The Health Benefits of Jalapeños

Wednesday Nov 30, 2016

Jalapeños are medium-sized chili peppers used to add spice to foods. Did you know that jalapeños are actually a fruit? The use of jalapeños dates back to Aztecs and Mayans who used it in their own cooking and believed it could cure colds, strengthen the body and help with depression.

The use of jalapeños has come a long way since their indigenous consumption. Now, jalapeños can be bacon wrapped, stuffed into cornbread, made into a remoulade and even candied. If you love spice, it’s likely you have already tried jalapeño pizza. The spiciness mixed with the sweetness of tomato sauce is a great combination. The great thing about jalapeño pizza is that the cheese also tones down some of the spice.

As a jalapeño lover, you can reap the many health benefits of this fruit.

Vitamins

Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and jalapeños are no exception. Jalapeños are a great source of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E

The fruit is low in carbohydrates, sugar and fat. A medium-sized jalapeño also has about 2.8 grams of dietary fiber.

Capsaicin

A medium-sized jalapeño has anywhere between .01 grams and 6 grams of capsaicin. Capsaicin is considered an anti-inflammatory and vasodilator, meaning it promotes healthy blood flow. Capsaicin has been used for arthritis pain, nerve pain and even dermatological conditions. The use of capsaicin for medical treatment has been widely studied and there are many benefits to this compound.

Antioxidants

Jalapeños are known to also provide a dose of antioxidants. Vitamin C is what provides these antioxidants, which helps stop cell damage to the body. Antioxidants can also help with bacteria in the stomach and aid in the prevention of stomach ulcers. In the stomach, epithelial cells line the gut and allow good nutrients to enter your blood stream while also blocking bad bacteria. Some evidence suggests that antioxidants can help protect these epithelial cells.

Weight Control

Jalapeños have been linked to weight control due to the capsaicin. Capsaicin is often used in diet pills as it can help burn calories and fat. The heat capsaicin creates also helps you sweat out excess water weight. In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, adding jalapeños into your meals could be a great alternative to using a diet pill with other, unnatural additives.

Jalapeños are a great addition to any meal. While you may not want an entire jalapeño pizza, you could add the topping to many other choices such as a Veggie Pizza, the Works or to the Buffalo Chicken Pizza for some extra heat. Pair your jalapeño pizza with a Cajun Flavored Crust® and you’ll really be spicing it up.

Sources:

https://www.sbnature.org/crc/332.html

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-jalapeño-peppers-4880.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/409721-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-jalapeño-peppers/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/capsaicin-ingredient-hot-peppers-offers-medical-benefits/story?id=15727011

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC61450/