9 Health Capsicum Benefits & Uses

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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The health benefits of capsicum include relief from stomach issues, back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, skin aging, peptic ulcers, menopausal problems, lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes management. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and may also provide relief from pain related to arthritis.

What is Capsicum?

An ancestral spice, capsicum (peppers) is a diverse and pungent edible fruit from any of the varieties within the Capsicum genus. There is much interest around the world in knowing more about the medicinal benefits of this natural plant food and culinary spice! Many people are familiar with the use of chili peppers in the preparation of spicy meals. What is it that makes the chili pepper spicy, though? the answer is – capsaicin, a water-insoluble derivative of homovanillic acid and also the major active ingredient in capsicum is responsible for the hot and burning sensation to the tongue.

With the varieties of chili peppers available, it is important to know that the capsaicin content of each type of chili pepper varies. This natural fruit may be used fresh or dried as a culinary spice, added to teas or taken in capsules to reap its medicinal benefits.

Watch Video: 8 Health Benefits Of Capsicum

8 Health Benefits Of Capsicum | Organic Facts

Nutrition Facts

Peppers, hot chili, green, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]87.74
Energy [kcal]40
Energy [kJ]167
Protein [g]2
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.2
Ash [g]0.6
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.46
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.5
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]5.1
Calcium, Ca [mg]18
Iron, Fe [mg]1.2
Magnesium, Mg [mg]25
Phosphorus, P [mg]46
Potassium, K [mg]340
Sodium, Na [mg]7
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.3
Copper, Cu [mg]0.17
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.24
Selenium, Se [µg]0.5
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]242.5
Thiamin [mg]0.09
Riboflavin [mg]0.09
Niacin [mg]0.95
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.06
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.28
Folate, total [µg]23
Folate, food [µg]23
Folate, DFE [µg]23
Choline, total [mg]11.1
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]59
Carotene, beta [µg]671
Carotene, alpha [µg]23
Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]50
Vitamin A, IU [IU]1179
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]725
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.69
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]14.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.02
14:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.02
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
18:1 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.11
18:2 [g]0.1
18:3 [g]0.01
Tryptophan [g]0.03
Threonine [g]0.07
Isoleucine [g]0.07
Leucine [g]0.11
Lysine [g]0.09
Methionine [g]0.02
Cystine [g]0.04
Phenylalanine [g]0.06
Tyrosine [g]0.04
Valine [g]0.08
Arginine [g]0.1
Histidine [g]0.04
Alanine [g]0.08
Aspartic acid [g]0.29
Glutamic acid [g]0.26
Glycine [g]0.07
Proline [g]0.09
Serine [g]0.08
Sources include : USDA


Capsicum comes in dried form, as a spice as chili pepper and paprika. The dried spice is used in many sauces or can be added to beverages, such as tea. The dried variety is available as whole dried peppers, as a single spice or in dried spice blends.

With capsicum chili’s ready availability in many markets, it should be considered that though the dried spice is convenient and effective in its health benefits, eating it fresh provides more benefits.

Additionally, capsicum fruits as a food additive in traditional medicine have been used for the treatment of cough, toothache, sore throat, parasitic infections, and wound healing.

Capsicum Nutrition Facts

Using whole chili peppers from the Capsicum genus provides nutritional value, including high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. These vitamins are best obtained from the fresh fruit. Capsicum chili harvested when red rather than orange or yellow have higher concentrations of these beneficial nutrients. Other beneficial bioactive components of the chili are the content of flavonoids. Alkaloids and tannins are some of the other important bioactive compounds contained in it. Alkaloids work as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant agents.

Health Benefits of Capsicum

Adding capsicum to your daily diet may provide health benefits against many ailments. Let us look at the benefits in detail.

Anti-inflammatory Agent

The phytochemical constituents of capsicum are shown to produce an anti-inflammatory response. Another example of peripheral neurogenic inflammation is a cutaneous pain of the skin. Its creams and balms are often massaged topically onto the skin with care taken to avoid open areas and mucous membranes. The burning effect of this vegetable is felt when applied to the skin, which is caused by an inflammatory response of the peripheral nerve endings.

Different types of bell peppers and capsicum on a wooden table

Add colorful bell peppers to your salads. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Forms Mucilage

Capsicum contains tannins. Tannins are astringent and are often considered for their benefits when treating gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, dysentery, and other microbial disorders. Gastric mucilage acts to protect the gastric lining and prevent related diseases. Studies suggest that it acts as a mucilage by increasing the production of gastric mucus and can help treat peptic ulcer disease.

Anticancer Potential

A research study published in Anticancer Research 2016 stated that capsaicin, an active component of capsicum, has shown to change the genetic expression related to cancer cell survival, growth arrest, and metastasis. This could be promising for forthcoming cancer research. More studies, especially involving human testing, is required to confirm the effectiveness and anti-cancer potential.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Studies on flavonoids have suggested that may be beneficial towards preventing coronary heart disease. However, more research is still needed on this topic, but initial findings are promising.

Antioxidant Agent

Many of the bioactive compounds of capsicum provide antioxidant effects. Improved vasodilatation allows for these antioxidant phytochemicals to circulate throughout the body. This allows it to protect and repair tissues and DNA damage.

Diabetes Management

Capsicum, like other chilies, is a source of capsaicin. It is known to have a positive effect on obesity and diabetes. A 2017 animal study showed some antidiabetic properties obtained from this plant, however, more than one component of this vegetable could have been the cause of the lower glucose levels in cases of type 1 diabetes. Another study also recommends the screening of capsicum as a part of the dietary management of type 2 diabetes and associated comorbidities.

Boosts Immunity

Capsicum contains vitamin C, which is valued as immune-supportive bioactive phytochemicals. It helps in strengthening the immune system, repairing damaged tissues, and lowering the risk of oxidative stress.

Skin Care

Vitamins in the capsicum chili pepper are shown to have an antioxidant effect on cell tissues, which may improve skin health and prevent aging. As mentioned, be sure to avoid contact with eyes or other exposed mucous membranes.

Relieves Menopausal Symptoms

It is thought in folk medicine that menopausal symptoms may be relieved by the consumption of flavonoid-containing fruits such as capsicum chili. While there isn’t much research surrounding this, it anecdotally works for some women.

Word of caution: It is beneficial to avoid touching the eyes or bodily mucous membranes during the preparation of peppers. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after preparation to avoid transferring volatile oils containing capsicum to these sensitive areas.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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