Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper. They belong to the nightshade family of flowering plants and are closely related to bell peppers and jalapeños.
They were originally grown in Central and South America, but brought to Europe in the 15th century by Christopher Columbus.
Cayenne peppers are a popular spice used in many different regional styles of cooking, and they have been used medicinally for thousands of years.
These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.
One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following (1):
- Calories: 17
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Protein: 0.6 grams
- Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
- Manganese: 5% of the RDI
- Potassium: 3% of the RDI
- Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties.
It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.