Why You Should Incorporate Paprika into Your Diet
Used worldwide in a range of dishes, paprika is a spice made from the dried peppers of the plant Capsicum annuum.
It comes in sweet, smoked, and hot varieties, as well as a plethora of colors, including red and orange. And as it turns out, it’s not only rich in antioxidants, but also vitamins and minerals.
Here, we highlight 3 science-backed health benefits of paprika.
Jam-Packed with Nutrients
Yes, that’s right: Paprika is packed with micronutrients and beneficial compounds, with 1 tablespoon (6.8 grams) providing, per Healthline:
- Calories: 19
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin A: 19% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin E: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Not bad, huh?
May Reduce Inflammation
When it comes to certain varieties of paprika, especially hot ones, they may contain the compound capsaicin, which binds to receptors on your nerve cells to reduce inflammation and pain.
Meaning, that, paprika may protect against a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, including arthritis, nerve damage, and digestive issues.
May Improve Cholesterol Levels
In particular, capsanthin, a carotenoid in paprika, may raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, according to Healthline. In fact, one two-week study found that rats fed diets with paprika and capsanthin experienced significant increases in HDL levels, compared with rats on a control diet. Amazing!