6 Amazing Health Benefits of Habaneros

At one point, Habanero peppers were some of the hottest peppers on the planet. As hotheads demanded more and more heat, peppers like the Carolina Reaper dethroned Habaneros. If you’re after maximum spiciness, you may wanna pass on these delicious peppers.

Habaneros are a sure bet if you’re seeking a satisfying heat and impressive flavor profile – with the added benefit of a health and wellness boost.

In this article, we’ll tell you how expanding your relationship with Habaneros can improve your health. You may even discover a few creative ways to get a ‘Habanero Health Boost.’

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room.

Why Don’t We Eat More Habanero Peppers?

The most common reasons we don’t eat more Habanero peppers are either because they’re too hot or they get overlooked for other hot peppers. If you’re in the “can’t handle the heat” crowd, you still may be able to experience the health benefits of Habaneros.

They’re Too Hot

Since the hottest parts of the Habanero pepper are its membrane and its seeds, you can try removing these to reduce the overall heat of the pepper. The remaining flesh will be much milder. Though if you are truly sensitive to spicy foods, they may still be too hot for your palate. Additionally, dried peppers are usually spicier than fresh ones, so try picking up a few peppers on your next grocery run.

It’s Hard to Tell Hot Peppers Apart

If you love spicy food but can’t tell the difference between a Cayenne pepper and a Caroline Reaper, you’re not alone. And although the number of people who grow their food has increased, the most popular hot peppers grown at home are Jalapeños and Chili peppers. 

They Aren’t the Hottest

Habanero peppers are known to provide a delayed, hot, burning sensation at the back of the throat. Often they don’t even come up in conversations about the hottest peppers in the world. Although all hot peppers contain capsaicinoids (the compound that causes the burning sensation), our flavor experience differs. 

Whether or not you’re a hothead, it’s hard to deny the fantastic health benefits of Habaneros. Keep reading to learn how Habanero peppers can improve your daily life.

Top 6 Habanero Health Benefits

The spiciness of Habaneros comes from capsaicin, the active component in peppers that ignites your tastebuds. An ever-growing body of research shows that people who eat foods rich in capsaicin tend to live longer than those who don’t. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Without further ado, here are six ways consuming Habanero peppers can give you a much-needed health boost.

1. They Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

Capsaicin, a compound found in Habanero peppers, has been shown to reduce the insulin level in your body. Packed with capsaicin, antioxidants, and other functional plant-based elements, Habanero peppers can also help manage your diabetes. 

By regulating blood glucose levels following a meal, Habaneros may:

  • Decrease insulin resistance
  • Improve pancreatic activity
  • And prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels

Studies have shown that including Habaneros in your regular diet, even in small amounts, can alleviate common symptoms of diabetes. One study, in particular, found that people who ate Habaneros regularly were less likely to develop diabetes than those who didn’t eat them. [1]

2. They Give Your Immune System a Boost

Another known health benefit of capsaicin is its ability to boost your immune system. Capsaicin helps your body fight off infections and harmful bacteria, improving overall health. 

Research has shown that people who regularly eat hot peppers are less likely to get sick than those who don’t. [2] Consuming spicy foods and beverages on a semi-daily basis may help prevent or reduce common cold symptoms.

High in vitamins A, B, E, and C (a powerful antioxidant), Habaneros are a spicy alternative to citrus fruits when you’re under the weather.

3. They Can Reduce Arthritis Pain

Numerous studies have found capsaicin to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It works to inhibit the production of Substance P, a compound responsible for the pain and swelling associated with inflammation. For this reason, capsaicin is often listed as an ingredient in many pain-relieving creams.

As an anti-inflammatory agent, Habaneros can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, migraines, and other inflammation-based conditions. In one double-blind clinical trial conducted in 1991, patients suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) experienced a reduction in pain, stiffness, and inflammation after just two weeks of topical capsaicin treatment. [3]

If you have arthritis or regularly deal with inflammation and joint stiffness, adding Habaneros to your diet may be just what you need.

4. They Improve Your Respiratory System

We all know about the physical reactions to eating spicy foods – sweating, watery eyes, runny nose, and the opening of clogged sinuses. So it should be no surprise that consuming Habaneros would positively affect your respiratory system.

As a natural decongestant, Habaneros help clear out congested mucus membranes in the nose and lungs so you can breathe more easily. In some cases, just taking a whiff of capsaicin can help calm symptoms of rhinitis and other minor respiratory issues.

Capsaicin provides significant relief to people with allergies and can reduce asthma symptoms. Additionally, consuming hot peppers often causes you to sweat, which helps your body to eliminate harmful toxins.

5. They Provide Natural Pain Relief

It may seem counterintuitive, but according to doctors at Penn Medicine, swallowing a few drops of capsaicin-powered hot sauce may relieve a sore throat, similar to salt water, honey, and lemon. [4]

Hot peppers effectively minimize chronic and acute pain in more than just your throat. Capsaicin helps block pain signals to your brain and triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine, which help transmute pain into pleasure.

Eating Habaneros may be the best way to introduce the pain-relieving compound capsaicin into your body, but it’s not the only way. Head to your local drugstore, where you can find a selection of capsaicin patches and topicals for over-the-counter purchases.

6. They Help Maintain Heart Health

Habaneros are high in Vitamins C and A, which are essential for maintaining cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat Habaneros and other hot peppers have a lower risk of developing heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory properties. [5]

Hot peppers support a healthy circulatory system by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow. Eating a diet – even a high-cholesterol diet – may reduce LDL cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol) levels when supplemented with capsaicin. 

Even small amounts of Habaneros added to meals can provide a rich reserve of capsaicin antioxidants, regulating blood cholesterol levels and preventing plaque accumulation in the heart’s blood vessels.

How to Get Your Habanero Health Boost

Habaneros can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, and even powdered. Although eating raw Habanero peppers provides greater health benefits than cooked ones, you’ll also experience a more intense burning sensation. Hot peppers may lose some capsaicinoids during the cooking process, but research has shown that there is little to no loss during the drying process.

The most common way people consume Habaneros is by adding them to their food. They blend easily into a variety of dishes and sauces.

You can enjoy Habaneros in the following ways:

  • Cooked in main dishes 
  • Blended into soup, stew, or curry
  • Infused in spicy chili oils
  • Pickled (as a condiment)
  • Blended into smoothies
  • Baked into cornbread
  • Stuffed with meat or cheese

We suggest incorporating this beneficial pepper into two or three meals each week. Unless you’re a hothead, we recommend using a blender to thoroughly mix the pepper into your sauce or soup (with or without the seeds).

Habanero-Powered Drinks to Boost Immune System

One of the easiest ways to get your daily fix of Habaneros is to pick up a Pepper Bru™ Lemon (or two) every day. Our flagship drink is a uniquely perfect combination of spicy Habanero peppers, raw sweet local honey, tart lemons, and a kick of ginger.

Brewed like tea, Pepper Bru™ Lemon can be enjoyed warm or cold for a natural energy boost without the crash. However you choose to enjoy it, let Pepper Bru™ fuel the fire inside.

At Pepper Bru™, we carefully and intentionally consider what goes into our drinks, including where we source each ingredient. Whenever possible, we buy locally to support small businesses in our community.

How do you get your Habanero Health Boost? 
We’d love to hear from you. Please send us a message on Instagram @Pepper.Bru.