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.
- The Journal of Cancer Research: Capsaicin, a Component of Red Peppers, Inhibits the Growth of Androgen-Independent, p53 Mutant Prostate Cancer Cells
- National Cancer Institute: Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Peppers, Jalapeno, Raw
- American Cancer Society: Capsicum