Jalapeno peppers may be best known for producing a lot of spice on dishes, but you may also find these peppers to be beneficial for weight loss. Jalapeno peppers are low in calories but are rich in a number of nutrients, such as fiber, that can aid in weight management. Jalapeno peppers alone won't produce weight loss, though, so be sure your overall calorie intake is lower than your daily calorie needs to find success.
Jalapeno peppers are low in calories, as one cup of sliced jalapenos contains only 26. This amount could be burned off by just seven minutes of weightlifting or three minutes of swimming laps.
Jalapeno peppers are low in fat, which is beneficial for weight loss. Fat is high in calories, as each gram provides 4 calories. This amount is more than double what carbohydrates and protein provide, 4 calories per gram. High-fat foods may be particularly detrimental for dieting, as research from the July 1995 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" indicates that that even given the same calorie content, high-fat diets promote more fat storage than high-carbohydrate diets.
Jalapeno peppers are low in carbohydrates since each cup of jalapeno peppers contains just 5 grams of this nutrient. Carbohydrates can be beneficial for providing energy for athletic events, but consuming low-carbohydrate foods may aid in weight loss. According to a study from the July 2008 issue of "The New England Journal of Medicine," low-carbohydrate diets are more effective for weight loss than diets richer in carbohydrates.
Jalapeno peppers are relatively low in carbohydrates, but they are rich in fiber. Each cup of these peppers contains 3 grams of fiber, which means 60 percent of the carbohydrates come from fiber. Fiber aids in a number of functions, such as keeping your cholesterol levels in check, and it is beneficial for dieting because it promotes feelings of fullness.
Jalapeno peppers are very low in sodium, with just 1 milligram per cup. Although sodium does provide some health benefits, too much sodium leads to water retention, added weight and possibly hypertension.
Jalapeno peppers are a rich source of vitamin C. Each cup of this pepper provides 66 percent of the daily suggested intake of this nutrient. In addition to promoting general health benefits, research published in the March 2008 edition of the "International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research" suggests that vitamin C may aid in weight reduction. In this study, vitamin-C supplementation was given to rats, along with a high-fat diet. The vitamin C prevented additional fat from depositing in the rat's fat stores, even with a high-fat intake.
Capsionoids are compounds found in jalapenos and other peppers that provide some of the pungent flavor. In addition to potentially blunting your appetite by providing large amounts of spice, capsinoids may have direct benefits for weight loss. A study from the August 2010 issue of "Nutrition & Metabolism" indicates that capsinoids may encourage increased calorie burning and promote the burning of fat for fuel.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Peppers, Jalapeno, Raw
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Fat and Carbohydrate Overfeeding in Humans: Different Effects on Energy Storage
- The New England Journal of Medicine: Weight Loss With a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber -- Start Roughing It!
- International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research: Vitamin C Supplementation Influences Body Fat Mass and Steroidogenesis-Related Genes When Fed a High-Fat Diet
- Nutrition and Metabolism: Effects of Capsinoid Ingestion on Energy Expenditure and Lipid Oxidation at Rest and During Exercise