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Chili Peppers 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Effects

The fruit of Capsicum pepper plants, known as chilli peppers (Capsicum annuum), is distinguished by its intense flavour. They include a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Generally speaking, they are utilized as fresh or dried spices.

The nightshade family, which also includes bell peppers and tomatoes, includes chilli peppers as members. There are several types of chilli peppers, including cayenne and jalapenos.
They may be cooked or dried and powdered, and they are mostly used as spices. Paprika is a red chilli pepper that has been powdered.
The primary bioactive plant ingredient in chilli peppers, capsaicin, is what gives them their distinctive flavour, intense aroma, and several health advantages.
Everything you need to know about chilli peppers is included in this article.

Nutrition facts

A tablespoon (15 grams) of raw, fresh, red chilli peppers has the following nutritional value:
  • Calories: 6
  • Water: 88%
  • Sugar: 0.8 grams
  • Fibre: 0.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 1.3 grams


Chilli peppers include a little protein, fibre, and some carbohydrates.

Vitamins and minerals

There are many different vitamins and minerals in chilli peppers.
They do, however, make up a very small portion of your daily consumption because they are only consumed in small amounts. These fiery fruits proclaim:
  1. Vitamin C: This potent antioxidant, which is crucial for immune health and wound healing, is abundant in chilli peppers.
  2. Vitamin B6: B6 is a member of the B vitamin family and is involved in energy metabolism.
  3. Vitamin K1: Vitamin K1, sometimes called phylloquinone, is necessary for healthy bones, kidneys, and blood coagulation.
  4. Potassium: When ingested at suitable levels, potassium, an important dietary mineral with several uses, may lower your risk of heart disease.
  5. Copper: Copper is a crucial trace element that is frequently deficient in the Western diet yet is necessary for healthy bones and neurons.
  6. Vitamin A: The body transforms beta-carotene, which is abundant in red chilli peppers, into vitamin A.


Although chilli peppers are high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, they are typically consumed in modest amounts, so they don't considerably increase your daily intake of micronutrients.

Other plant compounds

A plentiful source of spicily hot capsaicin is chilli peppers.
Additionally, they contain a lot of antioxidant carotenoids, which have been associated with several health advantages.
The primary plant bioactive substances found in chilli peppers are listed below:
  1. Capsanthin: The primary carotenoid in red chilli peppers, capsanthin, accounts for up to 50% of the total carotenoid content and gives them their red colour. Its potent antioxidant qualities may help prevent cancer.
  2. Violaxanthin: Violaxanthin, the principal carotenoid antioxidant in yellow chilli peppers, makes up about 37–68% of the total carotenoid content.
  3. Lutein: Lutein is most prevalent in green, or immature, chilli peppers, and its levels fall as the chillies get older. Increased lutein intake is associated with better eye health.
  4. Capsaicin: Capsaicin, one of the plant chemicals in chilli peppers that have received the most research, gives them their acrid (hot) flavour and many of their beneficial health effects.
  5. Sinapic acid: This antioxidant, often referred to as sinapinic acid, may provide several health advantages.
  6. Ferulic acid: Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that, like sinapic acid, may aid in preventing several chronic illnesses.
Mature (red) chilli peppers have a substantially higher antioxidant content than young (green) chillies.


Chilli peppers are a rich source of antioxidant plant chemicals that have been associated with several health advantages. The substance most renowned for giving chilli peppers their pungent (hot) flavour is capsaicin.

Health benefits of chilli peppers

Chilli peppers have long been regarded as a healthy spice, despite their hot flavour.

Pain relief

The primary bioactive plant ingredient in chilli peppers, capsaicin, has a few special qualities.
It interacts with the nerve terminals known as pain receptors. Despite producing a burning feeling, this does not burn anyone.
Nevertheless, frequent use of chilli peppers (or capsaicin) may gradually desensitize your pain receptors, making it harder for you to detect the spicy flavour of chilli.
Additionally, it renders these pain receptors hypersensitive to other types of discomfort, such as acid reflux-related heartburn.
In one study, it was shown that giving heartburn sufferers 2.5 grams of red chilli peppers daily first made their symptoms worse but eventually got better.
Another short, 6-week trial that found that 3 grams of chilli per day reduced heartburn in people with acid reflux supports this.
According to one study, the desensitization effect was reversed 1-3 days after capsaicin administration was discontinued, suggesting that it has a short-lasting impact.

Weight loss

Obesity is a dangerous medical condition that raises your chance of developing several chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
According to some data, capsaicin can aid in weight reduction by decreasing hunger and boosting fat burning.
Ten grams of red chilli pepper can considerably enhance fat burning in both men and women, according to research.
The intake of calories may be decreased with capsaicin. A study of 24 habitual chilli eaters found that ingesting capsaicin before a meal helped them consume fewer calories.
Only those who did not routinely eat chilli showed a substantial decrease in hunger and caloric consumption, according to another study.
Chilli peppers have not always been proven to be useful in research. Other trials found no appreciable differences in calorie consumption or fat loss.
Despite conflicting research, it seems that frequent ingestion of red chilli peppers or capsaicin pills, when paired with other healthy lifestyle practices, may help with weight reduction.
Chilli peppers, on the other hand, probably aren't particularly useful on their own. Additionally, with time, a person may become tolerant to capsaicin's effects, reducing its efficacy.


Several health advantages of chilli peppers have been reported. When paired with other healthy lifestyle practices, they could encourage weight reduction and alleviate acid reflux symptoms.

Potential downsides

Many people dislike the searing feeling of chilli peppers, and other people may have negative consequences.

Burning sensation

Chilli peppers are renowned for having a fiery, bitter taste.
Capsaicin, which attaches to pain receptors and produces a strong burning sensation, is the chemical in question.
Because of this, the major component of pepper sprays is the oleoresin capsicum chemical that is derived from chilli peppers.
It produces significant pain, swelling, redness, and inflammation at high doses.
Regular use of capsaicin may eventually render certain pain neurons insensitive to more pain.

Stomach pain and diarrhoea

Some people may have digestive irritation after eating chilli.
Abdominal discomfort, a burning sensation in your stomach, cramps, and uncomfortable diarrhoea may be the symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients are more likely to experience this. Those who aren't used to eating chilli frequently may have a temporary worsening of their symptoms.
Due to this, individuals with IBS may wish to restrict their intake of chilli and other spicier meals.

Cancer risk

Unusual cell proliferation is a dangerous condition known as cancer.
There is conflicting research on how chillies affect cancer.
Capsaicin, a plant chemical found in chilli peppers, has been shown in test-tube and animal experiments to either raise or decrease your chance of developing cancer.
Consuming chilli peppers is associated with a higher risk of cancer in people, particularly stomach and gallbladder cancer.
In India, red chilli powder has also been linked to a higher risk of mouth and throat cancer.
Remember that observational studies can only show that people who consumed large amounts of chilli peppers were more likely to get cancer; they cannot establish that eating chilli peppers causes the disease.
Further research is required to evaluate the long-term safety of consuming large amounts of chilli or capsaicin supplements.


Not everyone responds well to chilli peppers. They induce a burning feeling and, in some people, may result in diarrhoea and stomach discomfort. According to several studies, eating chilli raises your chance of developing cancer.


The bottom line

Chilli peppers are a widely used spice that is renowned for their fiery, pungent flavour.
They are abundant in minerals, vitamins, and several special plant components.
One of these is capsaicin, the ingredient that makes your tongue burn. There are several positive and negative health consequences associated with capsaicin.
On the one hand, regular consumption may encourage weight reduction and ease discomfort.
However, it also results in a burning sensation, which many people find unpleasant, especially those who aren't used to eating chilli peppers. Digestive disturbances are also connected to it.
When consuming chilli peppers, it's crucial to pay attention to your tolerance levels. Although using them as a spice may be beneficial, people who have stomach issues should stay away from them.

Frequently Asked Questions, Chili Peppers

Is it good to eat raw chillies?

Improved bowel movement and reduced risk of ulcers.

What happens when we eat red chillies every day?

It may be dangerous to health resulting in skin cancer.

What organs are peppers good for?

Eye and Skin Health

Why are peppers a superfood?

108% of the daily Vitamin C requirements

Which pepper has the most benefits?

red peppers

How many chillies per day?

12 to 15 grams

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