If you've chosen to start on the alkaline diet, I applaud you for your ambition and not caving in to the many comments saying ‘the food has no flavour’ or ‘the alkaline diet has no enjoyable food’. As you may have guessed, these are both misconceptions and two very closed-minded opinions of how the lifestyle works. As you’ll have seen previously, there are some great ways to get involved in the diet and there is still so much more that I want to share with you.
Today, I’m going to be talking about a fantastic ingredient and herb you can introduce to your meals for that extra kick. After discovering it years ago, I haven't looked back since and love adding it to dishes for that extra flavour and bite. Not only does it taste great, there are five impressive benefits of which you may not be aware!
Boost in Metabolism - If you’re trying to lose weight, cayenne pepper is a superb ingredient to add to your diet. Why? The spicy taste that comes with it actually originates from capsaicin which is a compound in many hot peppers. Known to boost metabolism, it’ll allow you to burn more calories over the course of a day while also adding infinite amounts of flavour to your dishes!
Decreased Blood Pressure - According to a recent report, around four in every ten people over the age of 25 years have high blood pressure. In many animal studies, capsaicin comes up trumps again because the evidence suggests it can reduce blood pressure. In addition to reducing pressure directly, other studies have shown how it can relax the vessels which also leads to decreased pressure.
Reduced Hunger - If you’re starting on the alkaline diet to balance your appetite and stop snacking on unhealthy foods, cayenne peppers can be a great tool to decrease your calorie intake. Once again, the capsaicin in the herb reduces hunger even though scientists aren't quite sure why this happens. In one study, the hunger hormone, ghrelin, was halted in its production and it was noted how participants consumed less food over the course of many days (compared to those who weren't offered cayenne pepper).
Improved Digestive Health - Next up, cayenne pepper is said to help the stomach to stave off infection, deliver vital enzymes, and encourage digestive fluid production. By stimulating the nerves within the stomach itself, the nerves affected are the ones activated for protection against injury.
While on the topic of the stomach, there was a misconception for a long time that spicy food caused stomach ulcers. To no surprise, this isn't true and, in fact, many studies looking into the relationship have come out favourable for cayenne pepper saying the ingredient can actually reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
General Benefits - Finally, it’s hard to bring the benefits of cayenne pepper down to just five suggestions when the herb boasts anti-allergen, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-irritant properties. Not only will this boost the function of organs within the body, it can improve the health of skin, hair, and overall wellbeing.
Summary - If you try one herb over the next few weeks, let it be cayenne pepper and your body will thank you for it in the long-term. As long as you experiment carefully and remember that it adds a kick to your food, you can test the right dishes for the herb while enjoying the many health benefits that come with it!