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Capsicum Annuum for Weight Loss

by
author image Lana Billings-Smith
Lana Billings-Smith has been writing professionally since 1997. She has been published in the "Montreal Gazette" and the "National Post." She also teaches and lectures at McGill University. A certified personal trainer, she holds a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in leisure sciences and a minor in therapeutic recreation.
Capsicum Annuum for Weight Loss
A variety of colorful fresh peppers for sale at a farmers market. Photo Credit jjjroy/iStock/Getty Images

Capsicum annuum is the Latin name for all varieties of pepper except for black pepper. All peppers contain some amount of capsaicin, which is what gives hot peppers their spicy taste, and both sweet and spicy peppers can help you lose weight and body fat.

Less Body Weight and Fat

Sweet peppers, sometimes called mild peppers, include bell peppers of any color. These peppers may help you reduce body weight and overall fat levels, according to a study published in a 2006 issue of “Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry.” Scientists found that consuming sweet red peppers regularly over the course of two weeks led to reduced body weight and less body fat accumulation. However, the study used only one cultivar of red pepper, the CH-19 Sweet, which is a nonspicy pepper. The conclusion was that this sweet red pepper may provide beneficial affects due to sympathetic nervous system reactions, although further study is required, and the effects may not be the same with a different variety of red pepper.

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Capsaicin Calorie Consumption

A 2014 issue of “Appetite” included a study in which scientists investigated the ability of capsaicin compounds, capsaicinoids, to regulate calorie consumption. Researchers found that taking 2.5 milligrams of capsaicinoids reduced the overall number of calories consumed in a meal. As a result, scientists concluded that including capsaicin in your diet may help with weight management because it reduces overall calorie intake. However, more long-term study is needed.

A Boost for Your Metabolism

Capsaicin is the most active ingredient in spicy peppers, such as cayenne, and is associated with numerous weight-loss benefits, including fat oxidation and energy output. A 2013 publication of “PLoS One” included a study in which participants consumed 2.6 milligrams of capsaicin once every 36 hours over a period of 144 hours. Researchers found that consuming capsaicin led to higher fat oxidation after meals and counteracted the slowdown in metabolism that usually occurs on a calorie-restricted diet. The capsaicin supplement also did not have any negative effects on blood pressure, and while the study showed great promise for capsaicin as a metabolism booster and fat burner, further research is needed.

Vegetable Intake and Fiber

Peppers are rich in fiber, and while spicy peppers are often consumed sparingly, mild and sweet peppers can be eaten in much larger quantities. A 1-cup serving of chopped green pepper has 3 grams of fiber and only 30 calories per serving. The recommended intake of fiber is 20 to 35 grams, but most adult Americans do not meet this suggestion, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A 1-cup serving of green pepper will give you 7 to 13 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests you eat between 2 and 3 cups of vegetables each day as part of a healthy diet, which is important for long-term weight loss.

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References

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