Hot peppers for your heart
If you suffer from sinus problems, you may have discovered this secret.
The heat in chili peppers can relieve that internal sinus pressure. Research has shown that chili peppers also help improve blood pressure and cholesterol… are good for your heart… even helpful in preventing strokes.
Now, scientists have a better understanding why that is. They presented their report at the American Chemical Society meeting recently.
The study focused on a family of hot substances called “capsaicinoids,” and the star, well-known capsaicin. This stuff gives the heat to chili peppers… cayenne, jalapeno, habanero.
Researchers found that capsaicinoids help lower cholesterol in several ways. They prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the body. And they boost the breakdown and excretion of cholesterol in the feces.
Capsaicinoids also block the action of a gene that produces cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), a substance that makes arteries contract. When this gene is blocked, artery muscles can relax and widen. That allows more blood flow through arteries.
Researchers also found evidence that capsaicinoids help melt plaque deposits that have formed in blood vessels. These narrowed arteries can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
So if you can take the heat–go ahead and spice up your meals with some fresh-chopped chili peppers. Sprinkle them on a fresh salad, into your eggs, make some
fresh chili, or simply add to the food processor with fresh tomatoes, red onion, and a little garlic for homemade salsa.