Paprika is a ground spice made from dried varieties of peppers. It ranges from sweet to hot in intensity, and some varieties of paprika have a smoky flavor. Most are mild. The color of paprika can also vary from bright orange to deep red. Paprika is used in various cuisines around the world, including Hungarian, Spanish, and Mexican cuisines.
Paprika can be found in the spice aisle of most supermarkets and grocery stores.
Paprika contains capsaicin, a compound found in peppers that has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits. For example, it has antioxidant properties, can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, improve immunity, and even alleviate gas.
In addition, paprika can provide other health benefits like:
Capsaicin has been shown to have analgesic effects, and it is used therapeutically for pain management. Some topical pain treatments include capsaicin as an ingredient.
The capsaicin in paprika may have anti-obesity and appetite-suppressing properties. Studies have shown that it improves fat metabolism, especially the oxidation of abdominal fat. Capsaicin may also reduce appetite and caloric intake when incorporated as part of a healthy diet.
Other compounds in paprika called xanthophylls also show the ability to reduce abdominal fat and BMI.
Incorporating paprika into your diet may help protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, dietary paprika xanthophylls suppressed UV-induced skin damage.
Several studies point to the anti-cancer effects of capsaicin. Incorporating capsaicin-containing paprika into your diet may provide protection against a wide variety of cancers.
Paprika is also a good source of:
Nutrients per Serving
A 1 tsp serving of paprika (the amount typically used to flavor dishes) contains:
- Calories: 6.49
- Protein: 0.325 gram
- Fat: 0.296 gram
- Carbohydrates: 1.24 grams
- Fiber: 0.803 gram
- Sugar: 0.238 gram
Since paprika is a spice used to flavor dishes, the portion sizes for paprika are small compared to other foods. Most recipes will call for about a teaspoon.
How to Prepare Paprika
You can find paprika in hot, sweet, and smoked varieties. It adds piquancy and a vibrant color to dishes.
Paprika is often used in barbecue sauces and meat marinades. It is a common ingredient in traditional recipes like goulash, chicken paprikash, and paella.
Here are some ways to use paprika in recipes:
- Sprinkle on roasted potatoes
- Season grilled chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper
- Stir into hummus
- Combine with other spices in a dry rub blend for grilling meat
- Add to batter for frying chicken
- Use as a garnish for deviled eggs