Jalapeno is medium-sized chili pepper that belongs to the hot pepper family. This small and moderately spicy pepper is a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine.

It is commonly consumed green. But sometimes jalapeno is let to ripen red as well.

This pepper is quite popular worldwide as it is rich in nutrients and can provide numerous health benefits.

This article looks into some potential health benefits of jalapenos, their nutrition facts, side effects, and how to use them.

health benefits of jalapenos

Jalapenos: Nutrition Facts

Jalapenos have low calories and a high content of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers.

You can get the following nutrients from one raw jalapeno: [1]

  • Calories: 4
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 2% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 4% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 2% of the RDI
  • Folate: 2% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 2% of the RDI

Besides, jalapeno contains capsaicin, a unique compound that is responsible for its spicy quality, as well as the health benefits it offers.

Health Benefits of Jalapenos

1. Jalapenos Can Aid in Weight Loss.

Jalapenos can effectively boost your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and stimulate the fat burning process of the body, meaning that you can have a faster weight loss. [2]

Capsaicin and capsaicinoids are two of the components in jalapeno peppers that can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism by 4-5%. [3, 4]

These chili peppers have the ability to reduce your appetite and abdominal fat, making you consume 50-75 fewer calories per day. [2, 5, 6]

While most of these studies were conducted on chili peppers in general, consuming jalapeno may give you the same beneficial effects.

2. It is a Natural Pain-Killer.

When used externally, jalapenos can be an excellent pain reliever. [7]

It’s because capsaicin is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It can reduce pain and inflammation by temporarily blocking the pain receptors in the area where you apply it. [8]

A clinical trial published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics shows that topical application of a capsaicin cream could reduce pain in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis by 57%. [9]

Apart from using it topically, capsaicin can also be used as a nasal spray to soothe a migraine and headache. [10, 11]

However, it’s still unclear whether consuming jalapenos will have the same pain-relieving effect as the application on the skin.

health benefits of jalapenos

3. Jalapenos Can Prevent Stomach Ulcers.

You might wonder how spicy food like jalapeno can treat stomach problem. While it is believed that eating jalapenos may worsen the stomach ulcers, research has shown the opposite. [12]

Stomach ulcers may occur due to the growth of H. pylori bacteria within your stomach. 

Several studies have shown that jalapeno peppers can reduce the inflammation caused by this bacterial infection. [13, 14, 15]

Some NSAID painkillers, as well as alcohol, can damage your stomach that can also be relieved by this chili pepper. [16, 17]

4. It May Fight Cancer.

Capsaicin found in jalapenos is shown to stop the growth of cancer cells, slow down the formation of new blood vessel around the cancerous tumors, and to prevent the disease from spreading. [18, 19, 20, 21]

Studies prove that the anticancer properties of capsaicin can kill over 40 types of cancer cells. And the best part is, it doesn’t harm your normal cells. [22, 23, 24]

While lab studies have proved the ability of chili peppers in fighting cancer, human studies have shown the opposite. Some studies even conclude that regular consumption of chili peppers may increase the risk of cancer. [25, 26]

Besides, a 2013 research shows that cancer growth may depend on the dosages of capsaicin. While a higher dose can slow down the spread, a lower dose can stimulate the spreading. [27]

More research is required to find out whether jalapenos can fight cancer or not.

5. Jalapenos Can Fight Infections.

Herbs and spices have long been popular in culinary uses there are good reasons for it. These spices have the capacity to prevent food poisoning and spoilage while creating delicious dishes. [28]

It’s because jalapenos have properties that can effectively slow down the growth of yeasts and common foodborne bacteria. [29, 30, 31]

According to a 2010 study, chili extracts can soothe the symptoms of some deadly foodborne diseases by preventing cholera bacteria from producing toxins. [32]

Studies have also proved the efficacy of capsaicin in preventing other infections such as Chlamydia, strep throat, and tooth decay. [33, 34, 35, 36]

However, these studies aren’t strong enough to prove jalapeno’s ability in fighting infections. It’s because they were conducted in test tubes instead of humans, and used chili extracts, not the whole chili. 

health benefits of jalapenos

6. It May Boost Your Heart Health.

High cholesterol, blood pressure, as well as diabetes, are considered as some of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. 

Regular consumption of jalapenos can ease the impact of these factors and eventually improve your heart health. [37, 38]

According to a 2003 research, consuming 5 grams of chili pepper before a high-carb meal can help stabilize the blood sugars and prevent the large spikes that happen after the meal. [39

An animal study published in the Cell Metabolism states that capsaicin can relax the blood vessels, thus help reduce blood pressure. [40]

Although there is a lack of studies on humans, eating jalapenos and other chili pepper may have some beneficial effects on your heart.

Precautions While Consuming Jalapenos

While being highly nutritious, jalapenos also have some side effects that you need to be aware of.

You may have a burning sensation right after eating jalapenos, which is quite common. The severity of that burning may differ depending on the spiciness of it and your tolerance level to spicy food.

However, you can reduce the reactions to jalapenos by following some simple rules:

  • Use gloves while cooking with jalapenos.
  • While purchasing these chili peppers, avoid the one with the small brown line and look for chilies with smooth skin.
  • The while membranes found in jalapenos have the highest concentration of capsaicin. Remove them before cooking if you don’t like spicy food.
  • Drink full-fat cow’s milk to reduce the burning sensation after eating.

Adding Jalapenos to Your Diet

While there are several ways to consume jalapenos, finding the right way to get its full benefits is quite important. 

Fortunately, jalapenos are beneficial in all of their forms as there is fewer loss of capsaicinoids while pickling or smoking, and no reduction while drying. [41, 42]

You can enjoy jalapenos raw in salads, chutneys, and salsas, smoked, pickled, baked however you like.

End Note

Raw or cooked, the health benefits of jalapenos can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. 

Its high nutrition profile is responsible for its efficacy in treating several health conditions such as stomach ulcers, pain and inflammation, and improving heart health.

However, minor side effects like burning sensation may occur if you’re sensitive to spicy food.

While you’re making your next spicy dish, consider adding jalapenos to make it a bit healthier.

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