Most crushed red pepper mixtures contain a variety of different peppers such as bell, jalapeno, ancho and cayenne peppers, which range from mild and peppery to hot and spicy. The pepper seeds are included to increase the spice level. If you want more flavor in your food plus health benefits like weight loss and pain relief, try adding crushed red pepper to your meals. In traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, a traditional form of Indian medicine, red peppers have been used to treat digestive problems, circulatory problems, infections and arthritis.
Red peppers have a lot of spice and flavor without many added calories, fat or sugar. In 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, there are only 6 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate. The same amount of pepper contains 15 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A for a 2,000-calorie diet. Vitamin A is beneficial for improving skin, hair, nails and eyes. Red pepper also contains vitamins C, E and B-6, and the minerals iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Crushed red pepper is thermogenic in nature, which means it produces heat in the body and stimulates the metabolism. A study published in the journal "Physiology and Behavior" looked at the effect of hot red pepper intake on energy balance and appetite. Study participants who consumed spicy red peppers had higher energy expenditure and higher body temperature after a meal than those who did not take red pepper. The study also found that people who consumed hot red peppers ate fewer total calories per day and had a diminished interest in food. If you're looking for a safe, healthy way to burn more calories and get excessive eating under control, adding crushed red pepper to food could help.
Polyphenols are antioxidants found in crushed red pepper that give them a strong disease-preventing property. A study published in the journal "Nutrition Research and Practice" looked at the effect of spicy red pepper seeds on rats fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet, which is known to cause health problems and heart disease. The researchers found that the antioxidants in red pepper strengthened the immune system's ability to reduce oxidative stress and prevent oxidative diseases such as cancer, inflammation, heart disease and decreased immune function. In addition, capsaicin in hot peppers promotes circulation, which may prevent hardening of arteries and reduce risk of heart attack.