There has been a growing trend in the food industry to try and make things as spicy as possible. This has resulted in a lot of new breeds of peppers being made from crossing two extremely hot breeds together. Despite the new popularity and new peppers, there has always been a staple, and that’s the jalapeno. Though jalapenos do have a medium amount of heat with 1,000 to 20,000 Scoville units, most people are able to tolerate these peppers in their diets.
When it comes to jalapenos, you might think of it as something you add to your food for an extra kick, especially on sandwiches. What you might not know is that jalapenos are actually pretty beneficial when it comes to your health. If you can handle the small amount of pain you normally experience from eating jalapeno peppers, you’re doing yourself a favor! Here’s the nutritional breakdown to prove it, and the health benefits that come along with eating jalapenos.
Nutrition of Jalapenos
Do you think you’re brave enough to eat an entire cup of sliced jalapeno peppers? Most people aren’t, but that one serving is only going to be a miniscule 27 calories. With a little bit of protein, jalapenos are very low in carbohydrates and fat, while also bringing 10 percent of your daily recommendation for fiber. Not many people know, but jalapenos contain a lot of vitamin C, with two-thirds of your daily recommended value.
That’s not the only vitamin that jalapenos have a significant amount of, with vitamin B6 coming in at 23 percent daily value. Others that come in around 10 percent include vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamin, niacin and folate. As for the minerals, there isn’t one that really stands out like in the vitamin department, but you’ll find significant amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. Just to top it all off, there’s no cholesterol in jalapenos. The spice might make people think that jalapenos aren’t nutritious, but that’s clearly not the case.
Spicy and Slim
You might hear a lot of claims about how you can “melt” away the pounds, but that might actually be the case if you eat more jalapenos. Jalapenos are insanely low in calories at just above 25 per one cup serving, making it easy to budget into your daily calorie total. You’re also getting a lot out of those calories, making jalapenos a great diet food.
Jalapenos contain plenty of capsaicin that has been linked with accelerated weight loss, and is being used in supplements. Capsaicin lowers your appetite, while also stimulating your metabolism to burn more fat. The best news? Capsaicin has been linked with an ability to specifically melt fat around your midsection, which is quite often the hardest place to lose weight.
Do you know that feeling you get after eating something spicy where your nose starts running, your eyes water and you might even start sweating? The same capsaicin that can help you lose weight is also great at clearing up your sinuses. People that have problems with congestion or frequent sinus infections will really find benefit in eating more jalapenos, offering both a short and long term solution.
The sinuses aren’t the only part of the body that can get congested, as your chest needs to be cleared out, as well. Jalapenos cover that, too. Even the people that suffer from painful migraine headaches will find benefit from eating more jalapeno peppers. Isn’t a little bit of spice for a few minutes worth being clear from headaches, coughing and sniffling all day?
Cancer is one of the most common killers in the world today, and there are certain foods that get brought up by health experts when it comes to preventing cancer. Jalapenos are actually among them, because of the tremendous antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in these peppers that include (of course) capsaicin. These antioxidants help to wipe out free radicals that attack the body, causing cancer cells and tumors to grow.
Jalapenos have been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties that can reverse the basis of certain forms of cancer. The biggest link that researchers have found is between jalapenos and prostate cancer with heat killing the cells. While it might sound more complex than just “melting” cancer cells, it’s not too far off to say that they are.
Is there really anything that capsaicin can’t do? Not only can it make you slim down, kill cancer cells and clear out your sinuses, but it can also help your heart. Capsaicin is linked to a lower level of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood, which is true of most peppers. Those that are at risk for blood clots will also find that jalapenos reduce your chances as they clear out fibrin that produces clotting.
Blood vessels also see a boost from jalapeno peppers, strengthening the heart and reducing inflammation to make your heart more efficient. Overall, people who eat more capsaicin typically have lower blood pressure, better cholesterol and stronger hearts. It’s really quite impressive what one ingredient can do.
Just in case you needed a bonus at the end of it all, jalapenos can even make you look better on the outside. Since the most abundant vitamin in a jalapeno is vitamin C, your body will be able to produce more collagen that gives your skin elasticity. Other nutrients such as vitamin A and beta-carotene allow your skin to look healthy, glowing and colorful. If you’re at the age where you have to start worrying about wrinkles, you might want to eat more jalapenos to reverse the signs of aging.
Summing it Up
As you can see, jalapenos have a lot more health benefits than most people even realize. So why aren’t people eating them left and right as part of their daily diet? Obviously, the short answer is that jalapenos have quite the kick when you’re eating them, though not as much as a lot of other peppers. Jalapenos have some short term side effects that can make your mouth feel like it’s burning, but there is almost no chance that it leaves any actual burning or long term effects.
You might also experience some temporary heartburn when eating jalapenos, and there’s a rare chance at getting a stomach ulcer. Some people worry about the lasting problems that might come from eating jalapenos on a regular basis. You do increase your risk from eating a lot of capsaicin, but research showed that the significant raise only came for those that ate up to 25 jalapenos per day. If you don’t plan on eating that many (and most of us won’t), then feel free to enjoy this spicy pepper and the health benefits it brings!