Cayenne Pepper is JUST What the Dr. Ordered

If you suffer from habitually cold hands and feet, this post is for you!  If you are prone to varicose veins, this post is for you!  I’m on a huge cayenne pepper kick lately – my poor friends and family have time and time again been subjected to my soap box about this miraculous spice.

Cayenne Peppers in their natural form.

Cayenne pepper is GREAT for many reasons but let’s start with my favorite:

INCREASES CIRCULATION –  yes, yes yes!! If you suffer from COLD HANDS AND FEET, poor circulation is likely the culprit. Popping a few cayenne capsules will take care of this problem within a few weeks.  Without going too deep into it, Cayenne both regulates blood flow and strengthens arteries/veins so your blood flow is consistent.  As a result, your outermost digits will have reason to rejoice as their blood drought is quenched.

If you have or are susceptible to VARICOSE VEINS, poor circulation is also, most likely the culprit.   When one has poor circulation, specifically in the legs, blood flows down the leg, but lacks the vigor to flow back up the leg.  As a result, blood pools at the bottom, which stresses veins and thus, varicose veins are formed.  So, to prevent this, one simply needs to increase circulation so blood can flow as easily up the leg as it can down the leg.  Solution?  Cayenne pepper!!

Cayenne pepper after it has been dried, baked, and refined.

I have lousy circulation, which is only agitated by sitting most of the day.  My brother’s wife Susan, who is hands down the most knowledgeable person I know about health, told me to integrate cayenne  into my diet.  So I went to Wal-Mart, picked up a bottle of cayenne capsules, and started taking four every day.  Two weeks of taking the cayenne did the trick.   I no longer have cold hands and feet, and my legs do not go numb during the day, all as a result of taking cayenne! 

So this is what to look for when you go to the store to pick up your bottle. Brand does not matter.  Just be sure to read the daily suggested dosage, as capsule mg will vary.

Okay, here are a few more WOW factors of cayenne:

BURNS CALORIES – Now before you think this is a cure-all, lets take a look at the facts.  A study performed by the National Institutes of Health discovered that ingesting ½ a teaspoon of cayenne pepper helped normal-weight people burn approximately 10 extra calories over a four hour period.  Not too significant, but something nonetheless.  This result is consistent with other studies, and researchers generally agree that incorporating cayenne into your diet will not knock off 20 pounds, but it is an easy way to aide weight loss efforts nonetheless.  And 10 calories is ten calories, right?

CURBS APPETITE- if you are new to the spice world, then this benefit applies to you.  Spice up your food and it will indeed make you feel fuller and therefore you will eat less.  This is particularly helpful when you go to, oh say, Cheesecake Factory where the phrase “Portion Control” is a dirty one, and platters are considered plates.  Spice up your food to help your stomach remind your brain that you are full after eating a quarter of your meal.   Like previously mentioned, if you’re already a spicy food connoisseur then you’re out of luck. Your body is already acclamated to the heat produced by the spice and as a result cayenne pepper won’ t have the same “filling” effect.  

PAIN RELIEVER: Cayenne is a great topical pain reliever.  A University of Maryland study highlights what many other studies have shown: cayenne contains a chemical that reduces the amount of pain messages sent to the brain.   As a result you feel relief.  This can help treat everything from lower back pain, to osteoperosis, to tooth aches.   So if you want to try it, look for ointments/creams that have a high cayenne or capsaicin property.

WORD TO THE WISE: do NOT take this on an empty stomach.  It will feel like you have preganacy heartburn.  Take them with a meal.  Because of the heat expelled, it may burn when the capsules release and cayenne hits your stomach.  I was naively concerned about the heat burning a hole in my stomach when I began taking them.  But Susan as well as several studies informed me that the heat actually promotes proper gut flora.  So perhaps start off by taking one capsule at a time to let your body adjust, and increase your dosage as you see fit.