As human beings, our choices of foods varies depending on our taste preferences, cultural influence, family background, health concern, cost, and so many others. These factors guide different people's choices of foods especially when it comes to the addition of spices to foods. Studies have shown that while some people of some cultures in Nigeria like their foods with much hot spicy peppers, others want less or do not want at all.
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However, this article aims to discuss the various reasons, medically and physiologically, why you should eat hot spicy pepper regularly. Historically, before the invention of the refrigerator, foods were preserved from spoilage in warm climates by adding enough spicy to foods. This is because a study shows that the capsaicin content in pepper contains high antibacterial properties that can inhabit as much as 75% of bacteria growth in foods. Examples of these hot peppers are bell pepper, chili pepper, black pepper, scotch bonnet, anaheim pepper, shishito pepper, and a lot more.
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Some people from some Nigerian cultures like the Yoruba and Igbo have been studied to have taste buds desiring for extra spicy in foods and have lived and survived different hot spicy pepper and passed it down to their younger generation. Research also found out that capsaicin may also limit skin aging and promote fullness and other surprising benefits as discussed below.
1. Promote good heart health
Capsaicin found in pepper can promote good circulatory system functions and prevent heart diseases by reducing lipid deposits and lowering blood serum cholesterol which can lead to the reverses of excessive blood clotting. It can also aid blood flow in the heart by dilating the blood vessels.
2. Relieve joint pain
According to some tested experiments, the capsaicin in pepper has proven effective in relieving pain such as shingles, neuropathy, and other types of pain. The powerful pain-relieving properties of capsaicin can be achieved either by consuming enough pepper in foods or direct application on the skin to relieve pain.
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3. Improve digestive tract
Pepper contains a trace amount of antioxidants and some other chemicals that can stimulate gastric juices that aid digestion. It can also treat digestive issues such as diarrhea, stomach upset, excessive intestinal gas, and can act as a natural remedy for cramps. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, research has shown that the capsaicin in pepper can be beneficial to ulcer patients. It also reduces the acidity of the digestive tract that causes ulcers.
4. Reduce the risk of fungal infections
Beta-carotene and antioxidants found in hot pepper like chili pepper can trigger the immune system to fight against fungal infections, cold, and flu viruses in the system. Research also shows that the capsaicin found in pepper can reduce congestion when sprayed on the nasal region.
5. Lower cancer risk
Studies show that fresh pepper contains high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in fighting cancer. High consumption of pepper has proven effective in fighting prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and pancreatic cancer by restricting cancerous cells growth and leaving normal cells unharmed.
It is however recommended that both children and adults should eat hot pepper regularly to improve their overall health.
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