This little hot treat can do wonders for your health!
Capsaicin is the phytochemical responsible for adding the "hot" to hot peppers such as jalapeno, cayenne, chipotle, ancho, habaneros and serrano. Adding this spice into your life can provide a powerful boost to your health. It has the potential to increase your happy meter, reduce pain, and stave off cancer.
That blissfully painful (or sometimes just painful!) response you get when you bite into a fiery chili pepper releases endorphins into your system. These endorphins are what mediate your pleasure response. In other words, eating hot peppers can make you happy!
Capsaicin also reduces the ouch factor in your body by blocking Substance P, a neuropeptide responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain and causing swelling of the nerve fibers. It can be a mighty soldier in your fight to reduce muscle pain, nerve pain, and joint pain both internally and topically.
It can also potentially have an effect on the cells ability to develop cancer. It works byaffecting the activity of a protein complex called NF-kappa Beta. This makes it more difficult for cancer to dodge programmed cell death (apoptosis).
You can jump in on these benefits by eating these peppers raw or cooked. Be sure to include some of the seeds and ribs of the hot peppers when eating them as they contain 80% of the capsaicin in the pepper. Chili peppers are also high in Vitamin C (twice the amount as citrus!) and good sources of Vitamins A & B. Whether sautéed or diced up in salsa, enjoy the benefits of a deliciously hot and healthy dose of capsaicin-rich peppers.
I write monthly for Brian's Farmers' Market newsletter as well. Initial publication of this article can be found in Brian's Farmers' Market newsletter for July. You can sign up for his newsletter here: http://www.sdmarketmanager.com/wb/
Liz Myers, MA, RYT200
Spiritual Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher.
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