cayenne pepper - cook for your life

Ever wonder what made that burrito you ordered taste so perfectly spicy? Capsaicin-rich chile powder may be the answer. Found in common ingredients like cayenne powder, this ingredient is now just known for its flavor. Native Americans have been using this spice in food and medicine for millennia to relieve stomach pain and help with circulatory problems.

Chile powders contain a compound called capsaicin, which is thought to be the source of this ingredient’s benefits. While there are mixed results in the research about capsaicin, the benefits are worth noting. Capsaicin is being studied for its potential to reduce tumor cell growth and spread, its ability to reduce inflammation in a variety of colorectal and lung cancer cells, and its ability to slow down the progression of cancers at the gene level.

In addition to the potential nutrition benefits of consuming more chile powders, there are many practical benefits that come with adding this delicious spice to your diet. They’re great flavor enhancers if you’re following a low-sodium diet, help blast chemo palate if you’re experiencing taste changes, and give a pleasant warming effect to any dish.

There is no research to support taking capsaicin in supplement form. Additionally, it is unknown what kind of interaction there would be between capsaicin supplements and cancer medications or chemotherapy.

Chef Tips

Chile powders are a fabulous addition to nearly any dish and are used in all around the world. It lends a pleasant warming effect when used in smaller amounts in salad dressing, soups, and roast vegetables. Or it can be the star of the show like these Chive Cayenne Shortbread Cookies.

Registered Dietitian Approved

There are many misconceptions about nutrition and cancer in widespread media. By using current scientific literature, plus recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society, our Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, and our team of editors work to help our readers discern truth from myth.

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult your physician or registered dietitian for specific medical advice.

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