Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is one of the hottest spices used in the kitchen. Along with its spicy flavor, it also has a slightly bitter taste.
66/14/20  LA12:1ALA

Cayenne pepper refers to both a small perennial shrub and the fruit from which we obtain this widely used spice. Cayenne pepper has its origin in Latin America, where it has been grown for thousands of years.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “The cayenne pepper, also known as the Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, red hot chili pepper, aleva, bird pepper, or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper, is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum, which is related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika, and others. The Capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). It is a hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes and named for the city of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana.

The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name.

Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Korean, Sichuan, and other Asian cuisine), or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. It is also used as an herbal supplement, and was mentioned by Nicholas Culpeper in his Complete Herbal, 1653, as "guinea pepper", a misnomer for "guiana pepper.”


Cayenne pepper, by weight, is high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, and manganese. However, given the very small amount of cayenne pepper typically consumed in a serving, it makes a negligible contribution to overall dietary intake of these nutrients.

Medical aspects: Cayenne pepper consumption dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin. With the consumption of cayenne peppers, the amount of heat the human body puts off is influenced. In animal studies, capsaicin has the ability to boost metabolism, which in turn causes weight loss. This increases circulation and blood flow to all major organs, facilitating oxygen and nutrient delivery. Capsaicin may support a healthy energy balance while suppressing appetite. Capsaicin has been shown to increase energy expenditure, so acts as a metabolism booster and is beneficial in long-term weight loss. A correlation has been shown between substrate oxidation and capsaicin. Capsaicin treatment sustained fat oxidation during weight maintenance, but did not affect weight regain after modest weight loss.

Cayenne pepper is also claimed to be an aphrodisiac because it contains capsaicin. It has also been shown to aid in the oxidation of adipose tissue, regulate high blood pressure, promote healthy liver function and tissue production, help regulate the digestive system, and promote healthy mucus production in the membranes that line internal organs.”

Culinary uses:

“Cayenne is a popular spice in a variety of cuisines. It is employed variously in its fresh form, dried and powdered, and as dried flakes. It is also a key ingredient in a variety of hot sauces, particularly those employing vinegar as a preservative. Cayenne pepper is often spread on sandwiches or similar items to add a spicy flavor.

Beverage foods are emerging with cayenne extract as an active ingredient.


“Most cultivated varieties of cayenne, Capsicum annuum, can be grown in a variety of locations including tropical and temperate zones and need around 100 days to mature. Peppers prefer warm, moist, nutrient-rich soil in a warm climate. The plants grow to about 0.5–1 m (20–39 in) in height and should be spaced 1 m (3 ft) apart. In gardens, the plants may be planted as close as 30 cm (1 ft) apart in a raised bed, or simply grown in large pots. This may reduce the yield of an individual plant, but will increase yields per unit area.

Chilis are mostly perennial in subtropical and tropical regions; however, they are usually grown as annuals in temperate climates. They can be overwintered if protected from frost, and require some pruning.”

Nutritional Information per 100g 2000 kCal
Energy 318 kcal15.9%
Fat/Lipids 17 g24.7%
Saturated Fats 3.3 g16.3%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber) 57 g21.0%
Sugars 10 g11.5%
Fiber 27 g108.8%
Protein (albumin) 12 g24.0%
Cooking Salt (Na:30.0 mg)76 mg3.2%
Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Protein (albumin)
Cooking Salt

Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal
VitVitamin A, as RAE 2'081 µg260.0%
VitVitamin E, as a-TEs 30 mg249.0%
VitVitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 2.4 mg175.0%
VitVitamin K 80 µg107.0%
ElemPotassium, K 2'014 mg101.0%
MinManganese, Mn 2 mg100.0%
VitVitamin C (ascorbic acid) 76 mg96.0%
FatLinoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 7.7 g77.0%
VitRiboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.92 mg66.0%
MinIron, Fe 7.8 mg56.0%

Detailed Nutritional Information per 100g for this Ingredient

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids, (SC-PUFA) 2000 kCal
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 7.7 g77.0%
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0.66 g33.0%

Essential amino acids 2000 kCal

Vitamins 2000 kCal
Vitamin A, as RAE 2'081 µg260.0%
Vitamin E, as a-TEs 30 mg249.0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 2.4 mg175.0%
Vitamin K 80 µg107.0%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 76 mg96.0%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.92 mg66.0%
Niacin (née vitamin B3) 8.7 mg54.0%
Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 106 µg53.0%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.33 mg30.0%
Vitamin D 0 µg< 0.1%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) 2000 kCal
Potassium, K 2'014 mg101.0%
Phosphorus, P 293 mg42.0%
Magnesium, Mg 152 mg41.0%
Calcium, Ca 148 mg19.0%
Sodium, Na 30 mg4.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) 2000 kCal
Manganese, Mn 2 mg100.0%
Iron, Fe 7.8 mg56.0%
Copper, Cu 0.37 mg37.0%
Zinc, Zn 2.5 mg25.0%
Selenium, Se 8.8 µg16.0%