Runners are always looking for different foods that will help them in some way with their running. I recently found out that a certain food that I love is actually good for me and for my running. Chili peppers! These wonderful little peppers are good for you for many reasons. Read on to find out how.
Some of the antioxidants that you will find in chili peppers are Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These will help you to recover quicker from your long runs. Another wonderful benefit of these vitamins is that it can help to keep your blood pressure lower. They help to strengthen our blood vessels and keep them more elastic - a good thing.
Then there is the ingredients that gives chili peppers their hotness - capsaicin. This is an antioxidant that helps us in several ways. It is widely used topically in many of the anti-inflammatory rubs that you use to help with muscle soreness. So, ingesting it can help it to work even faster. First of all it helps keep away inflammation. So they can help after a long run or hard work out to help those overused muscles feel better and recover quicker.
Studies have also found that the ingredients in chili peppers can help ward off Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer. Capsaicin has been found to actually cause prostate cancer cells to kill themselves. Capsaicin can also help you keep your cholesterol levels where they should be.
Some of the other benefits of chili peppers are: help with headaches and migraines, and sinus infections; help you increase your metabolism; help prevent stomach ulcers and help lower blood sugar levels.
Jalapeno peppers are my favorite of all the chili peppers. You can chop them up and put them in your pasta sauces for a double benefit for your long runs. I use them in eggs, tacos, hash browns and other sauces. Another way to get your chili peppers is by sprinkling cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes on different foods. Then there's the pepperoncinis that you use on salads. There is no end to the different ways that you can use them.
I've always used loved spicy foods and cook with chili peppers a lot. Now, it makes me feel good to know that in addition to making yummy dishes that I am doing something good for me as a runner and for my family's overall health.
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