflammation, regulating BP, detoxifying the body, reducing migraine pain, weight loss and many more.
- Makes the recipe attractive by giving it a red color
Cons of cayenne pepper extract
- Taking cayenne pepper in excess may cause gastric ulcer. The heat producing property of cayenne pepper makes it an irritant as well as acid secreting ingredient. People with weak stomachs are advised to avoid cayenne pepper by the doctors in spite of its many beneficial effects.
- Cayenne pepper can cause gas leading to heart burn in some sensitive people.
- Excessive intake of cayenne pepper may inflame the stomach and the linings of the intestines. People with preconditions of digestive issues should better avoid the pepper.
- Cayenne pepper may cause acid reflux.
- Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid taking cayenne pepper extract as it may affect the infant.
Nutrition Facts of 100 grams of Cayenne Pepper
Total Calories : 318
Saturated Fats 3.3 mg
Sodium 30 mg
Potassium 2014 mg
Carbohydrate 57 grams
( dietary fiber 27 grams, sugar 10 grams )
Protein 12 grams
Calcium 148 mg
Iron 7.8 mg
Vitamin C 76.4 mg
Vitamin A 2080 mcg
Magnesium 152 mg
Vitamin B1 0.32 mg
Vitamin B2 0.9 mg
Potassium 2010 mg
Zinc 2.4 mg
Vitamin B3 8.7 mg
Vitamin K 80.3 mcg
Folate 106 mcg
Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin are found in the ripened cayenne pepper being the major components of it ranging from 79% to 90% of total capsaicinoids.
Cayenne pepper has earned its name from the cayenne region of French Guinea. It is produced in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Cayenne pepper finds wide use in recipes particularly in the indo-arabic recipes. It makes the food colorful and tasty. It helps in the secretion of saliva in the mouth which helps in the digestive process.
Cayenne pepper extract has many beneficial effects on the human body which has been discussed in detail in the article.