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Want to Lower Your Blood Pressure?

If lowering your blood pressure is important to you, try adding spice to your food! Find out which spice has been shown to help, and learn about other health benefits it offers. 

If you enjoy spicy foods, eat up - you may be helping your blood pressure. Capsaicin, the compound that adds the spicy zing to hot peppers, appears to help lower blood pressure. Animal research suggests that long-term consumption of capsaicin helps relax blood vessels by increasing production of nitric oxide, a molecule known to protect blood vessels against inflammation and dysfunction (the primary function of nitric oxide is really vasodilation, or relaxation). While follow-up studies will be needed to see whether capsaicin works as well on blood pressure in humans, other studies indicate that capsaicin may enhance the metabolism of fat, and help inhibit inflammation. Even if you don't like spicy food, capsaicin has something to offer - a topical application can help minimize symptoms of shingles, eczema and arthritic aches.