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Health Benefits of Hot Peppers

by
author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Health Benefits of Hot Peppers
Baskets of hot peppers in a market. Photo Credit Paul Katz/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you aren't a fan of spicy food, then you might steer clear of hot peppers such as jalapenos, chilies and banana peppers because of their powerful taste. You don't need to consume these fiery peppers raw, however; by mixing them into your meals in moderate amounts, you can enjoy their many health benefits, without burning your lips, mouth and tongue.

An Ally in the Cancer Fight

The key healthy ingredient in hot peppers is capsaicin, which is the element that gives peppers their heat. The Journal of Cancer Research reports that capsaicin has been shown to suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells. The antioxidant nature of capsaicin can combat cell destruction caused by free radicals, according to the American Cancer Society. Hot peppers such as jalapenos are extremely low in calories and provide a source of vitamins A, C and K.

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