Paprika Powder - Usage & Health Benefits
‘Hot’ and ‘Spicy’ are the words to describe Paprika Powder which is made from grinding the fruits of bell pepper or chili pepper (Capsicum annuum). The flavor of the spice ranges from mild to hot, and varies from country to country. It is mostly used as a seasoning. Let us learn a little more about the uses and benefits of this unique spice in the following sections.
Uses of Paprika Powder
The uses of paprika powder are in food and alternative medicine practice. To use this spice to its full potential, it is vital that it is purchased in small quantities and kept in airtight containers away from sunlight, as it deteriorates quickly.
1. Food Industry
Commercially food manufacturers use the spice to flavor cheeses, cheese spreads, processed meats, tomato sauces, biscuits, baked products, chili powders and soups. It is used as a colorant. Any ready to eat or convenience food colored red, orange or reddish brown with the label claiming ‘Natural Color’, it is paprika. Paprika is also uses as an emulsifier, bonding with oil and vinegar to create a range of salad dressings.
The spice is intimately associated all across the world with almost all cuisines, especially Hungarian and Mediterranean food. This warm and pungent spice is used to naturally flavor and color marinades, eggs, mat, fish , poultry, hors d’ouvres, smoked foods, casseroles, curries, gravies, sauces, alcoholic beverages, rices, stews, goulash, vegetables, etc. It is also used as garnish.
Paprika powder is a rich source of Vitamin C, beta carotene, flavanoids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. ‘Capsaicin’ is the active principle in this chili powder making it a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory agent. It is also a stimulant and aids in digestion. It also contains minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus that boost health by purifying blood.
Paprika powder has been said to be used to color grey hair to a tinge of light red color in certain parts of the world.
Health Benefits of Paprika Powder
Paprika powder contains highly beneficial medicinal components that have abundant therapeutic benefits.
- Prevents cancer owing to antioxidant properties
- Boosts the immune system
- Promotes blood circulation and lowering of blood pressure
- Acts as a stimulant and energizer – Elevates mood and relieves tiredness, lethargy, and depression
- Prevents and cures minor respiratory ailments like cold, flu, and congestion
- Increase appetite and promotes digestion by normalizing acid in stomach
- Helps cure stomach ulcers
- Thermogenic in nature – helps promote weight loss
- Treats scurvy
- Protects against cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke
- Promising antibiotic
- Analgesic (pain reliever) and antibiotic
Paprika has shown promise in curing and containing a wide array of health problems, but it is also known to cause allergic reactions among certain individuals. The article Paprika Allergy would help recognize the symptoms and cure the allergy.
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