Red peppers can actually refer to a number of varieties that belong in the capsicum genus. There are the mild and relatively mild ones such as bell peppers, cayenne and jalapenos. Then there are the really hot and spicy types like tabasco, Thai peppers and habanero.
The one substance they all have in common but contain in varying degrees is capsaicin. This is the compound that gives red peppers their particularly hot taste. It’s the biochemical interaction of this pepper compound with neurons that produces the hot or burning sensation.
The Scoville scale is the standard measurement of how “hot” a red pepper (or any other spice) can get. Jalapenos for example have at least 2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) while habaneros go up to 350,000 SHU. The more capsaicin a particular pepper contains the hotter it tastes.
There are a number of benefits to including red peppers in your diet. But there are certain risks as well which is why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this spice.
Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of red pepper… Continue reading