Health Benefits of Jalapeño Peppers
This feisty little Spanish pepper is chock full of nutritional goodness including a wealth of vitamins A, C and K, some of the B complex, a small amount of E as well as capsaicin, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc
If you can stand the heat, then you most definitely want these spicy hot little beauties in your kitchen as they boast some profound health benefits as detailed below:
Anti-cancer properties Due to its high concentrations of vitamin C (one single pepper has more than a day’s worth of the recommended dosage), jalapenos have extraordinary antioxidant capacities that can combat damaging free radicals and markedly slow down cell degeneration. Capsaicin is particularly powerful in the fight against prostate cancer as it induces the bad cells to undergo apoptosis and quite literally, kill themselves
Bone health Due to their gamut of internal minerals, jalapenos can play a vital role in developing and maintaining strong and healthy bones
Heart health Capsaicin has been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides and aid in healthy blood clot formation. Vitamins A & C are important bioflavonoids that strengthen the blood vessels
Immune system Vitamin C is a champion prizefighter when it comes to combatting bacterial and viral infections, or at the very least lessening the symptoms, of the common cold and influenza. The heat in jalapeno peppers provides wonderful relief from nasal congestion
Migraine relief Capsaicin is a long-known home remedy for migraine relief. Capsaicin inhibits Substance P, a neuropeptide that is considered a main brain pain transmitter
Antioxidant abilities Jalapenos are laden with vitamins A & C, both of which have widely known and revered antioxidant capabilities and can combat cell damaging free radicals and promote younger more supple looking skin, more structurally sound and lustrous hair and stronger nails less prone to breakage
Metabolism booster Capsaicin is the very compound in jalapenos that actually gives them their notorious heat. Eating jalapenos, in fact, slightly raises the body’s core temperature, increases the metabolic rate and thus assists with weight loss. Also, that same fiery heat has been shown to decrease appetite
Jalapeño peppers are green at harvest and while still half-ripe. It is not until they are fully ripe that they turn that scorching crimson red color. They can be eaten raw, baked, fried, sautéed or blended. When picking them up in the produce aisle, be sure to look for peppers that are solid, smooth, shiny and wrinkle-free
Pickled jalapeños make for wonderful snacks on their own, or, as a tangy, tasty topping for your favorite nacho platter
Jalapeño poppers are always an appetizing party pleaser with their ooey gooey insides of either reduced fat cream cheese, ricotta or cottage. For an interesting and slightly healthier variation, you can lightly coat them in beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs or wrap them in prosciutto and bake them in the oven.
As for main courses, the sky is the limit. Jalapenos are used in hundreds of luscious dishes; everything from tomato, cucumber and jalapeno pepper summer gazpacho to pineapple and jalapeno pork chops to lime-Jalapeno chicken.
You can surprise your friends, family, try Dark Chocolate Mousse, sorbet, Bickies and Bread with specks of baked jalapeno peppers.
Interesting fact about Jalapenos: They were the first pepper ever to be launched into space on the NASA shuttle!