One of the most popular spices in the world, paprika has been used for hundreds of years, dating back to Hungary when it was introduced to more varied parts of the world during the 1800’s. Now, paprika is used on a variety of foods, because it has a variety of spices with some being mild and others being flaming hot, though it was always hot until the 20th century.
Paprika not only makes certain foods taste delicious, but it is easy to find, very cheap and has plenty of health benefits that you probably weren’t aware of. From helping your heart to clearing out your sinuses, there is a lot of good that paprika can do. Let’s take a look at some of the proven health benefits that paprika brings, and why you should consider adding more of it to your diet.
The Nutritious Spice
We don’t normally consider spices to be nutritious, though there is a lot you can get from a tablespoon of paprika. With just 20 calories to be found in one serving, there are plenty of different vitamins and minerals in each tablespoon. In terms of vitamins, you are getting more than 70 percent of your daily vitamin A recommendation from paprika. Vitamin A helps detoxify your body and promotes eye health, along with other great benefits.
Other helpful vitamins that you can find in paprika include more than 10 percent of your daily recommendation of vitamin E and vitamin B6. There is also vitamin K, vitamin C, riboflavin and niacin to be found. There isn’t a significant amount of just one mineral, but you can help boost your daily supply of iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium. You can also find a little bit of protein and just 0.1 grams of saturated fat.
Anti-Fat and Blood Healthy
In 2011, a study was released that showed the effects of spices like paprika when it comes to helping your body reverse damage caused by fatty foods. If you have been loading up on fats throughout your life, consider adding more paprika as the study showed that the spice can lower the triglyceride response in your body by up to 30 percent. It doesn’t take long, either, as patients were measured every hour.
The antioxidant activity in your blood will also rise as a result of eating more paprika, and insulin response will be much quicker. Overall, this will help increase your blood flow, which obviously has a lot of benefits for all of your organs. For those worried about getting intestinal problems from eating spices, know that the patients in this large study showed no discomfort or issues with their GI tract.
Your overall health might be pretty good, but you could be looking for something that makes you feel and look better on the outside, as well. Paprika has plenty of properties that will assist your skin and hair, just by ingesting it on a regular basis. With the vitamins and antioxidants found in paprika, your complexion will be lighter and brighter while reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Many people have used paprika in a mix for facial masks and get rid of some skin conditions that include acne. There has also been evidence that paprika can help reduce the appearance of spider veins by increasing the flow in your blood vessels. Paprika can also prevent new veins from popping up.
Finally, your hair can benefit from paprika in a big way. As a source of vitamin B6 and iron, your scalp will see more blood flow to prevent hair loss. This will result in thicker and stronger hair that grows faster, and even your hair color can be maintained. For redheads out there, you can even use paprika as a hair treatment to really keep the color from fading.
Energy When You Need It
A problem that a lot of us face is having too much energy at night that prevents us from being able to sleep while not having enough energy during the day. Adding more paprika to your diet can help to reverse that, as the increased oxygen in your body allows for proteins to create more natural energy. Getting through the work day in an office can be tough, so it’s vital to have your neurotransmitters acting at a high level to prevent sluggishness.
When it comes time to wind down for the day and get some sleep, paprika can help your body produce melatonin, which allows you to sleep more restfully and in a normal cycle without waking up. You will also find yourself in a better mood and more relaxed, which helps you to sleep while still having enough energy to get through the day.
Paprika is very beneficial for your heart, but also helps to prevent a lot of diseases that you might see more commonly. Because of antibacterial properties, you can fend off nasty bugs like salmonella and germs that cause illnesses like the cold or flu. The high iron content can also stop you from developing anemia, and vitamin C boosts your immune system against all types of illnesses.
If you’re one of those rough and tumble people that tends to get cuts a lot, you could use some more paprika. That’s because there is vitamin E to be found, which helps your wounds close shut with helpful clotting. That’s the type of clotting you want, not the type that affects your heart. Thankfully, paprika takes care of that.
Summing it Up
Paprika is a versatile spice that can be added to just about any food, and particularly any type of meat. Unlike some of the other spices that we’ve looked at, there isn’t really a limit to how much paprika you can take. Obviously, you’re body will tell you when you’ve had enough, but there doesn’t appear to be a toxic level.
The only thing that you need to look out for is the food coloring that can be found in some forms of paprika. In certain bottles, they attempt to give paprika more of a red appearance by adding dyes, so try to find the ones that aren’t too red. Whether you are using it on your skin, putting it on food or even mixing it in your tea, paprika can help you in so many ways.
The taste isn’t for everybody, but those that find themselves enjoying it should be able to add much more to their diet. You can buy paprika for about $1.25 per ounce, which should last you for quite some time. Now it looks like it might be time to head to the nearest grocery store.