Can Cayenne control hypertension?
Cayenne, chilli pepper, call it what you will, but can Cayenne control hypertension? Well, not just on its own but it’s a good thing to include in your meals (and even drinks) if you’re on a general mission to lower your blood pressure.
How can Cayenne control hypertension?
Cayenne, a type of chilli pepper, is from the Capsicum family of vegetables, and has been used by Native Americans for over 9,000 years as both a
food and medicine. Cayenne, or chilli, has also featured in various Asian traditional medicine systems as a treatment for circulatory and digestive problems, amongst others.
Capsaicin is the ingredient which gives cayenne and other chilli peppers their hot and spicy taste and studies have found that it can help relieve pain and lower blood sugar levels.
Now, having low, or at least stable, blood sugar levels is really important if you want to get your blood pressure down. Sugar, especially added sugars, are probably more of an issue than salt when it comes to high blood pressure, but that’s a story for another post…
Studies with animals have suggested that cayenne can lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure though. So although obviously more research needs to be done on humans on the specific relationship between cayenne and blood pressure, it’s worth pointing out that Chinese researchers have noticed that areas of China where chilli peppers are used heavily in local cuisine have signficantly lower incidences of high blood pressure than areas which use little chilli.
How should I use Cayenne to lower my blood pressure?
As mentioned above, Capsaicin is the ingredient which gives Cayenne its helpful healing properties and all hot peppers (habanero, jalapeno) contain this, so you can use any of these.
Cayenne is handy though, as it’s easy to get in powdered form (get it from a good source if you can, organic where possible).
Of course you can add cayenne to stews and chillis and curries etc. But there are a few other ways you can take it too:
- mix a little cayenne (up to a teaspoon) in warm water, add a little honey and/or lemon for flavour and extra antioxidants, and drink it carefully
- add a dash of cayenne to an olive oil-based vinaigrette (put some apple cider vinegar and garlic in too for extra blood pressure benefits)
- mix cayenne into cocoa and add hot water for a rich blood-pressure-lowering treat (cinnamon and cardamom are good for blood pressure too, as is quality cocoa, but avoid milk in this drink as it offsets the cocoa’s benefits)
- cayenne is good in mulled wine if you’re having a winter warmer
- make a raw tomato salsa with onions, tomato, garlic, hot chillies, lime, coriander – almost all of these ingredients are great for lowering blood pressure
But take care!
Chilli peppers can be very hot and can even burn your skin so take care when chopping up raw chilli peppers. Vinegar can help get it off your skin if it’s stinging. And DO NOT chop chillies and then put in/take out contact lenses (I speak from painful experience…)!
Please note: Cayenne may interact with ACE inhibitors and blood-thinning
medications so, if you take these, check with your doctor before increasing
your use of cayenne. Also check with your doctor if you’re diabetic, due to
cayenne’s effect on blood sugar.
Alright, hope that’s spiced up your day a little. At this time of year, chilli or cayenne is perfect to warm you up and get your metabolism going too, so let yourself get a little hot…
Lower blood pressure: for life
If you are serious about controlling your hypertension, then you’ll know that just adding a bit of cayenne here and there isn’t going to be enough (although every wee bit helps).
To lower your blood pressure in the long-term, there are a whole variety of ways you can adjust what you eat and drink and your lifestyle more generally – being active, being less stressed.
There are a lot of guides out there with good information, and of course you can find plenty advice yourself on the internet. But it can be difficult to synthesize it all and make it work for you.
To solve this problem, our guide – Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – is laid out in 9 straightforward steps.
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Not only is the guide easy to follow, but it’s also fun to follow, with lots of tasty food and drink suggestions, and useful tips and insights on lifestyle changes like getting more exercise, sleeping better, getting more relaxation time…. Lowering your blood pressure naturally doesn’t have to be hard!
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(post by Alison)