Most people who enjoy red-hot chili peppers have been told not to worry about the cancer-causing agent capsaicin as researchers have suggested that there are lots of health benefits.
Though capsaicin has been linked to stomach cancer, recent findings say one compound in ginger appears to neutralize all negative health effects of the chili pepper ingredient.
According to a report from Beijing Bulletin, “if both are used together, the two compounds might actually inhibit cancer growth”.
Researchers at Pharmacy College of Henan University in China conducted a study with mice prone to lung cancer. Over the course of several weeks, they fed the mice either capsaicin or 6-gingerol or both.
All of the mice that only received capsaicin developed lung tumors, while half of the mice that received the ginger ingredient did. But only 20 percent of the rodents in the group given both ingredients developed lung cancer.
The Chinese researchers have found that the ginger compound, 6-gingergol, appears to counteract the negative effect of capsaicin by binding to the same cellular receptor that promotes tumor growth.
The study was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
While ginger and chili may have cancer-kicking abilities together, on their own, the two spices are also impressively powerful. For example, ginger contains chromium, magnesium, and zinc, which help to maintain healthy and normal blood flow.
In addition, The American Pregnancy Association recommends consuming ginger in different forms, such as tea or in jam, to help curb morning nausea brought on by pregnancy, and Columbia University researchers say that ginger, paired with bronchodilating medications, maybe help to relax the smooth muscle surrounding airways.
As for chili, capsaicin, the same compound that gives chili peppers their hot flavor, also inhibits a brain pain transmitter which can help to reduce headaches and prevent inflammation.
In addition, Chili pepper contains 108 percent of the vitamin C daily requirements per tablespoon, which can help to improve the immune system.
All said, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you add a little ginger to that spicy dish with chili peppers when next you cook.