Cayenne pepper, cayenne pepper, cayenne pepper, turkish pepper – this very name is known under these names. The name pepper is however misleading. It is not pepper, but finely ground, dried pepper of a special variety. In the ground form goes to packaging, and then to the store shelves.
The cayenne pepper has an intense orange color, a very spicy taste and an easily recognizable aroma. It is mainly used as a spice, but in addition to its taste qualities, it has many healing qualities. The spice belongs to the Solanaceae family.
Where does the cayenne pepper come from?
The cayenne pepper is produced from cajun peppers, which after the harvest are dried and then milled. The plant originates from the area of north-eastern South America (the name of the pepper comes from the name of the capital of French Guiana – Cayenne from French Cayenne). Distribution of cayenne peppers took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Currently, the plant is grown in various regions of the world, including in India, China and Argentina. Spicy taste of cayenne pepper results from the content of capsaicin. Capsaicin, although not a typical alkaloid, is usually included in this group of compounds. Capsaicin acts on the receptors of pain, causing burning sensation and sharpness in the mouth. The scale of the focus, or spice of a given dish, mainly used in relation to peppers, is determined on the Scoville scale. The cayenne pepper has a sharpness in the range of 30.000-50.000 SHU.
Healing properties of cayenne pepper
The cayenne pepper contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. It also contains many substances naturally beneficial to health. However, capsaicin plays the key role – it has antibacterial and analgesic properties. Therefore, cayenne pepper is used to relieve nerve pain and headache. The cayenne pepper destroys substance P, which conducts nerve impulses to the brain. This is exactly the analgesic effect of this spice. The cayenne pepper extract is used, inter alia, for the production of analgesics and relieving itching.
Capsaicin is also credited with anti-cancer properties (prostate cancer) – this has been scientifically confirmed by a team of scientists from Nottingham. Due to the warming properties of cayenne pepper, it is worth reaching for a cold. The cayenne pepper has a beneficial effect on the circulatory system by lowering the level of bad cholesterol, triglycerides, preventing the aggregation (clumping) of platelets and dissolving clots. In addition, it preferably stimulates blood circulation. In societies where significant amounts of this spice are consumed, fewer heart attacks, strokes and congestion have been observed. The cayenne pepper contains beta-carotene (provitamin A), vitamins – C, E, B2, B6. In addition, they contain minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper and selenium. The cayenne pepper has antifungal properties – it does not like phomopsis and colletotrichum mushrooms. Spicy spice is also attributed to anti-allergic properties. The cayenne pepper prevents migraine headaches. Spice helps remove toxins from the body by increasing sweating and speeding up circulation.
Cayenne pepper and the digestive system
Spicy spices effectively stimulate the digestive system – cayenne pepper also. It can help people suffering from bloating and indigestion, because it stimulates the production of gastric juices. However, people suffering from stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers and other chronic digestive diseases should first consult their physician before introducing them into the diet.
Cayenne pepper supports slimming
Cayenne pepper, or actually capsaicin, can help you lose weight in two ways – first, it increases the metabolic rate and digestive processes, and second, it suppresses appetite. Of course, cayenne alone is not enough to lose kilograms, but sharp spices can help your diet and exercise.
The use of cayenne pepper in the kitchen
The cayenne pepper is a popular spice mainly in Mexican and Asian cuisine. It is added to meat dishes and soups, poultry and fish, marinades and sauces. Interestingly, cayenne pepper can also be added to cakes, desserts and ice cream. It tastes best as an addition to chocolate – a cup of hot chocolate with cayenne pepper is a very good way to warm up the body on cold autumn-winter evenings.
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