We all know paprika as a garnish on a pizza. But is paprika good for you? One of the popular spices that is used across the globe. Also, the paprika health benefits are many. Right from Italian cuisine and Indian to continental, this pepper-based spice helps us in a lot many ways.
In various dishes, peppers are used in both grounded and whole forms. This spice is made by grounding chili peppers, dried bell peppers, and other peppers in the Capsicum Annuum family.
One tablespoon of paprika contains
|Vitamin A||3,560 IU|
|Vitamin B6||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin E||2 mg|
|Vitamin C||4.8 mg|
|Vitamin K||5.4 microgram|
Health Benefits of Paprika
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
In comparison, the amount of capsaicin in paprika is a bit lower than other peppers, it helps in lowering your blood pressure. Various studies have also proven that capsaicin effects on lowering blood pressure have been significant(1).
2. Improves Eye Health
Vitamin A and vitamin E are two of the essential vitamins for maintaining good eyesight. Paprika is loaded with vital nutrients, such as beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
According to a study, participants who included lutein and zeaxanthin in their routine were more than 30% less likely to develop cataracts when compared to participants who didn’t(2).
[Read: Vitamins for Dry Eyes Treatment]
3. Rich in Antioxidants
Paprika is rich in antioxidants, which help in fighting various diseases. The vitamin A in paprika aids in preventing inflammation through its antioxidant properties, the root cause of most diseases, including arthritis(3).
4. Good for Heart
Vitamin C in paprika keeps heart diseases at bay, especially heart attack and stroke. On the other hand, vitamin E in paprika is also an antioxidant that keeps off free radicals from damaging, reducing the chances of heart diseases.
5. Aids in Digestion
For your surprise, paprika also helps with digestion. Acts as an excellent stimulant, paprika boosts saliva and stomach acids. Now, this helps in breaking down food for better digestion process. But make sure not to add too much paprika.
Skin Benefits of Paprika
1. Treats Wounds
Whether it is a cut or a wound, try paprika for healing. It is an excellent source of vitamin E. Paprika helps increase the production of red blood cells, which are responsible for treating cuts or wounds.
Wondering how? The red blood cells remove carbon dioxide and carry it to the lungs for exhalation. They carry Oxygen and contain hemoglobin inside them. Now, this helps in forming clots whenever we get a cut or a wound.
2. Helps with Thread Veins/Spider Veins
Usually, we get spider veins either on legs or face. These are the small veins that don’t hurt but certainly want to get rid of them as they are pretty visible to everyone. The vitamins and other essential nutrients in Paprika can make your veins stronger and promote blood flow in an efficient way.
[Read: Get Rid of Spider Veins]
Hair Benefits of Paprika
1. Promotes Hair Growth
Paprika is rich in minerals like iron and carbohydrates like fiber, both of which promote hair growth. The iron in paprika helps in getting oxygen to your hair follicles.
2. Lets You maintain your Hair Color
Due to vitamin B6 in paprika, you can easily maintain your hair color. Thinking how? Vitamin B6 helps with the production of melanin. It is the pigment that imparts color to your hair. Apart from consuming paprika directly, you can also mix it with hair dye or henna. But make sure to patch test on a small area to rule out any allergies.
How Can you Use Paprika?
1. As a Garnish
Since paprika is a spice, it’ll be a fantastic garnishing addition to decorate or give one final touch to your dish. From soups to stews, pizzas to burgers, and traditional curries to chop suey, you can add paprika to any and all dishes.
2. As Dips and Seasonings
Just like a garnish, paprika is also an excellent choice for dips and seasonings. Depending on the type of dish, you can have a simple paprika seasoning or dip.
Side Effects of Paprika
Since paprika is a spice, not everyone’s body reacts in the same way. There have been shreds of evidence that the environment also plays an equally important part where you touch or work with various types of spices. (4) Also, consuming too much paprika can upset your stomach and can cause irritable bowel syndrome(5).
So make sure to consult your doctor or physician immediately in case you develop any kind of allergy.
Finally, is paprika healthy? Of course. Paprika has a lot of nutritional benefits due to the presence of various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Also, its anti-inflammatory and medicinal properties are derived from vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. All these will help in lowering cholesterol, enhance eye health, among other benefits. These are some of the paprika uses.
1. Is paprika gluten-free?
Usually, paprika itself doesn’t contain gluten. However, there are 2 reasons why paprika may contain gluten. The first reason is paprika may get contaminated in the factory. And the second reason could be that it might have added flour to help prevent it from cracking or to have an extended shelf-life.
2. How to Grow Paprika seeds?
You can easily grow paprika at home.
- Cut the paprika in half and take out the seeds.
- Now, dry the seeds for 5 days.
- Take your choice of pot and moisten the soil lightly with water.
- Now, sow the seeds in the soil.
- Add more soil and add it to the pot to cover them up.
- Water every day and enjoy paprika
3. What can I use instead of paprika?
Cayenne is an excellent replacement for paprika. But make sure how much you are going to use as it could be hotter than paprika.
4. How long does paprika last?
Ground paprika lasts more around 3 to 4 years at room temperature. For enhanced shelf life, store paprika in an air-tight container.