Hot pepper provides a surprising array of health benefits from aiding digestion to improving respiratory health and reducing heart disease. Believe it or not it can even provide relief from pain.
Heart health. Cultures that cook with large amounts of hot peppers suffer significantly lower rates of heart attack and heart disease. That's in part because capsaicin works in the blood to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also reduces blood platelet aggregation and helps the body dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots, reducing strokes and pulmonary embolism.
Respiratory relief. You already know when you eat hot food your nose begins to run. What you may not know is that capsaicin also loosens mucus in your sinuses and chest, which can help prevent bronchitis and emphysema.
Healthy digestion. People used to think hot peppers caused stomach ulcers. Today we know that they actually help prevent the formation of ulcers by killing harmful bacteria in the stomach, and promote the build-up of a healthy mucus lining in the stomach. They also stimulate the production of saliva and gastric juices, improving digestion.
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