Not just a piquant addition to many delicious dishes, did you know that cayenne pepper also has numerous benefits for your health?
What is cayenne pepper?
Closely related to jalapeños, cayenne pepper is a type of chilli that’s native to Central and South America. It was used for hundreds of years to support health and flavour food before being brought over to Europe in the 15th century.1
Nowadays, you’ll find cayenne pepper is a feature in many regional cuisines and easy to pick up in a dried powdered form at any food store.
Cayenne pepper benefits
As well as adding a real kick to food, cayenne pepper has long been lauded for its potential health impacts. Most of its claimed benefits are down to one central element – capsaicin. This is found in all cayenne pepper and is what helps give it its spicy taste.2
Wondering how cayenne pepper may also impact your health and wellbeing? It’s thought to be able to:
Increase your antioxidant levels
Cayenne pepper is bursting with antioxidants – compounds which can help your body fight off harmful free radicals as well as boost your immune system.3 Familiar antioxidants in this savoury spice include vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene.4
Support your metabolism
Due to the spice levels in cayenne pepper, eating it will likely raise your body temperature and potentially speed up your metabolism over time. Because of this, it’s often used as a herbal remedy for controlling weight gain.5
Good for digestion
Among cayenne pepper’s many benefits linked to diet and weight control, it’s thought it may be useful for gut health. This is because it stimulates the nerves in the stomach, which then trigger the gut’s defences. Having a healthy stomach then ensures enzyme production and digestion.6
How to include more cayenne pepper in your diet
It’s so simple to reap the benefits of cayenne pepper as it’s such an easy ingredient to add to food! Why not try7:
- Shaking a little into a stew, curry, soup, or chilli to add a little extra spice.
- Using it in any savoury Mexican recipe to achieve an authentic flavour.
- Adding a small amount into a smoothie.
- Flavouring houmous with a little cayenne pepper.
- Trying it as part of a marinade for roasted vegetables.
- Making a Mexican hot chocolate.
You could also try taking cayenne pepper in supplement form or stirring one teaspoon into a glass of water as a healthy daily tincture.8
You’ll spot cayenne pepper, and lots of other tasty and beneficial items, in our herbs, spices and seasonings range.
Last updated: 30 March 2021