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What Are the Health Benefits of Crushed Red Pepper?

What Are the Health Benefits of Crushed Red Pepper?


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Crushed red pepper is a product formed by crushing and drying red pepper. You may know red pepper better for its spicy uses, but its benefits go beyond adding flavor to food. It has been used in traditional medicines in Japan, Korea, China and India to counter health problems associated with digestion, blood circulation and poor appetite. Red pepper is also rich in different types of minerals, vitamins and lipids, which are essential building blocks for your body.

Reduces Pain

A study published in October 2012 in the journal “Biomedicine and Biotechnology” found that three different types of peppers -- pasilla, guajillo and ancho dried peppers -- contain cartoneoids, which are pigments that give peppers their colors but are also beneficial to your health. They act as antioxidants protecting your tissues and cells from the dangers posed by radical oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species and peroxyl radicals. These radicals play a key part in increasing bodily pains.

Immunity and Metabolism

Red pepper boosts your body's immune system, according to a study published in February 2010 in the journal “Nutrition and Practice.” Antioxidants contained in crushed red pepper aid in boosting the body's defense against attacks from oxidative diseases such as cancer. Red pepper contains a potent inhibitor known as capsaicin, which constitutes to the spicy properties of the pepper. It also increases your metabolic rate boosting your body's performance.

Fat Oxidation

Research on the effects of red pepper doses on thermogenesis and appetite published in November 2010 in the journal “Physiology and Behavior” showed that increasing intake of red pepper increases energy expenditure and improves oxidation of fat. Capsaicin stimulates the secretion of catecholamine, which increases thermogenesis and activates the sympathetic nervous system. It is the stimulation of this system that increases fat oxidation.

Nasal Congestion

Clear up your stuffy nose with a dash of crushed red pepper. According to Medindia website, capsaicin aids in clearing nasal mucus congestion by stimulating secretions in your body that get rid of the mucus. Capsaicin is also a muscle relaxant and because of this it is used in some creams to reduce muscle pain. Creams that contain capsaicin also reduce itching and burning effects of psoriasis -- a type of skin disease.

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