If you were to ask someone who watches cooking shows which were hotter, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, they’d probably tell you that there’s no comparison. But of course, there is. Red pepper powder and cayenne pepper are perennial companions, from the thick, tasty hot fries at your favorite fast food joint to your homemade salsa. But do you know which one is hotter?
Cayenne pepper is generally considered hotter than red pepper flakes, but there are a few things to consider when comparing the two. First of all, they’re different species of peppers. Cayenne peppers are Capsicum annuum, while red bell peppers (and most other bell peppers) are also Capsicum annuum.
About Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes are small, dried pieces of red chile peppers. They’re made from a variety of hot peppers, including cayenne, jalapeno, and serranos.
Red pepper flakes are used in many cuisines around the world, including Mexican, Indian and Thai cooking. Red pepper flakes can be added to sauces, soups, stews, and other dishes to add heat without overwhelming your dish with an overpowering flavor.
Use them sparingly for the best results. In addition to adding heat, red pepper flakes also add color to your food. You can use them on top of pizza or pasta dishes for a splash of color that doesn’t mask the flavor of the dish underneath.
They are available in a variety of grades and sizes. The smaller the flake, the hotter it is. The larger flakes have a milder flavor and fewer seeds than the smaller ones.
Red pepper flakes are not to be confused with crushed red pepper which is simply ground into a fine powder. Crushed red peppers differ in color from their whole counterparts because they have been ground so finely that they lose their bright red hue. Red peppers can be found growing in warm climates around the world including Africa, India, and South America.
About Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a spice that comes from dried and ground chili peppers. It’s often used in cooking, as it adds heat and flavor to recipes. Cayenne pepper is a member of the Capsicum family, which includes bell peppers and jalapenos. The red pepper has an extremely hot taste, causing it to be used as both a spice and a medicinal herb.
It has a similar flavor to paprika and is used in cooking both as a seasoning and as an ingredient in its own right. Cayenne pepper is made by drying and grinding the fruit of the Capsicum annuum or Capsicum frutescens plants. The spiciness of cayenne pepper comes from a compound called capsaicin, which irritates nerve endings in your mouth, making it feel hot and spicy.
Health Benefits of Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes are made from dried and crushed red chili peppers. They are usually used to add a spicy flavor to food, but they also have health benefits. The health benefits of red pepper flakes include:
1. Vitamin C
Red peppers are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps defend your body against free radicals. These compounds can damage cells and increase your risk for disease. Vitamin C also supports immune system function by helping create antibodies that fight infection. Your body doesn’t produce its supply of vitamin C, you need to get it from food sources like red peppers or take an oral supplement.
Fiber is important because it helps maintain digestive health by moving food through your intestines more quickly than if it weren’t present at all. Fiber also provides bulk for a waste matter so it can pass through easily without becoming constipated or causing other problems associated with constipation.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal immune response that occurs when your body detects something harmful and attempts to remove it from the body. However, inflammation can also occur when there is no real threat to your health. This chronic type of inflammation can damage cells and tissues, causing pain and discomfort.
Red pepper flakes are rich in vitamin C, which helps reduce inflammation throughout the body by boosting your immune system. They also contain antioxidants called quercetin and kaempferol, which further reduce inflammation by preventing white blood cells from releasing pro-inflammatory cytokines.
4. Helps reduce weight
Red pepper flakes can also be used to help you lose weight. They contain capsaicin, an active ingredient that has been shown to increase metabolism and decrease appetite. The bright red color comes from lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
5. Helps Relieve Symptoms of Cold
Red pepper flakes contain capsaicinoids that have been shown to help relieve cold symptoms such as sneezing and congestion. If you have a cold, try sprinkling red pepper flakes on your food for extra flavor while also helping relieve your symptoms at the same time.
Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne has many health benefits including:
1. Reduces blood pressure
This can help prevent heart disease and strokes by improving circulation through dilating blood vessels so there is less resistance to blood flow. It also helps clear out clots that may cause heart attacks or strokes by thinning the blood and making platelets less sticky so they don’t form clots easily.
2. Improves digestion
It improves digestion by stimulating gastric juices which promotes healthy stomach lining function. It also improves bowel movements by increasing peristalsis (muscle contractions), which helps move food through the digestive tract more efficiently.
3. Aids Weight Loss
Although there are no studies on cayenne pepper specifically for weight loss purposes, there have been studies done on capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper that gives it its fiery kick.
Capsaicin has been shown to aid in weight loss by increasing your energy expenditure through thermogenesis (burning calories). Capsaicin also increases insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation (oxidizing fat), which helps you burn more calories instead of storing them as body fat.
4. Helps protect against ulcers
Capsicum can also help protect against ulcers by preventing stomach acid from damaging cells lining the stomach wall and intestines.
Can I Substitute Cayenne Pepper for Ground Red Pepper?
Yes, you can substitute cayenne pepper for ground red pepper. The difference between the two is that ground red pepper has been dried and ground into a powder while cayenne pepper is made by grinding up the dried fruit of a type of chili pepper called Capsicum annuum.
Cayenne peppers are much hotter than other types of chili peppers, but they have subtle flavor notes that aren’t present in ground red pepper.
You can use them interchangeably in recipes, but be aware that if you substitute cayenne for ground red pepper directly, it will make your dish spicier and less flavorful.
The easiest way to substitute cayenne for ground red pepper is by adding it at the end of cooking time so that its spiciness doesn’t overpower other flavors.
In the end, once you know your tolerance and preferences, you can decide which type is right for you.