Move Over Kale, Jalapenos Are the Health Food You Never Knew About

If you can handle the taste of jalapenos, you can consider yourself lucky, as they are apparently a real superfood. The active ingredient in these little green peppers, capsaicin, is the power you need to fight off numerous health issues.

Capsaicin is the same ingredient used in personal defense pepper spray, and it turns out that it can defend you from various illnesses and diseases too!

A raw jalapeno contains no fat and has only 4 calories, 1 gram carbs, the same amount of protein, and 0.4 gram fiber. On the other hand, it is a rich source of potassium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, B, and K, as well as folate.

Here are some health benefits of jalapenos:

1. Weight loss-- They contain capsaicin, a compound that stimulates weight loss. It activates the brown fat tissue, and thus triggers the process of burning fat.

Capsaicin can also boost metabolism by 4-5% daily, as it has also been found to suppress appetite.

2. Relieve pain-- Capsaicin temporarily blocks the pain receptors in the body. Yet, scientists still warn not to apply jalapeno peppers directly on the skin and advise the use of sprays instead, to soothe pain due to shingles, diabetic nerve pain, arthritis, and even migraines.

3. Fight cancer- Studies have shown that capsaicin can fight over 40 types of cancer cells without affecting the healthy body cells. It is also believed to be able to prevent the growing and dividing of cancer cells.

4. Treat nasal congestion-- The heat capsaicin produces clears the sinuses, and cleanses the airways, thus treating sinus infections.

5. Good for heart health-- Preliminary research suggests that the consumption of 5 grams of capsaicin before high-carb meals lowers blood sugar levels, and diabetes is one of the main factors for heart disease.

6. Treat high blood pressure-- Chili peppers, including jalapenos, are high in flavonoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which lower blood pressure.

7. Fight infections-- There is some evidence that capsaicin can slow down the growth of yeasts and foodborne bacteria, and even fight some infections like chlamydia, strep throat, and tooth decay. Yet, note that much of this research has been conducted in laboratory studies only.

8. Prevent stomach ulcers- Recent research suggests that spicy foods are not the cause of peptic ulcers. Therefore, as capsaicin fights inflammation in the body, these peppers can prevent stomach ulcers.

Studies even suggest that they can help kill some of the H. Pylori bacteria in the stomach. However, if you already suffer from stomach ulcers, consult your doctor before you consume spicy foods.

9. Great during pregnancy and for the baby- These peppers are abundant in folate or folic acid, which is known to help in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies. A cup of jalapenos contains 11 percent of the daily recommended value of folate.

Yet, before you start substituting a meal with jalapenos, or eat a jar of pickled jalapenos, it is important to know that the best way to start reaping the benefits of capsaicin is to add a few slices of jalapenos on top of your foods, add them to your salsa or dips, pickle them, or infuse a few jalapenos in oil with chilis.

Also, add fresh jalapenos to eggs, sauces, mashed avocado, and meatloaf to boost nutrition and spice.

Over time, you will build more tolerance to the spice, and you will enjoy your health thanks to these spicy little miracles!

It’s time to spice up your life!