By Kavata Kithome
By now, I am sure that you know that I am a very big health advocate. I am always looking for ways to fortify my system naturally, while still enjoying the foods that I eat.
Recently I have talked about different herbs and spices that I truly love, as they not only make food extra tasty, but also offer a myriad of health benefits that help fortify your system.
One of my favorite go-to spices – that I feel goes with everything, even tea – is cayenne pepper.
I love it because, along with spicing everything up and adding amazing flavor, it offers a number of particularly powerful health benefits; it is almost sinful not to add it to you food.
There are many societies – especially in the Americas and Asia – that use cayenne pepper therapeutically. This spice has a phytochemical known as capsaicin that helps gives it its effective kick.
Throughout history, cayenne pepper has also been used for a number of different health challenges, such as tonsillitis fever, flatulence, sore throat, hemorrhoids, gout, heartburn, delirium, tremors, paralysis and dyspepsia to name a few – and that’s only the beginning.
Here are 16 undeniable reasons why cayenne pepper should be in your diet:
1. Anti-Irritant: Cayenne is great for easing an upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs and all forms diarrhea.
2. Natural Remedy For Colds And Flus: Cayenne pepper has proven to be very effective for mucus congestion, which makes it a great natural remedy for flus and colds.
3. Antifungal: Studies suggest that cayenne pepper could prevent the formation of fungal pathogens like phomopsis and colletotrichum. These funguses affect plants and, in turn, affect you when you eat those plants.
4. Relieves Headaches And Migraines: Cayenne pepper has an amazing ability to stimulate a pain response in different areas of the body, which reverts the brain’s attention to this new site.
5. Helps Fight Allergies: Cayenne is awesome for relieving allergies. Some cultures believe that just the smell of it is enough, while others believe a diet of consistently ingesting the pepper will give you all you need.
6. Aids Digestion: Cayenne pepper stimulates the digestive tract, adds to the body’s acid to break down food and increases the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This aids the body’s ability to metabolize food (and toxins).
Cayenne is also helpful for relieving intestinal gas and pain associated with the gas; it helps stimulate intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.
7. Anti-Redness Properties: Cayenne is great for many chronic and degenerative conditions. These conditions include weak digestion, heart disease, chronic pain and toothaches.
8. Saliva Production: Cayenne stimulates the salivary glands, helping with the production of saliva. Saliva is an important aid to excellent digestion and maintaining optimal oral health and great breath (which is a definite plus).
9. Helps Reduce Blood Clots: Cayenne pepper also helps reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke by reducing atherosclerosis, encouraging fibrinolytic activity and preventing factors that lead to the formation of blood clots.
10. Great For Detoxing: Cayenne increases the pulsing rate of your lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined and accelerated. For instance, the increased heat leads to sweating, which is an important process of detoxification.
Combined with lemon juice and honey, cayenne tea is an excellent daily morning beverage for a great detox regimen.
11. Joint-Pain Relief: High in capsaicin, cayenne pepper can stop blockages and cause temporary irritation on the skin, which sends chemical messengers from the skin into the joint, offering relief for joint pain.
12. Anti-Bacterial: Cayenne pepper has strong antibacterial properties. Adding it to your foods can help preserve it and prevent contamination.
13. Helps Fight Cancer: A study at Loma Linda University in California found that cayenne pepper may help prevent lung cancer in smokers. They believe this may also be related to cayenne’s high quantity of capsaicin.
14. Supports Weight Loss: Cayenne is a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.
15. Promotes Heart Health: Cayenne works to regulate blood pressure levels as well as balancing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
16. Oral Health: Cayenne is an excellent fighter against tooth and gum diseases. Using it inside the mouth directly on the tooth can confuse the gums and lessen the pain. It is awesome at killing harmful bacteria and stimulating gum circulation too.
BONUS: Cayenne can also be used as a topical remedy for ailments such as snake bites, rheumatism, sores, wounds and lumbago. Making it into a paste and applying it directly to a wound for a few moments can help ease almost anything.
These are only a few of the awesome reasons why cayenne pepper should be a staple in your kitchen cupboard. Here is a recipe to help get you started with using it today:
- 1 serving extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ ground cayenne pepper (or more for desired taste)
- ½ to 1 onion
- 1 ½ lbs cauliflower
- 1 serving seasoned salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 4 cup (8 fl oz) water
- 1 heaping cup sour cream, at room temperature (OR substitute greek yogurt).
- Cut cauliflower into florets, steam and slice into ¼ pieces.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add cauliflower and salt; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add water, cover, bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Puree vegetables and cooking liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan and whisk in sour cream (or greek yogurt), nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Give this recipe a try and let us know how it goes! Do you have any other favorite recipes that include cayenne pepper? Please share with us in the comments below!
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