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Why Hot Chilis Might Be Good for Us

If you’ve ever wondered whether those hot little veggies called chili peppers are good for you or not, BBC News can set your mind to rest: Behind all that heat are endorphin-releasing chemicals that can make you feel perkier, get your heart rate going and your adrenaline running. The “hot” component of chili peppers — capsaicin — is also known for its pain-relieving capabilities.

But chili peppers’ good doesn’t end there: Researchers also found that capsaicin can reduce the speed of cancer cell growth and increase the rate of death in triple negative cancer cells. Past studies had demonstrated the antiproliferative activity of capsaicin, but the molecular basis to induce cell death had not been identified until now.

While capsaicin alone is a powerful molecule, in combination with 6-gingerol found in raw ginger root, it becomes even more important to your health. In a recent study, researchers discovered mice who were prone to lung cancer experienced a reduction in diagnosis when fed a combination of capsaicin and 6-gingerol.

Another known benefit of eating chili peppers is how they help with blood sugar level management, as well as protect your heart by reducing triglcerides, cholesterol and platelet aggregation.

And the good health effects go on. Both ginger and capsaicin are associated with anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit pain. Plus, chili peppers have more vitamin C than oranges.

Cayenne, jalapeno, habanero and serrano peppers are some of the most popular varieties of chili peppers, and they all have capsaicin in them, mostly concentrated in the seeds and white inner membrane.
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