Hot Peppers Help the Heart

Turn Up the Heat




February is Heart Health Month, and individuals that like hot peppers have another reason to continue their spicy habit, according to recent research. A study presented at the latest National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society focused on the benefits of capsaicin and its fiery-hot relatives, a piquant family of substances termed capsaicinoids, that give cayenne, jalapeños, habanero and other chili peppers their heat.

The research team discovered that these substances boost heart health in several ways: They block the action of a gene producing a substance that makes arteries contract and restrict the flow of blood to the heart and other organs; lower cholesterol by reducing its accumulation in the body and increasing its breakdown and excretion; decrease the size of cholesterol deposits already formed in blood vessels that narrow arteries and increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes; and reduce overall levels of so-called “bad” cholesterol while not affecting levels of “good” cholesterol.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

10 Daily Produce Servings Prevent Early Death

Yes, five servings a day of fruit and veggies is a good start, but what really prevents heart disease and cancer is 10 servings a day, a new study finds.

Milk Chocolate Also Benefits Heart Health

Harvard researchers found that people eating one to 12 ounces a month of milk chocolate – but less than 30 ounces – had a lower risk of irregular heartbeat.

Cranberry Prebiotic Promotes Gut Health

The cell walls of cranberries contain a compound that acts as a prebiotic by feeding more nutrients to the “good bacteria” in our gut.

Maple Syrup Gives Good Gut

The inulin in pure maple sugar encourages the growth of desirable bacteria in the gut, say researchers from the University of Rhode Island.

Drinking More Water Improves Food Intake

People that drink more water in the course of a day tend to eat less, especially fat, sugar, and sodium, a University of Illinois study found.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags