Jalapeño - Health Benefits
Can Promote Weight Loss
Jalapeños may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, increasing fat burn and reducing your appetite. Several studies have found that capsaicin and other similar compounds called capsaicinoids can boost metabolism by 4–5% per day, potentially making it easier to lose weight.
In addition to boosting metabolism, capsaicinoid supplements have been shown to reduce abdominal fat and appetite so that people eat 50–75 fewer calories per day All of these factors help explain why regularly consuming chili peppers is associated with a significantly reduced risk of becoming overweight or obese over time. While this research is promising, it is important to note that many of these studies investigated the effects of capsaicin or chili peppers in general, not just jalapeños.
May Fight Cancer
Lab studies have shown that capsaicin has strong anti-cancer properties and is capable of killing over 40 types of cancer cells without harming normal cells. However, human studies have not replicated the anti-cancer benefits found in lab studies. In fact, several human studies have found that regularly eating chili peppers is linked to a higher risk of cancer. However, not all studies have shown this connection. It also appears that dosage matters. While high doses of capsaicin appear More studies are needed to determine how capsaicin and chili peppers influence the risk of cancer in humans.
May Be Natural Pain Relievers
Capsaicin is an effective pain reliever when used externally. It soothes pain by temporarily blocking pain receptors in the area where it is applied. At first, a burning sensation may be felt, followed by numbness and an absence of pain. Capsaicin lotions and patches are frequently used to relieve pain caused by the shingles virus, diabetic nerve pain and chronic muscle and joint pain In one study, older adults with rheumatoid arthritis experienced a 57% reduction in pain after applying a capsaicin cream to their joints. This was significantly more effective than the placebo cream. In addition to applying capsaicin to the skin, it can be used as a nasal spray to relieve migraine pain.
Help Fight Infections
Spices and herbs have long been used in cooking to help prevent spoilage and food poisoning. Compounds found in spicy chili peppers are especially powerful at slowing the growth of common food-borne bacteria and yeasts (39 . Chili extracts can even stop cholera bacteria from producing toxins, potentially reducing the impact of this deadly food-borne disease (42 . Beyond food poisoning, new research suggests that capsaicin can help prevent other types of infections, such as strep throat, bacterial tooth decay and chlamydia.
However, it is important to note that all of these studies used chili extracts, not whole chilis, and were conducted in test tubes, not humans. These early studies suggest that chili peppers may have strong antimicrobial properties, and future research is underway to determine if they may be used as natural preservatives or medicines.
May Keep Your Heart Healthy
Some of the biggest risk factors for heart disease include diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Capsaicin can help reduce the impact of these factors and may help keep your heart healthy. Eating 5 grams of chili peppers before a high-carb meal has been shown to help stabilize blood sugars and prevent the large spikes that occur after meals. Capsaicin has also been shown to lower cholesterol and lipid levels in animals, but no studies have been conducted in humans (5 . Animal studies also suggest that capsaicin can help lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, but there is no research to show whether this is true in humans.