- Mark's Daily Apple - http://www.marksdailyapple.com -
Posted By Mark Sisson On May 1, 2007 @ 3:47 pm In Diet,Health,Nutrition,Top 10 Lists | 10 Comments
This week’s Tuesday 10 is in response to junior apple Tricia, who emailed me yesterday with the following question:
“Mark, I have heard that spicy foods can prevent cancer. Is this true? Does this mean things like salsa, or curries? And what about heartburn?”
Great questions, Trish! “Spicy foods” do indeed help prevent cancer. I’m not making that up. (For the research-hungry, check out these must-reads: this study , this site , this article  and this blogger’s take ).
“Spices” – specifically, we’re talking about capsicum plants like chili peppers – also have important cardiovascular benefits. Junior Apple Steve saw his heart rate and blood pressure drop after he switched from using black pepper to cayenne pepper. (I have it on good authority he now liberally doses all his meals with some heat.) Peppers are loaded to the gills with a variety of powerful antioxidants that go beyond cancer prevention. If they had gills.
Peppery foods carry the reputation of being irritating to the digestive tract, although in truth peppers have healing properties. Many of the spicy foods that are infamous for causing heartburn are actually irritating because of the huge amounts of processed (fried or trans) fat. Trans fat, remember, is a real irritant to the system because it is full of oxidizing free radicals. Throw spice into the mix and no wonder it’s a recipe for heartburn and stomach discomfort. Spice just adds insult to injury if you’re chowing on those fried, high-calorie foods.
Some healthy heat, when coupled with vegetables and sparing amounts of good fats from things like olive oil or nuts, is surprisingly enjoyable for even the most sensitive bellies. And there are plenty of healthy peppers that aren’t spicy at all.
There are dozens of varieties of peppers, and many are not only mild, but sweet. Here are ten great “hots” that will do your body good:
Red, yellow, green, hot, medium, mild – just eat it. Curried vegetables and lean meats are really, really good, and curcumin-containing curry helps prevent cancer. You can buy ready-made curry sauces, but make sure you’re getting a healthy one that isn’t full of mostly sugar and oil. I suggest buying fresh, loose yellow curry powder (which contains turmeric, the important ingredient) and making your own sauce at home. A popular Western alternative: paprika.
9. Chili pepper
However you buy it (dried, fresh), this regular old hot pepper is excellent for the heart. These are Thai chilis. I’ve been addicted to them ever since my recent trip to Thailand .
8. Cayenne pepper
Try substituting powdered cayenne for black pepper and watch your heart rate improve. It’s also less irritating to the stomach than black pepper.
7. Habanero pepper
Is this thing the spiciest substance on earth, or is it just me? I’m not a fan, but if you love intense heat and/or torture, this guy is full of eye-healthy antioxidants. Good luck.
6. Jalapeno pepper
The ubiquitous pepper comes in a range of heat, but almost everyone can handle the mild selection. Lots of flavor, really powerful antioxidant benefit. Salsa is one of the healthiest foods you can eat because it’s essentially an antioxidant explosion – tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and often garlic.
5. Poblano (ancho) pepper
Gentler on the mouth, but still really nutritious.
4. Anaheim pepper
Milder still (some come spicy). Both poblanos and anaheims are great peeled, then baked or stewed.
3. Bell pepper
I eat these crisp babies daily – red, orange, yellow, green.
2. Baby bell pepper
Have you tried these out? They’re popping up in grocery stores everywhere. I lop off the tops and toss them into just about everything from salads to stir fries. Appropriately lopped, they also make a great natural scoop for hummus.
1. Serrano pepper
A little more kick than jalapenos, and great in salsa, salad, stews, you name it.
This is Icka’s Flickr Photo 
This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula , independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!
Article printed from Mark's Daily Apple: http://www.marksdailyapple.com
URL to article: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/pepper-me/
URLs in this post:
 Start Here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/welcome-to-marks-daily-apple/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_start_here
 Primal Blueprint 101: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_pb_101
 free weekly newsletter: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/subscribe-to-blog/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_newsletter
 books: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Books-and-Media/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_books
 support options: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Services/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_services
 supplements: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Supplements/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_supplements
 this study: http://www.malattiemetaboliche.it/articoli/leukemia.htm
 this site: http://www.healthcastle.com/answer04_veggie.shtml
 this article: http://www.all-creatures.org/health/chili.html
 this blogger’s take: http://cookalmostanything.blogspot.com/2007/04/weekend-herb-blogging-80.html
 This is Barron’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/214411983/?#comment72157600165283843
 recent trip to Thailand: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/thailand/
 This is Nicodeemus1’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/petergc/256743858/
 This is Princes Milady’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/princes_milady/219526247/?#comment72157600165166216
 This is Code Poet’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphageek/48352257/?#comment72157600165239879
 This is ilmungo’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilmungo/60672500/?#comment72157600165140032
 This is Progoddess’ Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/progoddess/402563403/
 This is Confident_Cook’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/89223198@N00/446123604/?#comment72157600165108686
 This is JStar’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jstar/112860443/
 This is Vandys’ Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vandys/257860612/?#comment72157600165079636
 This is Icka’s Flickr Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icka/400808878/?#comment72157600165144411
 Damage Control Master Formula: http://www.masterformula.com/
Copyright © 2009 Mark's Daily Apple. All rights reserved.