The famous Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo – recognized in both the U.S. and Mexico – is just around the corner, and we’re looking to spice things up with a dose of capsaicin – the compound that gives hot peppers their kick. We also included a round-up of some seriously spicy recipes to cover all of your Cinco de Mayo celebration needs: Appetizers, entres and dessert, we’ve got you covered.
Starting with what exactly capsaicin is (pronounced CAP-SAY-UH-SIN), it’s a chemical compound found in spicy peppers like jalapeño, cayenne, habanero and tabasco. It’s what gives the peppers their spicy kick that’s commonly found in traditional Mexican meals.
Capsaicin is primarily found in the seeds of peppers, which is why they’re often removed before being added to a dish. Without the seeds, jalapeños actually have a fairly mild taste and low level of spice. But in addition to its heat properties, capsaicin also offers an abundance of health benefits.
Health Benefits: Just a few of capsaicin’s healing benefits include headache relief, sinus soothing, arthritis relief, and inflammatory reduction. If you can believe it, studies have shown capsaicin to be extremely effective in relieving and preventing headaches, sinus headaches and even migraines. It’s also been shown to provide arthritis relief when applied as a topical cream. And when it comes to a plugged up nose, capsaicin possesses powerful antibacterial properties that are very effective in fighting and preventing chronic sinus infections, as well as clearing out congested nasal passages. (more…)