The Cayenne effect

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

I have been hearing good things about the medicinal properties of the Cayenne or bird pepper. Can you elaborate?

The Cayenne pepper, also known as red pepper, guinea pepper, bird's eye pepper and bird pepper, is renowned mainly for its culinary properties. But it has also been used for its health benefits, which are both far-reaching and astounding. For example, the Cayenne pepper is highly beneficial to the cardiovascular system. It is very helpful in reducing blood pressure, improving circulation, reducing the build-up of cholesterol, and lowering the risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

In addition, the Cayenne pepper helps to fight off inflammation, thereby preventing arthritis and possibly even diabetes. Moreover, studies have shown that bird pepper can prevent lung cancer in smokers. This may be due to the capsaicin in the bird pepper which is reputed to stop the production of tobacco-induced lung cancer. According to research, bird pepper is also known to be effective against prostate cancer.

Bird pepper has been shown to be very effective in weight loss and sustaining this loss. Due to the amount of capsaicin, the Cayenne pepper is known to dilate the blood vessels, speed up the metabolic rate, and boost calorie and energy expenditure. In addition, the increased blood flow to major organs improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Capsaicin is also important in the metabolism of fat while helping to curb the appetite. It keeps energy levels up while suppressing the appetite.

Cayenne pepper has been shown to have anti-irritant properties: It has the ability to help treat upset stomach, sore throat, coughs, as well as diarrhoea and the flu. Because of its ability to regulate blood flow, it is also claimed to be an aphrodisiac.

In addition, Cayenne pepper is helpful in detoxifying the body, removing joint pain and improving heart health. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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