Pepper is the generic name given to several plants of the species Capsicum , Piper and Pepper , their fruits and spices obtained from them. Peppers are classified according to their degree of burning, which is produced by the substances capsaicin and piperine present in these species. These substances, when in contact with the taste buds, activate the nervous system response that releases endorphins, causing a feeling of well-being.
As a seasoning, fresh, dehydrated, the options for including peppers in the recipes are numerous and almost all types can be used in cooking. In recipes that go with pepper, the amount of salt can be reduced, which is good for your health, as sodium retains fluid and can increase blood pressure. Pepper stimulates salivation and taste and enriches the taste of food. On the other hand, it should be used without exaggeration so as not to cancel out the flavor of the other ingredients.
In addition to adding flavor to foods, peppers are also considered functional foods that nourish and help reduce the risk of disease. The properties of pepper are mainly due to capsaicinoids. The capsaicin found in red pepper fruit and the piperine found in greater amounts in black pepper increase local metabolism, improve the immune and anti-inflammatory system, healing capacity and bacteriological action.
Pepper also has vitamin A, E and C, nutrients that have antioxidant action and help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Its introduction in the diet can help with weight loss, speeding up metabolism and releasing endorphins that, in addition to giving a feeling of well-being, reduce appetite.
Studies have shown that the benefits of pepper go beyond. They help prevent blood clotting, reducing cases of thrombosis. They also reduce glucose levels, stabilize insulin levels and improve healing.
Peppers can be found in different versions such as sauces, preserves, jelly, paprika, dehydrated and dried, but the best way of consumption in order to conserve all its nutrients is to consume the pepper in natura.
TYPES OF PEPPER
Native to the Americas, peppers are highly consumed around the world. In addition to the flavor they give to recipes, they are beneficial to the body, have a thermogenic effect, have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer action, improve digestion, among others.
These properties can be found in general in Peppers of the Capsicum genus , in which there are dozens of species. The most produced in Brazil are:
- smelling pepper
- goat pepper
- chilli pepper
- girl finger
- cambuci or friar’s hat
Jalapeño pepper is very popular in Mexico, where it is usually eaten fresh, in sauces or dehydrated, as it has a moderate sting. The chili pepper has a spicy flavor and is widely used in cooking in the northeast of the country.
Chili pepper, or red pepper, has its burning between chilli pepper and japeleno. It is usually consumed in liquid, fresh, dehydrated or preserved form. The sweet pepper is native to Bahia and very aromatic. It has a low burning content and is widely used in northeastern cuisine.
BENEFITS AND HARMS OF PEPPER
The main benefits of pepper come from the active ingredient capsaicinoid. This substance has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer activity. It is also able to improve digestion, lower cholesterol levels and help you lose weight.
Capsicum peppers are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A. These vitamins have antioxidant action, which fight free radicals, help prevent chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
As long as it is ingested in moderation, pepper can be consumed by everyone without restriction, but in excess it can trigger the appearance of gastritis, ulcers and other digestive disorders in people who are already predisposed to the disease. Its excess can also cause sensitivity in the taste buds and make flavor perception difficult. However, people who already have gastritis, ulcers and hemorrhoids should avoid their consumption.
OTHER BENEFITS OF PEPPER:
1.Protects the stomach – when in excess, pepper can be harmful, but when used moderately it has a gastroprotective effect promoted by capsaicin that fights the bacteria that cause gastritis and stomach ulcers.
2.Helps to lose weight – Pepper is a thermogenic food. Capsaicin increases metabolism and consequently caloric expenditure. In addition, it stimulates the release of endorphins that regulate food intake, making you feel less hungry.
3. It helps prevent and fight cancer – the antioxidant action of vitamins C, E and A present in pepper fights free radicals capable of causing mutations and cancer. Studies have shown that capsaicin induces cell death in prostate cancer cells, helping to prevent the spread of the disease. It also helps to reduce the growth of tumors in the breasts and ovaries.
4. Beneficial for the heart – Capsaicin lowers the levels of bad cholesterol, LDL and prevents the formation of clots and thrombosis. As a result, it improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system as a whole, reduces the risk of hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
5.Beneficial for oral health – Peppers stimulate salivation, which helps protect teeth and gums.
BENEFITS OF CHILLI PEPPER
The chili pepper is a variety of the capsicum species with a spicy content that has beneficial effects mainly generated by the high concentration of capsaicin. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and flavonoids that give it powerful antioxidant properties.
1. One of the main benefits of chilli pepper is to aid digestion. Consuming pepper stimulates the salivary glands, enzymes that initiate digestion. Increased salivation is also beneficial for teeth, gums and preventing bad breath. It also stimulates other gastric juices that make the body better metabolize food and eliminate toxins.
2. Because it is rich in capsaicin, chili pepper has a powerful anti-cancer effect. Several studies show that capsaicin has an antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. This substance also lowers cholesterol in the body and improves blood flow to the heart, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. It also has action in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, improving blood sugar and insulin levels.
3.The chili pepper also has antioxidant properties that help prevent chronic diseases. The vitamin C present in its composition strengthens the immune system, being beneficial in fighting infections. Studies have shown that pepper reduces joint pain, relieves post-surgical pain, nerve damage, headaches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia symptoms.
HOW TO PLANT PEPPER
Pepper is a fruit that, in addition to being used in cooking recipes, is also gaining fame among ornamental plants. All pepper varieties can be planted at home, in gardens or in pots for personal consumption and to decorate and add color to the house.
The pepper tree can be purchased in seedlings that must then be replanted in a larger pot. As long as basic planting and care recommendations are followed, such as watering and pruning, they grow well.
The best soil for growing pepper is deep, light, fertile and well drained. As they are tropical or subtropical plants, they grow best in hot climates in the temperature range from 16°C to 34°C. Some species are adapted to regions with a milder climate, but none withstand frost.
As for luminosity, it is a plant that must receive direct sunlight for some hours of the day and must be irrigated frequently to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. The pepper tree bears flowers and the fruit is harvested from 50 to 55 days after flowering and can produce for several months.
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