Paprika is not bad for you. In fact, it has a number of both healing and preventative health benefits.
Paprika is a spice in the Capsicum family that doesn’t just flavor your food, it provides a variety of nutrients from even a small amount. The flavor can range from sweet to spicy and depends on the type of peppers used. Paprika is used around the world in meat rubs, marinades, and seasoned salt and can even be used to naturally color foods.
The active ingredient in paprika is capsaicin which has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant benefits making one of the most beneficial spices you could add to your foods. Capsaicin is also considered a stimulant.
While the antibacterial properties of paprika do not stop bacteria completely, it can slow down its growth, especially Salmonella and E. Coli - a great reason to sprinkle it on your poultry before cooking! Not to mention the sweet, smoky flavor you’ll get to enjoy.
The anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin are one of its strongest characteristics. It has been shown to relieve pain and swelling, and can even benefit autoimmune disorders. These effects of capsaicin are not just effective when consumed, but also when used topically. Paprika is often recommended for those with arthritis both as a seasoning and topical use to increase circulation and reduce the swelling and pain in the joints.
Paprika also contains a great deal of nutritional benefits including vitamins A & E (common antioxidants), vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron. It seems this spice is the full package!
Vision improvement and protection can be a potential benefit of paprika because of the carotenoid zeaxanthin which acts as both an antioxidant and vitamin A. It specifically supports the cone cells in the eye. Regular consumption of zeaxanthin through paprika could help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamins A & E also protect the skin and boost the immune system. Vitamin C further helps boost the immune system, which paprika contains almost 7 times more of than tomatoes.
Vitamin B6 can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases by removing homocysteine from the blood, and is one of the coenzymes responsible for producing hemoglobin, glucose, and many neurotransmitters. Just 1 teaspoon of paprika contains 4% of the recommended daily value of this vitamin. Another circulatory system benefit of paprika is its ability to lower your blood pressure with regular consumption.
- lower blood pressure
- decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
- decreased risk of cancer
- improved skin health
- improved visual acuity
- macular disease prevention
- boost in immune system function
- decreased pain and swelling
- anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
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Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS | 07-08-2016
Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
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