PICK A PEPPER-2016 HERB OF THE YEAR, Teri Kelley, ND, NHC
If Peter Piper consumed the peck of peppers that he picked, especially if they were hot, spicy peppers like cayenne, then he reaped many benefits. Along with Vitamins A, B, and C, antioxidants and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and manganese, hot peppers contain an element called capsaicin. Most people hear of capsaicin and its anti-inflammatory properties when seeking ways to relieve chronic pain due to conditions like psoriasis, osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, and even pain resulting from injuries. Capsaicin can be used topically.
Capsaicin is also great for heart health as its use has been associated with better blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and LDL (lousy) cholesterol levels. Studies show capsaicin helps reduce atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) as well as markers of metabolic syndrome.
Capsaicin may also be a powerful cancer fighter due to its helpful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory elements. A person may have to consume large amounts to obtain benefits, though. A positive trait of capsaicin is that studies show when it is used to fight prostate cancer cell growth, it leaves the normal cells unharmed. Capsaicin has been researched in treatment of breast, prostate, and bladder cancer.
Since capsaicin is hot, its thermogenic properties are beneficial to help increase metabolism and burn fat all while increasing satiety, which pack a powerful punch in weight loss goals.
As always, check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding peppers to your plan as they may interfere with certain medications like blood pressure prescriptions and MAO inhibitors. Also, peppers may need to be consumed earlier in the day as later consumption may cause indigestion for some people, causing a lack of sleep. For others it may cause a later fall asleep time.
Three Cheers for Granite Transformations
Most of us love the beauty of granite countertops but are reluctant due to cost, upkeep as it requires regular sealing, support as granite is rather heavy to install, and the fact that granite emits radon, a contributor to lung disease.
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GIVE ME FIVE: Five foods that help fight stress
- Peppermint tea
- Pumpkin seeds