Superfood Spotlight: Cayenne Pepper
What You Should Know: A culinary favorite in home kitchens and five-star restaurants alike, this fiery red spice is used worldwide for adding flavor to meals and bumping up the heat! A member of the nightshade family, cayenne pepper can be consumed in powder form, dried into flakes, or for the bravest of souls – eaten whole!
Why You Should Try It: One of the biggest keys to cayenne pepper’s popularity lies in its high concentration of a substance called capsaicin, which is known for its pain-relief and decongestion properties as well as its ability to lower your risk of heart attack and ulcers. Cayenne pepper is also somewhat of a metabolic miracle: the spicy kick increases heat production (thermogenesis) and oxygen consumption for up to 20 minutes after eaten! And that bright red hue? Almost 50% of your daily immunity-boosting vitamin A quota.
Let’s Get Together: The beauty of cayenne pepper is that it can be added to nearly every dish! Turn up the heat in soups, salads and entrees (we especially love a little cayenne fire in Annie Campbell’s Kabocha Squash Soup and Easy Indian’s Spiced Rainbow Chard Sautée). Try a dash of cayenne pepper in your next homemade green juice, or swing by Pressed Juicery for a Greens 4, Citrus 1, Alkalizer or Green Alkalizer, which all contain the fiery superfood. For an immune boosting one-two punch, check out our guide to using cayenne during cold and flu season.