A spice produced by grinding the fruits of the family of capsicum annuum plants which include red pepper/chili pepper and bell pepper. This seasoning is used in many dishes to enhance their flavor, as well as to give them a fiery red to orange color. The paprika flavor can go from mildly sweet to very spicy.
Paprika originated in South America but has since been naturalized to certain European regions, notably those in Hungary and Spain. In fact, the trademark spiciness in many Hungarian dishes is due to their extensive use of paprika.
Paprika is said to be extraordinarily high in vitamin C and is thought to contain up to nine times as much vitamin C as a tomato. The sun-dried, organic paprika has higher vitamin C content versus the processed ones.
Aside from Vitamin C, paprika is also said to be rich in carotenids which are red and yellow pigments found in vegetables and herbs that impart health benefits.
Paprika’s spiciness is due to its content of capsaicin, which is a pungent, crystalline compound. It has anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful in medicine as a topical analgesic.
But while paprika abundantly contains these healthy constituents, it is not particularly known for its medicinal benefits as a stand-alone spice as much as, say, garlic. However, it does contribute to an overall healthy diet when used as a seasoning in dishes.
The following are the paprika benefits that may be derived from consuming this herb:
Paprika shows promise in helping regulate blood pressure.
Paprika may help improve blood circulation.
Paprika may help assist digestion by normalizing acid in the stomach.
Paprika shows promise as an antibiotic.
Paprika has anti-inflammatory properties.