Paprika is a ground spice prepared from different pepper powders and has a sweet to spicy and sometimes smoky taste. The color of paprika spices varies from light orange to dark red. This delicious spice is trendy worldwide, especially in Hungary, Spain, and Mexico. What are the benefits and properties of paprika and its possible side effects? In what foods can paprika be used? Follow us to the end of the article to understand the answers to these questions.
Nutrients of paprika
Paprika is rich in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help strengthen teeth, bones, and muscle health. It is also a good source of vitamin K and iron. Most recipes do not use more than a teaspoon of paprika.
Properties of Paprika
Paprika is a red ground spice and a mixture of several types of peppers from the Capsicum annuum family. This spice may include sweet red bell peppers, hot chili peppers, cayenne peppers, poblano peppers, or tin peppers. Due to the different peppers in this spice, its spiciness is also distinct. However, most people consider paprika to be a smoked sweet spice. Because of its distinctive color, paprika is often seasoned with foods such as eggs or potato salads.
Paprika seems to have many health benefits, but these benefits depend on the type of pepper used. Paprika can contain various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. Still, if you use paprika as a seasoning, it certainly can not meet all the needs of your body.
Some claim that paprika has many uses, such as:
Treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis;
Improving the immune system;
Prevention of anemia;
Thickness, softness, and health of hair.
However, there is no solid scientific evidence to support this claim.
Paprika and the properties of capsaicin
Some of the claimed treatments for paprika are due to capsaicin in the spice. Capsaicin is a chemical that speeds up pepper. Of course, not all peppers contain capsaicin; for example, paprika made with red bell peppers does not contain capsaicin.
Various laboratory and animal studies show that capsaicin supplementation can help treat obesity. Another study shows that capsaicin with antioxidant effect is helpful for the treatment of non-alcoholic liver diseases. It is also said to treat many conditions, including:
High blood pressure;
Of course, this research has been done on capsaicin supplements, not on paprika. Little research has been done on the properties of paprika extract, not the spices available in the store. Therefore, it can not be said that paprika spice also has these benefits.
Paprika and reduce the risk of disease
Carotenoids are plant compounds that protect against certain diseases such as cancer or eye diseases. Carotenoids are found in brightly leafed plants, such as peppers found in paprika.
A small study showed that 12-week consumption of paprika could increase the plasma carotenoid dose in volunteers to an average level and have no side effects.
Paprika and maintain bone health.
The carotenoids in paprika help maintain the bone health of postmenopausal women. An experiment showed that 24-week consumption of paprika carotenoid extract maintains bone quality in postmenopausal women.
Paprika and get rid of pain and reduce inflammation
Capsaicin has an analgesic effect and is used to treat pain. Some topical painkillers contain capsaicin. It also reduces inflammation and protects the immune system.
Paprika and proper weight
Capsaicin in paprika has anti-obesity properties and suppresses appetite. This substance improves fat metabolism and especially the oxidation of abdominal fats. The inclusion of capsaicin in the diet reduces appetite and calorie intake.
Paprika and improve cholesterol
Capsaicin in paprika increases good blood fats (HDL), lowers lousy blood fats or fat (LDL), and prevents heart disease. Of course, more research is needed in this area.
Paprika and protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Using paprika in the diet can prevent sun damage to the skin.
Paprika and cancer prevention
Numerous studies have shown the anti-cancer effects of capsaicin. Adding paprika to your diet can prevent a wide range of cancers.
Paprika and blood sugar control
Capsaicin also affects blood sugar control genes and reduces insulin sensitivity.
Paprika and maintain blood health.
Paprika contains vitamin E and iron, essential for maintaining healthy blood.
Iron is part of the hemoglobin of blood cells that help carry oxygen around the body, and vitamin E is needed to build the components of these cells. Deficiency of these nutrients can lead to a decrease in blood cells and anemia, which are symptoms of fatigue, paleness, and shortness of breath.
There are three types of paprika that you can use depending on the kind of cook and taste:
Ordinary or essential paprika, sometimes also called sweet or traditional paprika. This paprika has slight spiciness and sweetness. This spice is usually made from chili peppers from California, Hungary, or South America. It is a spice commonly found in stores and used for eggs or potato salads.
Hungarian paprika, sometimes known as spicy paprika, has a sharper and sweeter taste and is one of the first-class paprika. This spice is used in traditional Hungarian dishes such as goulash.
Spanish paprika, also known as Pimenton or smoked paprika. The smoky taste of this spice is due to the pepper that dries on the fire. The sharpness of this type of paprika is from mild to very sharp.
If you want your food to have extra color and spiciness and a smoky state, sprinkle a little paprika on it. You can use paprika for meat, seafood or nuts, and other snacks.
Save the paprika like any other spice. You can put it in a cabinet away from light and heat or keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Ground paprika can be stored for 2 to 3 years but can affect its nutrients and taste for a long time.
Side effects of paprika
Using enough paprika is not harmful enough for cooking, but spices may cause an allergic or non-allergic reaction in some people. Some reports indicate that people are allergic to paprika, and some call paprika an allergen.
Of course, a distinction must be made between allergic and non-allergic reactions, as the former is life-threatening and the latter usually resolves without treatment. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itchy mouth or cough from inhalation, and symptoms of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing or an anaphylactic reaction. Consult your doctor if you know you are allergic to pepper or if you react after eating foods containing paprika.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best alternative to paprika?
The answer to this question depends on how you use it and your taste. If you are preparing spicy food, you can use red pepper or red pepper, and if you are looking for a smoky flavor, you can try Chipotle pepper powder.
- What is Paprika Oil?
It is a fragrant red oil that can be used as a condiment or cooking in some Hungarian dishes.