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One of the tricks to loving healthy food with no animal products is to learn how to create great flavors.  Going out to eat isn’t part of my current lifestyle, so I have to make great tasting food at home.  In the past few months I’ve become much less risk adverse with my pantry items.  I’ve added things into the cabinet I never would have had before my heart attack.

When I get to my new home in California, I’ll take pictures of my pantry.  I wish I’d taken photos of ‘before’ heart attack pantry.

I love hummus.  I’ve fallen in love with beans.  And my new little food processor.  After tasting Whole Foods black bean hummus, I was hooked.  It was so much better than mine.  There was a flavorful, spicy hotness to it.  When I flipped the container over I read “Louisiana Hot Sauce”.  WTF?  I had no idea what that was, but I knew it was imperative to get some.

hot sauce

 

LHS became a regular addition to many dishes.  It’s now a staple in my cooking.  This little powerful sauce isn’t just hot, it’s got great flavor.  And especially good news is that there is evidence that they help with heart health!

Wanna know more about peppers?

About Cayenne Peppers

 

From the Chili Pepper Institute, New Mexico State University

 

The cayenne pepper belongs to the Capsicum family, more commonly known as chile peppers.

 

Health Benefits

 

Fight Inflammation

All chile peppers, including cayenne, contain capsaicin, which in addition to giving cayenne its characteristic heat, is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. Capsaicin is being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fiber disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. There are several scientific research studies on this subject.

 

Natural Pain Relief

Topical capsaicin has been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for cluster headaches and osteoarthritis pain. Several review studies of pain management for diabetic neuropathy have listed the benefits of topical capsaicin to alleviate disabling pain associated with this condition.

 

Nutrient Amount DV (%)
Vitamin A 1470.24 IU 29.4
Vitamin C 2.72 mg 4.5
Manganese 0.08 mg 4.0
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.08 mg 4.0
Dietary fiber 0.96 g 3.8
Vitamin K 2.89 mcg 3.6
Folate 3.76 mcg .94
Calcium 5.28 mg .53
Magnesium 5.36 mg 1.34
Phosphorous 10.4 mg 1.4
Potassium 71.2 mg 1.7

In a double-blind placebo controlled trial, nearly 200 patients with psoriasis were given topical preparations containing either capsaicin or placebo. Patients who were given capsaicin reported significant improvement based on a severity score which traced symptoms associated with psoriasis. The side effect reported with topical capsaicin cream is a burning sensation at the area of application.

 

Cardiovascular Benefits

In ongoing scientific studies cayenne and other red chile peppers have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body’s ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots. Cultures in which hot chile peppers, like cayenne, are used in everyday cooking and culinary use have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.

 

Cayenne pepper is an excellent source of vitamin A. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and dietary fiber.

 

References:

How Chile Peppers Help Your Body, Educational Poster, Chile Pepper Institute, 2007.

The Healing Powers of Peppers, DeWitt, 2007.

The Worlds Healthiest Foods, George Mateljon Foundation, 2007.

Source: Chile Pepper Institute – New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Interesting Chile Facts

 

  • A teaspoon of red chile powder meets the RDA for Vitamin A.
  • The heat from chile peppers (called capsaicin) is used in making many arthritis medications.
  • Chili peppers are also a good source of Iron, Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
  • Green chile peppers have as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
  • In some Chilean cultures people put dry chili powder in their shoes to help keep their feet warm.
  • Chili peppers aid in the healing of many skin conditions such as psoriasis, itching and bruising.
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