I've heard a variety of ideas on the benefits of jalapenos and a lot of them are debated. I think you'll have to determine what you believe because in studies you'll find that one study proves a benefit and then another will come along and disprove it. I've included two articles for you. The second article has a lot more information on the health benefit, but they're both worth reading. The second article discusses cardiovascular benefits, clearing congestion, boosting immunity, prevention of stomach ulcers, aid to weight loss & lowering the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Here is an article I found online that talks about the benefits in relation to cancer, specifically prostate cancer.
Eat your chili peppers. Habanero, jalapeno, Scotch bonnet - those hot but tasty varieties of the capsicum frutescens have multiple health benefits - including the ability to drive prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.
It's true that Yale University reported a close association between the hot pods and stomach cancer in Mexican workers who ate from 9 to 25 jalapenos a day. It is also true that this information has been disputed by other researchers who found that rates of stomach cancer declined in the United States, despite of fact consumption of salsa, chili and other hot foods actually had increased.
But a recent study found that increased concentration of capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot, caused more prostate cancer cells to freeze in a non-proliferative phase. Researchers concluded that capsaicin had a severe anti-proliferative action on human prostate cancer cells in culture. The cancer cells literally committed suicide. Capsaicin also generated an important deceleration of the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models.
In recent years hot peppers received positive opinions from many researchers for their antioxidant, or cancer-fighting, action. Anti-inflammatory properties in peppers have been tapped for treatment of migraines, arthritis and muscle pain. Capsaicin from hot peppers has also been found effective against leukemia.
Hot peppers are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, potassium and folic. They are low in calories and sodium and contain no carbohydrates. Their taste has spawned a lot of appreciation societies around the world, not to mention global competitions to determine the hottest variety on the planet.
Hot peppers also have been found to be an effective appetite suppressant and working to clear a stuffy head; they can aggravate existing heartburn but not cause it.
This second article is more in depth & covers a wide variety of benefits.
Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives peppers their characteristic pungence, producing mild to intense spice when eaten. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. The hottest varieties include habañero and Scotch bonnet peppers. Jalapeños are next in their heat and capsaicin content, followed by the milder varieties, including Spanish pimentos, and Anaheim and Hungarian cherry peppers.
Capsaicin is being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fiber disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. When animals injected with a substance that causes inflammatory arthritis were fed a diet that contained capsaicin, they had delayed onset of arthritis, and also significantly reduced paw inflammation.
Natural Pain Relief
Topical capsaicin is now a recognized treatment option for osteoarthritis pain. Several review studies of pain management for diabetic neuropathy have listed the benefits of topical capsaicin to alleviate disabling pain associated with this condition.
In a double-blind placebo controlled trial, nearly 200 patients with psoriasis were given topical preparations containing either capsaicin or placebo. Patients who were given capsaicin reported significant improvement based on a severity score which traced symptoms associated with psoriasis. The side effect reported with topical capsaicin cream is a burning sensation at the area of application.
Red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body's ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots. Cultures where hot pepper is used liberally have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
Spicing your meals with chili peppers may also protect the fats in your blood from damage by free radicals—a first step in the development of atherosclerosis. In a randomized, crossover study involving 27 healthy subjects (14 women, 13 men), eating freshly chopped chili was found to increase the resistance of
First online article: