Do you suffer from recurring heartburn, chronic indigestion or ulcers?
Medical researchers are now finding that capsaicin – the pungent compound that gives ‘heat’ to cayenne, chili and jalapeno peppers – is harmless to the digestive tract. Hot peppers do not, in fact, cause or even aggravate ulcers. In fact, capsaicin may actually have therapeutic effects.
How does capsaicin help to heal the gut?
Not only can capsaicin-rich peppers dramatically reduce symptoms of heartburn and indigestion after a few weeks of use – they also have a strong protective effect on stomach tissues.
How do hot peppers work to reduce pain? When your body’s tissues are exposed to capsaicin, the initial response is to release substance P, a neurotransmitter that carries pain messages to the brain. This is the reason that eating hot peppers can make you feel as if your mouth – and your stomach – is on fire. The benefit comes with repeated exposure to capsaicin, through frequent and regular consumption of hot peppers. When capsaicin regularly contacts a specific site on the body, levels of substance P actually become depleted at the nerve terminals in that location. The result – significant reductions in pain.
Science raves about capsaicin for digestive disorders Numerous studies, both animal and clinical, support the ability of capsaicin to relieve uncomfortable digestive symptoms when used over time. Capsaicin’s preventive effects on gastric mucosa have also been well documented in both animal and human studies.
In addition to beneficial capsaicin, hot peppers also contain important micronutrients. Their bright orange-red color is a testament to their high levels of beneficial flavonoids, particularly carotene – an antioxidant pigment that gives color to carrots. Rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C, cayenne peppers also contain lutein and zeaxanthin — which may help prevent age-related macular degeneration – and are a good source of manganese, a mineral the body needs to manufacture the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Finally, hot peppers are fiber-rich and cholesterol-free.
You can promote digestive healing with spicy food Hot peppers, also known as cayenne peppers and chili peppers. These can be enjoyed as spicy delicacies either cooked or raw. They are recognized as generally safe; however, moderation is the best course – avoid eating quantities that are larger than normal dietary amounts.