Hot Peppers - Useful Properties And Harms

Published on: 21/01/2022 | Last Updated: 28/05/2022
Hot Peppers - Useful Properties And Harms

Hot peppers have many health benefits. Accelerate metabolism, normalize digestion, help lose weight. The capsaicin in them is the reason for their pungent taste. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and biologically active substances.

Hot peppers are a popular worldwide spice for various dishes. They are especially used in some cultures, whose national cuisines are characterized by spicy taste. The red varieties are the hottest.

Hot peppers belong to the Potato family, along with peppers and tomatoes. There are many varieties of hot peppers, such as cayenne and jalapeno.

Capsaicin is the main bioactive plant compound in them, which is responsible for their unique sharp taste and many of their health benefits.

Nutritional composition of hot peppers


The product contains a huge amount of vitamins (over 40): niacin, choline, folic acid, thiamine, beta-carotene, pyridoxine, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. It contains more than 20 minerals, including manganese, iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus, as well as a number of other substances that improve the body's work.

The health benefits of hot peppers for human health are due to the presence of vitamins, micro- and macronutrients in the plant.

One tablespoon (15 grams) raw (fresh), red hot pepper contains:

  • 6 calories
  • 88% water
  • 0.3 grams of protein
  • 1.3 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.8 grams of sugar
  • 0.2 grams of fiber
  • 0.1 grams of fat

Peppers are a rich source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, which is important for wound healing and maintaining the immune system. Vitamin B6 in hot vegetables plays an important role in energy metabolism, and vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is important for blood clotting and bone and kidney health. Potassium is an essential mineral that performs various functions in the human body and can reduce the risk of heart disease when taken in adequate amounts. The content of honey in hot peppers is important for the health of bones and neurons. They are also a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. In addition, spicy peppers contain large amounts of capsaicin, as well as antioxidant carotenoids, important for health. The main bioactive plant compounds in them are:

  • Capsanthin - the main carotenoid in red hot peppers - up to 50% of the total carotenoids. He is responsible for their red color. Its powerful antioxidant properties fight cancer.
  • Violaxanthin - the main carotenoid antioxidant in yellow hot peppers. It represents 37-68% of the total carotenoid content.
  • Lutein - is found mostly in green (unripe) hot peppers. Its levels decrease with maturation. High lutein consumption is associated with improved eye health.
  • Capsaicin - one of the most studied plant compounds in hot peppers. It is responsible for their sharp (hot) taste and many of the health effects of peppers.
  • Hydrochloric acid - an antioxidant with many potential health benefits.
  • Ferulic acid - an antioxidant that protects against various chronic diseases.

The content of antioxidants in ripe red hot peppers is much higher than in unripe green peppers.

Useful properties of hot peppers


Moderate consumption of peppery vegetables increases appetite, normalizes the digestive system and speeds up metabolism. In addition, hot peppers have a beneficial effect on the activity of the liver and brain. They are useful for people who suffer from insomnia, allergies, bronchial asthma, colds, epilepsy, hepatitis and atherosclerosis. It is claimed that the "burning" plant is able to slow down the development of malignant tumors.

Peppers help the body produce endorphins, which increase a person's resistance to stress and significantly increase the pain threshold. Consumption of the plant improves blood circulation and strengthens the immune system.

The results of research show that hot vegetables can be used as a therapy for diabetes.

Hot peppers have the ability to dilate blood vessels and stabilize heart function, which makes them useful in high blood pressure because they return its values ​​to normal.

Capsacinoids, which are part of the spicy product, help fight bacteria that die when interacting with sharp juice. Thus, peppers become an effective remedy for stomach and intestinal disorders, sore throats and food poisoning.

Relieve pain

Capsaicin, the main bioactive plant compound in hot peppers, has the ability to bind to pain receptors - nerve endings. This causes a burning sensation, but does not cause real injuries. High consumption of hot peppers (or capsaicin) can reduce the sensitivity of pain over time by reducing a person's ability to taste hot peppers. It also has the ability to make pain receptors insensitive to other discomforts, such as acids caused by acid reflux.

A study found that taking 2.5 grams of red hot peppers daily from people suffering from heartburn worsened the pain at the beginning of the 5-week treatment, but the condition improved over time. Another 6-week study supported the previous one, proving that taking 3 grams of hot peppers daily improved the condition in people with acid reflux.

The effect of reduced sensitivity does not seem to be permanent. Sensitivity has been shown to return 1 to 3 days after cessation of capsaicin use.

Help with weight loss

Obesity is a serious health condition that increases the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Evidence suggests that capsaicin may promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing fat burning. A study found that regular consumption of hot peppers containing capsaicin before meals leads to reduced calorie intake. Not all studies have found the same effects.

Combined with a healthy lifestyle, eating chili peppers can help maintain a healthy weight. Over time, tolerance to the effects of capsaicin may develop and its effectiveness may be limited.

Potential harms and contraindications from the consumption of hot peppers

When using hot peppers as a food supplement, care should be taken not to come into contact with mucous membranes and open wounds.

The plant could harm people with gastrointestinal problems. Its consumption can cause burns, so it should be moderate. Stomach pain and diarrhea may occur in some people. Some of the symptoms are abdominal pain, burning sensation in the intestines, cramps and painful diarrhea. This is more common in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Hot peppers can worsen symptoms in people who do not eat hot vegetables regularly. For this reason, you should limit the consumption of hot peppers and other spicy foods by these people.

Hot peppers can have adverse effects in some people, and many individuals do not like vegetables because of the burning sensation after eating them. The responsible substance that binds to pain receptors and causes an intense burning sensation is capsaicin. It often causes severe pain, inflammation, swelling and redness. Over time, regular intake of capsaicin can make certain pain neurons insensitive to pain.

More on the topic:
  • Sweet red pepper
  • Jalapeno hot peppers - useful properties and contraindications
  • Sweet green pepper

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