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

Mangoes Carry Health Benefits

Two studies have found that mangoes fight inflammation and have properties useful in treating gastrointestinal disease.

Healthy Oils Improve Good Cholesterol

In separate studies, virgin coconut oil, walnut oil and camlina oil improved cholesterol levels, making them good alternatives to olive oil.

Whole Grains Help Us Eat Less

When overweight Danes exchanged refined grain products such as white bread and pasta for whole-grain equivalents, they tended to feel full sooner, eat less, lose weight and have less inflammation.

Leafy Greens Lower Risk for Heart Disease

Teenagers that eat few leafy greens are at triple the risk for enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle, reducing blood pumping volumes, than teens that eat greens.

Big Breakfast, Lower Body Mass

People that make breakfast their largest meal of the day have lower body mass, while those that make dinner the biggest meal are likely to weigh more, a recent study concluded.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags