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High Heat: Cayenne Peppers Bring Antioxidants

by Cheryl Forberg, RD on May 19, 2011

For those of you who like lots of heat in your food, toss a bit of cayenne pepper into your recipe! This spice ads heat and flavor, is high in vitamin A, and has an ORAC score of 358 per tsp. to boot!

Dried cayenne is a versatile spice that can be counted on to wake up your mouth but does not generally impart a searing heat. You’ll often find the whole version in Sichuan dishes (popping a whole one in your mouth will likely have you reaching for the water glass, though). But on the scale of Scoville Heat Units, cayenne comes in between 30,000-50,000, which puts it somewhere above a jalapeño, but well below the flame-inducing habanero.

"Sorry, Ben!"

And here’s a random household use you might not have heard of: Is your dog digging up patches in your garden or yard? Sprinkle some cayenne in the dirt sround areas in which he likes to dig. Most dogs hate the spicy taste and this deters them from digging!