Cayenne pepper is noted to be one of the most useful of the red peppers, as it’s spiciness adds great flavour to foods, and the health benefits are extensive as it has been used to treat many ailments.
Cayenne’s natural heating properties act as a stimulant for boosting metabolism and energy, which supports weight loss by aiding the body to burn excess fats. The heat felt when ingesting cayenne does not burn or irritate the body, instead it contributes to an array of health benefits. Cayenne initiates blood flow to various areas of our body, such as our brain and digestive system. This can help reduce blood pressure, bringing it back to normal levels, and promote circulation. It also helps lower the blood fat levels, when one consumes a diet high in fat. The heat of the pepper stimulates the production and flow of saliva which greatly improves digestion and even neutralizes acidity, as it increases enzyme production and the flow of gastric juices. It also stimulates intestinal motion which aids in both assimilation and elimination.
Ingesting cayenne during times of cold and flu is ideal as it helps to alleviate sore throats, breaks up the congested mucus and provides relief. Cayenne acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and is also known to be a counter-irritant, as it helps brings blood to the surface to help rid of toxins. The main ingredient in cayenne called capsaicin, has a profound effect on destroying certain cancer cells, such as prostate, lungs and pancreas. Since cayenne can cause us to sweat, it also aids in detoxification. There is a known cleanse used in total body detoxing, that consists of drinking a drink made up of filtered water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper.
Ingesting cayenne in a drink preferably 1 teaspoon mixed in some warm water, has been known to help people experiencing a heart attack within 30 seconds! This cayenne pepper drink improves heart health dramatically when taken regularly, as it reduces the chance of heart attacks and strokes.
Cayenne can be used ground or chopped and added to stir-fries, soups, sauces or dips, and is also great for marinating meat and fish. Ground cayenne is favoured amongst the mediterranean, mexican and american cooking, whereas the fresh, raw form is popular in many parts of South Asia.
I normally add literally a pinch of ground cayenne to stir-fries, and it adds the perfect amount of heat. I find that less is more with this pungent pepper. Be sure to figure out what your desired level of heat tolerance is, and start incorporating this super spice to your diet.