The Top 10 Health Benefits of Jalapenos

Health Benefits of JalapenosDid you know that jalapenos do more than just provide your meals with a deliciously spicy kick?

This medium sized chili pepper is a fruit of the Capsicum pod type. Like most members of the Capsicum family, jalapenos are not only quite spicy, but they are incredibly good for you as well.

Jalapenos get their spiciness from a molecular compound within them known as capsaicin. This is actually the main source of the majority of the health benefits of jalapenos.

If you’re a fan of spicy hot food, then you already probably use this chili pepper in quite a few recipes. And even if you don’t usually go for spicy foods, after reading this article and seeing some of the terrific benefits it can provide, you’ll probably want to start planning a Mexican food night soon!

The good news is that there’s all kinds of ways that you can enjoy jalapenos.

They’re awesome in quesadillas, salsas, and salads.

And if you want a real treat, try making bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers — they’re simply amazing. I’ll be sharing an unbelievably good recipe for those later on this article.

For now, read on to find out 10 of the very best health benefits of jalapenos and why you should be including them in your diet!

Why You Should Be Eating Jalapenos – Top 10 Health Benefits

If I’m being perfectly honest, the main reason that I eat a lot of jalapenos is just because I can’t get enough of spicy hot food. However, as an added benefit, jalapenos are absolutely loaded with all kinds of incredible health benefits.

Check out the following 10 health benefits of jalapenos, and keep them in mind the next time you’re craving something to eat with a little bit of a kick!

Jalapenos Are Beneficial For Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose a few unwanted pounds then you should definitely consider eating more spicy foods, especially jalapenos. They are are an excellent low calorie ingredient that is both low in fat and carbohydrates. [1]http://calorielab.com/foods/peppers/peppers-jalapeno-raw/158/11979/2

However, the main weight loss benefit that jalapenos can provide is due to their capsaicin content. It’s widely known to assist in boosting your metabolism — in fact, there’s even many weight loss pills and supplements that use capsaicin as one of their primary ingredients.

In depth studies that have been conducted have found that capsaicin is incredibly effective when it comes to promoting fat oxidation (your ability to burn fat cells), while also not significantly increasing blood pressure. [2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699483/

So as it turns out, when people say spicy food can help you lose weight, the science backs that statement up!

Jalapenos Are Anti-Inflammatory

The capsaicin found in jalapenos is a highly potent anti-inflammatory compound. While inflammation is normally an evolutionary reaction to trauma sustained by the body, in the modern age, millions of people are living with chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is directly linked with several types of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis. It’s also one of the main causes of premature aging. [3]http://www.genesmart.com/100069/what-is-inflammation/

With that in mind, it’s absolutely essential to do whatever you can to lower any chronic inflammation in your body. One of the best ways to do that is by making healthier eating choices. Especially foods like jalapenos that contain capsaicin.

The anti-inflammatory benefits of capsaicin make it effective for treating the pain and swelling commonly associated with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, while also helping to lower chronic inflammation within your body. [4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9179523

Jalapenos May Help Prevent Cancer

The health benefits provided by capsaicin just get better and better. By eating more jalapenos in your diet, you can actually lower your risk of developing cancer. There is plenty of data demonstrating that capsaicin has significant anticancer benefits. [5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26976969

In fact, with a high enough dose of capsaicin, the ‘heat’ element it contains has actually been found to be able to kill certain cancer cells, specifically prostate cancer cells, while also leaving healthy cells unharmed. [6]https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2015/acs-presspac-september-9-2015/how-the-heat-compound-from-chili-peppers-could-help-kill-cancer-cells.html

The fact that capsaicin also has anti-inflammatory benefits may also help to prevent cancer. There is an increasingly large amount of evidence that nearly all forms of chronic disease are the result of chronic inflammation. Anything that helps to lower inflammation would therefore directly help lower your risk of diseases like cancer. [7]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/

Jalapenos Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

One thing that all chili peppers share in common is the fact they contain plenty of essential nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Jalapenos are no exception as they are exceptionally high in the antioxidant ascorbic acid, more commonly known as vitamin C.

Researchers have found links between a high intake of vitamin C and lower blood pressure, although admittedly more research needs to be done in order to rule out any other dietary factors. [8]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9249227

Beyond the vitamin C content however, capsaicin once again proves how beneficial it is thanks to its demonstrated ability to lower blood pressure as well. Studies conducted on rats with hypertension showed that chili peppers were able to relax the blood vessels and lower their blood pressure. [9]https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803132734.htm

Jalapenos Are High In Antioxidants

Jalapeno peppers are jam packed full of flavonoids and antioxidants. As mentioned in the last point, jalapenos are an excellent source of not just vitamin C, but vitamin A as well. In addition to these two free radical fighting vitamins, jalapenos also contain phenols, flavonoids, and capsaicinoids that help fight free radicals and inflammation. [10]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12452665

I should also mention that fresh, raw jalapenos are nutritionally superior and are the best source of antioxidant benefits. Processed or canned jalapenos have lower amounts of phytochemicals and lower antioxidant activity compared to fresh peppers. [11]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21126003

Jalapenos Can Help Relieve Nasal Congestion

One of the most commonly reported benefits of spicy foods that contain capsaicin is their ability to help clear nasal congestion. It can even help to prevent and fight sinus infections by helping to cleanse your airways. [12]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971034/

So if you’re feeling stuffed up and you’d rather not resort to over-the-counter medications to relieve your symptoms, grab some jalapenos and prepare yourself a delicious spicy meal.

Capsaicin is great for relieving nasal congestion, but it’s also effective for treating many other symptoms commonly associated with the cold and flu. It also has benefits when it comes to mucus production and easing your cough. [13]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25468411

Jalapenos Can Help Relieve Headaches

We’ve already mentioned how the capsaicin found in jalapenos is a potent anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the pain and swelling associated with conditions like arthritis. But did you know that capsaicin can also be an effective treatment for headaches and migraines?

Capsaicin can actually help to block Substance P, a neuropeptide that is one of the main pain transmitters to the brain. This makes it incredibly effective for easing the painful symptoms of headaches and migraines. [14]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169333/

In fact, capsaicin has been found to be so beneficial that it’s widely manufactured as a nasal spray treatment option designed for migraine relief. Studies have found that with repeated usage of a capsaicin nasal spray treatment, cluster headache attacks could be prevented. [15]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7708405

What this all means is that the next time you’re dealing with a throbbing headache, instead of popping Tylenol, maybe you should consider a tasty quesadilla instead?

Jalapenos Are A Good Source Of Vitamin C

The vitamin C content of jalapenos has been mentioned briefly a couple of times already, but it bears repeating with its own section. While capsaicin is indeed responsible for most of the beneficial properties of jalapenos, the importance of vitamin C has to be stressed as well.

The amount of health benefits that vitamin C can provide you are so numerous that they could cover an article all on their own. It’s known to prevent complications that can develop from colds and boost your immune system. It also protects against cardiovascular disease, prenatal health issues and eye disease. [16]https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#1

Jalapenos don’t just help make fantastic spicy dishes — a single jalapeno pepper can also provide 10 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.

Jalapenos Can Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Attack

Jalapenos Can Reduce Your Risk Of Heart AttackJalapenos and other varieties of chili peppers can provide you with some fantastic cardiovascular health benefits. It’s again all thanks to the capsaicin content found in jalapenos. I mentioned earlier that capsaicin can help to lower your blood pressure — it’s also been shown to be effective for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. [17]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4051752

Jalapenos are doubly effective at reducing your risk of heart disease when you also factor in the first benefit that we covered — it’s ability to assist individuals with their weight loss efforts by promoting metabolic and vascular health. [18]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4477151/

That last point is especially important to keep in mind. With obesity rates on the rise and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in this day and age, the beneficial effects of capsaicin become even more valuable.

It’s ability to help you lose weight, while also lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides make it invaluable when it comes to helping prevent heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Jalapenos Can Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers

A lot of people are surprised to find out about this last health benefit provided by jalapenos. After all, a lot of people often blame the last spicy meal that they ate as soon as they experience any type of stomach discomfort.

And while spicy foods such as jalapenos can indeed cause stomach pain for some people, capsaicin is still effective when it comes to not only treating ulcers, but helping to prevent them as well. Capsaicin is capable of inhibiting acid secretion while stimulating alkali and mucus secretions. It stimulates neurons in the stomach which in turn signal for protection against injury causing agents. [19]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16621751

To put it in simple terms, jalapenos are able to kill off the bad bacteria commonly found in your stomach and intestines that are often the culprit of stomach ulcers.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, jalapenos definitely fit the bill when you describe a food that is both “delicious and nutritious”. And while I realize that not everyone is a fan of spicy hot foods, for those of you who are, you’re absolutely gaining some incredible health benefits whenever you are enjoying a spicy dinner night.

Near the beginning of this article, I mentioned I would be sharing an amazing recipe for bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers. If you’re looking for an incredibly tasty way to eat jalapenos and get all of the health benefits described above, then you have to try out this recipe, courtesy of allrecipes.com.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
  • 12 slices bacon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil.

Mix the cream cheese and Cheddar cheese together until it’s evenly blended and then add the mixture into each jalapeno half.

Put the halves back together and wrap each one of them with a slice of bacon.

Bake them until the bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes on average.

Enjoy!

Conclusion

So what do you think? Has this article encouraged you to enjoy some spicy hot meals more often? I hope so, as capsaicin truly does provide all kinds of incredible health benefits!

Let us know what you think down in the comments below and feel free to share your own favorite jalapeno recipes.

Please also remember to share this article if you enjoyed it!

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Heather Carson

Heather Carson

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