Habanero peppers are so delicious! This is just a short post to share with you one of many foods that are both super tasty but also have medicinal qualities.
I love spicy foods, and hot peppers are some of my favorites to add to almost anything I am eating (beans and rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, guacamole, etc.). Besides being super high in vitamin C, habanero and most hot peppers have many incredible healing properties. Their active components are capsaicin/capsinoids.
Hot peppers are especially great during colder seasons because, as you may have experienced, they do have an overall warming effect on the body.
To name just a few of their benefits, hot peppers can help with:
- Increasing brown fat (the fat-burning fat that acts more like muscle).1
- Improving pain and inflammation.2
- Reduces coughing.3
- Calms rhinitis (sneezing, postnasal drip, congestion).4
All joking aside, don’t hurt yourself. You don’t actually have to have your mouth on fire to get these benefits. Even small amounts can be great (and milder tasting). As you know if you’ve followed me for long, I don’t believe in eating food you don’t like or making health painful. If you don’t like hot peppers, don’t eat them … there are many ways to get these benefits from other foods/supplements.
Remember that when you’re making food you can always add more but it’s pretty hard to remove. So start with a small amount, especially when using fresh habaneros. Remember to remove the seeds (the seeds are seriously little fire balls). Also, wear gloves and don’t touch your face or eyes when cutting/handling hot peppers of any kind. I have been burned (literally) many times … and soap and water doesn’t remove the oils very easily from your skin. If you do get them in your eyes, wash your hands and gently do an eye wash. It will burn for a while but won’t cause any permanent damage.
Also, although harder to find, peppers are a heavily sprayed crop so it is worth buying organic or growing your own.
I love to add hot peppers to most of my savory foods. If I am making food for others, I usually only add a touch so that all can participate.
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1. Saito M, Yoneshiro T. Capsinoids and related food ingredients activating brown fat thermogenesis and reducing body fat in humans. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2013. doi:10.1097/MOL.0b013e32835a4f40
2. O’Neill J, Brock C, Olesen AE, Andresen T, Nilsson M, Dickenson AH. Unravelling the mystery of capsaicin: A tool to understand and treat pain. Pharmacol Rev. 2012. doi:10.1124/pr.112.006163
3. Ternesten-Hasséus E, Johansson EL, Millqvist E. Cough reduction using capsaicin. Respir Med. 2015. doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2014.11.001
4. Fokkens W, Hellings P, Segboer C. Capsaicin for Rhinitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2016. doi:10.1007/s11882-016-0638-1
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.