Antioxidant Boost from Hot Pepper Spices?

Web sites and food/nutrition blogs claim that cooking with cayenne and other hot pepper spices will give an “antioxidant boost.” 

 

Well... only if you like it REALLY hot. Let’s take cayenne (dried red pepper powder) and look at the numbers. One teaspoon provides only 1.4 mg vitamin C. This means you would need to consume about 43 tsp. in order to get just 10% of your daily value for vitamin C (the minimum amount for use of a nutrition claim). Ouch! Beta carotene is higher, but still you would need to eat at least 3/4 tsp. of cayenne to get 10% of DV. Most recipes use no more than 1/4 tsp. for a whole recipe that serves 4+ people. Stick with fresh peppers (and other veggies) in normal quantities, raw or lightly cooked, to get way more antioxidants with a lot less pain. Spices provide flavor... not much nutrition.

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