For those still, a little clueless, paprika powder is a type of spice made using air-dried dried fruits of the Capsicum annuum species of chili peppers. Though paprika is often found in Hungarian cuisine, it owes its origins to the New World. The chilies used to make paprika powder were sourced from Mexico and exported to Spain in the 16th century.
Paprika is generally used as a seasoning and flavoring agent for a wide range of culinary preparations. It is generally available in powdered form. Paprika is also mild compared to other chili/pepper varieties such as cayenne peppers due to the low amount of capsaicin.
Paprika Health Benefits
Apart from its ability to add flavor to any food item, It also boasts of several paprika health benefits, especially for your skin and hair.
Paprika Powder for skin
- Paprika powder is rich in beta-carotene, iron, and vitamins, which aids in the prevention of age spots and freckles. It improves the skin’s complexion by limiting the production of melanin, which is responsible for skin darkening.
- The beta-carotene in paprika is converted into vitamin A by the human body. Vitamin A plays a vital role in ensuring skin health. It fights the onset of wrinkles.
- Paprika powder and honey can be used to create a facial mask that can eliminate dullness, sagging skin, age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, blackheads, and blemishes. The mask can be created using two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of paprika. The mask should then be applied on the face for 20 minutes. However, before you do so, check for allergies by doing a patch test. A patch test involves applying a small amount of the facial mask in any area of the skin.
- Paprika also possesses antibacterial properties. This makes it effective against any skin issues caused by bacteria. For instance, acne is a bacterium induced skin condition, which means a small amount of paprika in the diet can help fend it off.
- Paprika has also been observed to help with a condition called “spider veins”. Certain properties of paprika have been found to make the veins stronger and improve blood flow. People with spider veins can add paprika to their diet to treat the condition. For your skin enjoy Paprika health benefits.
Paprika powder For your hair
- Paprika contains a lot of vitamin B6, which is great for fighting hair loss. Other than that, paprika is also rich in iron, which enables the transportation of oxygen to the hair follicles. As a result, this boosts blood circulation to the scalp, which stimulates hair growth.
- The vitamin B6 in paprika also plays a role in melanin production, which is responsible for hair and skin color. When paprika, mixed with henna is applied to the hair, it can help retain the original color.
Other Paprika health benefits
- As stated earlier, paprika is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. These components can offer a wide range of health benefits. For starters, they provide anti-inflammatory properties. People affected by inflammatory conditions and auto-immune diseases would do well by adding some paprika in their diet. The paprika powder has even been used to eliminate the swelling that occurs as a result of arthritis.
- The capsaicin present in paprika has been known to lower blood pressure or hypertension by allowing the blood vessels to relax.
- As stated earlier, paprika is rich in vitamin B6, which serves as a coenzyme. As a coenzyme, it aides several other enzymes in their proper functioning. For instance, it aides enzymes that are responsible for stimulating biochemical reactions that produce energy in the human body. These biochemical reactions also produce hemoglobin and neurotransmitters while providing glucose. In fact, paprika has been used as a treatment for conditions such as depression and lethargy.
- The vitamin A present in paprika is known to help with maintaining good eyesight. The vitamin A contains compounds known as carotenoids and in paprika, there are 4 kinds of carotenoids present, namely, lutein, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help the eyes convert light into vision. The zeaxanthin and lutein carotenoids also help with the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts, which are age-related conditions. Some experts advise combining paprika with a fatty food source such as olive oil to gain maximum benefits.
- Paprika also helps with digestion by regulating acidity in the stomach. It functions as an effective stimulant for stomach acids and saliva, which further facilitate healthy digestion. Paprika is often prescribed as a natural treatment for individuals suffering from indigestion. However, it is advisable to consult with your doctor about using paprika along with other medications.
Finally, paprika help people sleep better. The vitamin B6 found in it has a psychological and neurological effect. It enables the production of melatonin, which is referred to as a “sleep hormone”. The production of melatonin ensures a regular and proper sleep cycle. Also, paprika improves the production of norepinephrine and serotonin, which are mood-elevating hormones. As a result, it can have a positive impact on one’s mood.