In red hot peppers, capsaicin (the main component of pharmacological activity), flavonoids, essential oils, carotenoids, cellulose, calcium and iron are found in very large quantities. The high content of vitamin C (up to 340 mg/100 gr) is greater than all other fruits or vegetables, while there are also significant amounts of vitamins A, K, and B. It is not for nothing that researchers have begun to call it red table gold.
Myths that need to be dispelled
Many people claim that they cannot eat red chili peppers because they “feel a burning sensation in the stomach.” Not true at all. Even in many cultures there is a popular tradition of a digestive tea made with warm chamomile, a spoonful of chili powder and a spoonful of honey as a sweetener. Also, many people are afraid of spicy foods because of the consequences of hemorrhoids. In fact, as early as 1857, the French Academy of Medicine officially legalized the validity of cayenne pepper against hemorrhoids. But what should be emphasized is that it should be used in small and moderate amounts. It is not recommended to use in children, especially before the age of 12 or 13. Likewise, those who suffer from high stomach acidity, ulcers, hepatitis, cysts and hemorrhoids should not abuse it. Excess can cause irritation of the intestinal mucosa, gastrointestinal inflammation in the stomach and kidneys. However, in small doses it can serve to cure some types of diseases.
Chili pepper is completely advisable in the preventive cure of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. It has been seen that its continuous use lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood, helps the heart, and helps the work of blood arteries. Chili seeds contain many acids that eliminate excess cholesterol and triglycerides from the arteries.
Capsaicin also acts on fat metabolism by accelerating and preventing their accumulation. A recent study from the “Chinese University” of Hong Kong fully confirms this. The researchers fed the caviar a diet rich in fatty foods. The group that consumed red chili peppers in addition to food had lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. It was proven that caspaicin has a positive effect even in patients affected by diabetes, because it improves the activity of insulin. To have a protective effect at the cardiovascular level, it is not necessary to consume a large amount, but to consume it continuously.
The study of the anti-cancer properties of chili pepper started a long time ago with the Moerman diet experimented in Holland since 1930. Patients were given foods that contained vitamins such as iodine, citric acid, group B vitamins, iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C. The diet is based on the theory that these elements by rebalancing the metabolism are able to prevent tumors. Recently, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in the US have studied the effect of
capsaicin in the laboratory and were able to show that this active principle helps prevent many types of cancer, especially prostate, lung and colon cancer.
In China, cayenne pepper is normally used against depression. Even in India it is said that red pepper is hot, stimulates the soul and cleans the blood. And in fact, it has been proven that it has a positive effect on mood and thus also on depression.
With red chili pepper you can lose weight. Professors Hanry and Emery are convinced of this, since in the scientific journal “Human Nutrition” they have published a study entitled “Effects of spicy foods on metabolism”. A group of researchers from the University of Tasmania has reached such a conclusion. According to these researchers, the capsaicin contained in chili peppers reduces calorie consumption by up to 15 percent. Thus, if a plate of pasta usually has 350 calories, if chili pepper is added, this figure goes to 300.