Why We Love Cayenne in Smoothies

* Superfood Spotlight *

Smoothies are no doubt a staple breakfast item in all our houses. Sweet, cold, and oh so delicious, the perfect drink to energize your mood and gear you up to start the day. The ingredient combination possibilities are never-ending. We will bet that there are many spice ingredients lying around your kitchen that you have probably never thought of adding to your smoothie drinks before. Cayenne pepper is likely one of those ingredients, and it’s a great one. Check out the information below to find out just how much we love adding cayenne pepper into our smoothie recipe and why.

cayenne pepper to add to baby spinach and almond milk for ultimate snack cuisine

What Is Cayenne?

Cayenne peppers are red-colored peppers that are long and tapered. These unique peppers are typically dried and ground, however, you can sometimes find fresh cayenne pepper at farmer markets and select groceries. Its scientific name is capsicum annum. It is a moderately hot pepper that has found its way into many cuisines and has been used in cultures all over the world.

History of Cayenne

The history of cayenne pepper goes back to South America in pre-Columbian times. It was cultivated in Mexico about 7000 years ago and in Peru around 4000 years ago and has been used for many different things over the years. In the 15th century, Cristopher Columbus bestowed the beautiful pepper to Europeans when he brought some back home after his voyage. Back then, it grew in the tropical regions of South America but later found its way to the tropical areas of Asia and Africa, where it is now widely cultivated. In fact, now most of the United States cayenne pepper supply comes from India and Africa.

Traditional Uses of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne was used as a medicinal herb back then. It was used to treat pain, inflammation, stomach pain, cold, and cough. It was also widely used in many dishes all over the world as a replacement for black pepper, which was typically very expensive. Traditional ayurvedic or herbal medicine utilized cayenne pepper in various remedies. To date, cayenne is an important ingredient of ayurvedic remedies. Chinese and Japanese herbal remedies also used cayenne for treating heaps of ailments and to boost overall health.

Top 3 Amazing Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne, like many other peppers, has tons of benefits. It is loaded with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, diuretic, expectorant, diaphoretic, and immune-boosting properties. Its healing properties derive from a compound called capsaicin. It also brings all the benefits of Vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids. Due to such a variety of beneficial components, cayenne is also available in the form of supplements, capsules, ointments, tinctures, creams, and oils. To be more specific, here are some of the benefits of cayenne:

1. Digestive Stimulator

Cayenne is believed to be an effective digestive stimulator, thanks to its nutritional content, which is brimming with capsaicin. It is used all over Mexico, Africa, India, East Indies, and the Caribbean to soothe digestive issues. It relieves constipation by stimulating the release of saliva and stomach secretions. This action then boosts up metabolism and kick-starts a sluggish digestive system. In addition, it increases fat metabolism, which in turn decreases appetite. People opting for a healthy weight loss diet should consider including cayenne peppers in their meal to potentially reap the benefits. It also is a great addition to a detox smoothie recipe.

2. Promotes Heart Health

Heart health should be our top priority as our diet affects every aspect of the circulatory system and immune system. Having a diet accommodating cayenne is one such prevention measure. Multiple studies support cayenne's circulatory system improving properties. It prevents increased levels of liver and serum cholesterol when consumed alongside dietary cholesterol. Studies show that people who regularly consume spicy foods rich in cayenne or specifically capsaicin are 13% less likely to die than people who do not consume it. The reason is that cayenne keeps your vessels and heart in shape. It reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Another interesting fact is that cayenne peppers help you cut down on salt. Salt is extremely dangerous for heart health and greatly impacts blood pressure. People having hypertension and high blood pressure are strictly advised to cut down on their salt intake. This is where cayenne comes to the rescue. It is backed up by studies that foods having adequate amounts of cayenne preoccupy your taste buds, and thereby your brain neglects or even fails to detect the lack of salt in food. Hence cayenne makes it easier to stay away from salt while simultaneously giving loads of benefits.

3. Effective Painkiller

When applied topically, cayenne has been used to relieve pain and inflammation for thousands of years. When applied topically or consumed orally, cayenne reduces the amount of a neuropeptide, the substance P, which transmits the sensation of pain towards the brain. Cayenne is also used in many ointments that are intended to reduce pain. It desensitizes local nerves and reduces pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, shingles, and diabetic neuropathy. Moreover, capsaicin is known to greatly reduce platelet aggregation factor or PAF. Greater levels of PAF cause migraines by constricting blood circulation in the head. Thus, cayenne peppers also aid in relieving and preventing migraines. Cayenne is also known to improve nerve-to-muscle communication. Improving this then helps ease and reduce cramps.

Why Is Cayenne Great In a Smoothie Recipe?

Now that you know some of the amazing benefits of this magical pepper let's talk about how one could incorporate cayenne into their diet. Cayenne has a mild flavor and is extremely easy to add to any smoothie recipe. It brings a nice earthy flavor to your smoothies and brings a tinge of an exotic taste with an extra kick. Thanks to its mild flavor, cayenne does not overpower a smoothie recipe and is not greatly noticeable. So anyone can add cayenne into their morning smoothies to get a boost of their daily vitamins while enjoying an exceptionally flavorful and energizing drink. It's one of those spices that is great to mix with fruits, berries, lime, cinnamon, milk, honey and has only 17 calories per tablespoon. Here are some of our cayenne smoothie recipe combination recommendations:

  1. Cayenne and Chocolate
  2. Mango and Cayenne
  3. Spinach, Banana, and Cayenne green smoothie - try some fresh ginger in this option
  4. Strawberry, Pineapple, and Cayenne for a detox green smoothie recipe
  5. Cayenne, Baby Spinach and Blueberries for a tasty blueberry smoothie hiding as a green smoothie! 
green smoothie with cayenne pepper and frozen pineapple

Cayenne in Blendtopia Smoothies:

While these flavor combinations are all wonderful, not everyone prefers to experiment with different ingredients to find the perfect balance. That’s why Blendtopia is proud to offer our pre-measured Smoothie Kits filled with wonderful ingredients to help cleanse your body and promote good health overall. Our Detox Green Smoothie kit contains: organic pineapples, organic celery, organic bananas, organic banana puree (organic bananas, ascorbic acid), organic kale, organic spinach, organic hemp seeds, organic milled flax seeds, organic wheatgrass powder, organic chlorella powder, organic lemon juice powder, and organic cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is an exceptional herb that not only tastes great but has tons of potential health benefits, healing properties, and immune boosting properties. It can be used to not only boost your meals, but to add a little extra kick to your smoothies as well. If you like trying new, exotic flavor combinations, try a smoothie with cayenne! 

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