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Red hot chili peppers rock the immune system

Posted Apr 20 2012 4:55pm

I was at one of our city’s favorite eating establishments last night. It’s a Cajun and barbecue  place. One of the side orders is a creamed corn with hot peppers in a smokey cream sauce. It’s to die for and I get it every time.

Another hot pepper story is when I bought my college daughters some cans of pepper spray for self defense a few years ago. A year or two later when they were home during a break, I took a can outside on the deck to spray test it and make sure it was still in working order. Of course, right as I sprayed it, a gust of wind came up and blew some of the spray back into my face. I only got a small whiff of the stuff, but it was enough to burn like the dickens for the next 30 minutes or so. Had to flush my eyes with water during that half hour.

Capsaicin is the chemical naturally found in hot peppers that provides the heat. Some research has suggested that capsaicin may play a role in helping mitigate tumor growth through activating dendritic  cells, which are important in aggressive immune response. It’s also an antioxidant with a good dose of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, a precursor for Vitamin A.

So, I say, keep it hot and spicy. To a reasonable “degree,” anyway.

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