Cayenne pepper is a red, hot pepper that is used to give flavor to a host of dishes. It is named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. The pepper is related to jalapenos and bell peppers. The fruit is dried and pounded, or pulped and baked in to cakes, and then pounded and sifted to make the spice.
Belonging to the capsicum family, the cayenne pepper proffers a whole range of health benefits; and incorporating the cayenne pepper in to your everyday menu is definitely recommended. It helps lose unwanted weight, maintains healthy cardiac and vascular activity, peps up metabolic rate and boosts the working of the GI tract effectively.
Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper
The cayenne pepper provides the following important health benefits:
- Heart and blood vessel health: Cayenne pepper helps control the flow of blood from the head to the toes, so that normal blood pressure is sustained; it has an influence on the heart as well as the arteries, veins, capillaries, and nerves.
- Prevents atherosclerosis: Cayenne maintains normal lipid profile. It rids the body of the LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides; thus warding of atherosclerosis and consequently heart trouble. It is known to prevent most cardiac disorders.
- Healthy alimentary canal: Cayenne promotes optimal functioning of the intestinal tract. It stimulates peristalsis of the intestines and facilitates normal assimilation and elimination of toxic wastes. It battles dyspepsia, indigestion, abdominal cramps, excessive flatulence and bloating of the abdomen as well as diarrhea. In fact, cayenne is an excellent remedy for the management of cholera.
- Rheumatism: the spice has also been used time and again for rheumatism. Used as a poultice, cayenne pepper helps ease pain significantly. It decreases pain and discomfort, swelling and inflammation successfully. It can also be used successfully for the treatment of chronic debilitating back pains.
- Varicose veins: The pepper helps in the successful management of varicosity of the veins. It diminishes vein engorgement and discomfort to a very great extent.
- Ward off cancer: Capsaicin found in cayenne pepper has been found to fight cancerous cells. Cayenne wards off and checks the multiplication tumor cells. Including the spice in your everyday diet will act like an anti oxidant fighting off free radicals.
- Respiratory trouble: Cayenne pepper is also used to treat chronic coughs, catarrh, coryza, hoarseness of voice, tonsillitis and sore throats. Mix a pinch of the spice with a generous dollop of honey and some water and prepare a gargle; use several times through the day for an almost instant cure.
- Healthy teeth: It helps manage toothache effectively; it prevents tooth decay and treats pyorrhea.
- Hemorrhoids: Research shows that cayenne pepper helps manage piles as well. It makes them regress and reduces swelling, engorgement and pain considerably.
Recipes Using Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper can be used in a variety of dishes and cuisines to spice them up. However do not add too much of the spice; it is rather hot and pungent. You may add the pounded and ground spice to the following dishes:
- Hot sauce for any vegetable dish.
- Grilled chicken marinade.
- Beef stew.
- Cheese fondue.
- Spiced nuts.
- Chicken and rice preparations.
- Marinade for salmon.
- Yogurt dressing.