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Paprika Spice - Health And Nutritional Benefits

Updated on September 11, 2015
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a major in Botany and Chemistry. Has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years of his career, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Paprika

Paprika is a deep orange red colored spice made by drying and grinding fine a variety of peppers of the plant Capsicum annum, like the bell peppers and chilli or red peppers.

Paprika is mainly used to add flavor and color to foods in many countries of the world but it was primarily associated with the cuisines of Hungary, Serbia, Spain and Portugal.

Paprika is the national spice of Hungary. In Spanish paprika is called pimenton.


Smoked Paprika Powder

smoked paprika powder
smoked paprika powder | Source

Varieties of Capsicum annum Fruits

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sweet pepper variety used to make paprikaMore pepper varieties used to make paprika
Sweet pepper variety used to make paprika
Sweet pepper variety used to make paprika | Source
More pepper varieties used to make paprika
More pepper varieties used to make paprika | Source

Uses Of Paprika

Paprika is mainly used as a spice to color and season various dishes like soups, stews, rice etc; also used as a spice in meats and to garnish foods.

It is also used along with henna powder to add a reddish tint to hair when coloring it.


Nutrients in Paprika

  • Paprika made from chilli peppers is extremely high in Vitamin C content and contains from 6 to 9 times more vitamin C than in tomatoes.
  • The paprika made from bell peppers is extremely rich in Vitamin A.
  • Contains a variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals.
  • Contains many vitamins like B complex, E and K in addition to A & C.
  • Contains a wide variety of minerals.
  • Is a rich source of carotenoid pigments.
  • Contains the compound Capsaicin, which has many health benefits.


Varieties Of Paprika

Paprika flavors and taste can range from mild to hot. There are various varieties of paprika like the regular or plain paprika and this is the most often found variety that is sold.

Paprika may be of Hungarian, Californian or South American origin and it may also be mixed with cayenne pepper. This variety is neither sweet not hot.

Hungarian Paprika :

It is made from peppers which are sorted, toasted and blended to produce different varieties of paprika. Though they are mild to deep red and have sweet flavor, the degree of hotness or pungency varies.

There are 8 grades or varieties of Hungarian paprika.

  • Kulonleges-the mildest and very sweet deep bright red colored variety.
  • Csiposmentes csemege-the mild and rich flavored variety.
  • Csemege paprika-similar to the above but more pungent.
  • Csipos csemege- again similar to the above but even more pungent and hot.
  • Edesnemes-the bright red colored and slightly pungent variety.
  • Feledes-the mild flavored and medium pungent.
  • Rozsa-the pale red colored, mildly pungent variety having a strong aroma.
  • Eros-the strongest and the spiciest of all with a light brown color.

The commonly marketed paprika variety, the Hungarian sweet paprika is the edesnemes variety that is sweet, bright red and slightly pungent.

The Spanish Paprika or Pimenton :

The Spanish paprika is less intense than the Hungarian paprika and ranges from dulce, to agridulce, to picante which means from being mildly hot and sweet to medium hot and bittersweet to really hot and pungent.

These varieties are a result of the different types of peppers used and whether they are used with or without its seeds.

The smoked paprika called pimenton de La Vera is created by drying chillies over wood fires and this variety imparts a deep woody flavor to foods.

In normal routine, the Hungarian sweet paprika is mostly used.

Paprika when stored in an airtight container and protected from heat and light stays good for as long as 2 years. Replace it if it looks dull and faded or the aroma and taste has altered.

Nutrients In Paprika

 
Nutrition Facts, Paprika
 
 
Amount Per 1 tbsp (7 g)
 
 
 
 
Nutrient
Amount
% Daily Value*
 
19
 
Calories
19
 
Total fat
0.9 gms
1%
Saturated fat
0.1 gms
0%
Polyunsaturated fat
0.5 gms
 
Monounsaturated fat
0.1 gms
 
Trans fat
0 gms
 
Cholesterol
0 mg
 
Sodium
5 mg
0%
Potassium
155 mg
4%
Total Carbohydrate
3.7 gms
1%
Dietary fiber
2.4 gms
9%
Sugar
0.7 gms
 
Protein
1 gm
2%
Vitamin A
 
66%
VitaminB1
 
1%
Vitamin B2
 
5%
Niacin
 
3%
Panthothenic Acid
 
2%
Vitamin B6
 
5%
Vitamin B12
 
0%
Folate
 
1%
Vitamin C
 
0%
Vitamin E
 
10%
Vitamin K
 
7%
Calcium
 
1%
Iron
 
7%
Magnesium
 
3%
Phosphorus
 
2%
Potassium
 
3%
Zinc
 
2%
Copper
 
2%
Manganese
 
5%
Selenium
 
1%
Source : USDA

Paprika Vendor

Paprika vendor in Budapest, Hungary
Paprika vendor in Budapest, Hungary | Source

Health Benefits Of Paprika

  • The vitamin C content is helpful in boosting body immunity thereby fending off colds, preventing scurvy, increasing the absorption of iron and protecting against cardiovascular disease.
  • The protein in paprika is an antibacterial that prevents growth of commonly found bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella.
  • Paprika has stimulating properties, improves circulation, normalises blood pressure.
  • It boosts saliva and stomach acid production thereby ensuring better digestion of food.
  • Paprika has anti inflammatory and analgesic properties and therefore is beneficial in reducing joint pains and arthritis.
  • The carotenoids like beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthin help to maintain vision and prevent age related eye disorders like macular degeneration and cataract.
  • The antioxidants and carotenoids check free radical damage and reduce cancer risk.
  • Capsaicin also lowers blood cholesterol levels, regulates blood sugar and controls pain.


Some Important Points

To get the full benefits of the various nutrients in paprika it should not be exposed to high heat during processing as this causes loss of most of the nutrients.

Sun dried paprika is the best or you can make your own to be assured of its full nutritional value and health benefits.


Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Chicken Paprika

How To Cook Chicken Paprika

Cooking Hungarian Paprikash

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome paprika I use daily and is such a great spice for its benefits. You enlighten us with many useful and interesting spices.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi rajan. Hey, another spice that I am familiar with. Great job explaining the varieties and benefits of paprika. Even though we've been using paprika forever I guess I never knew where it came from. I did not know that it is dried and ground peppers? Excellent hub. Voted up, shared and pinned.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I actually have an unopened bottle of paprika. I bought it when I realized I didn't have it in my spice collection, and a few recipes called for it. I need to revisit those recipes, and try some out.

      I didn't realize there were multiple varieties. Fascinating.

      Thank you for sharing this information with us. I hope you have a fantastic day.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We usually have the Hungarian paprika in our pantry. I had no idea that there were so many kinds! After reading this hub, I am going to use it more often. Very informative hub as I have come to expect from you. UUI votes, pinning and tweeting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course we use it but honestly I knew nothing about it. Once again you have filled in gaps in my education and I thank you for it.

      Have a wonderful evening and remainder of the week.

      bill

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Rajan!

      I try to read your hubs in the morning so I'm not salivating like a hungry puppy while oohing over your delicious recipe videos. Another great read, my friend, full of information about a spice I've certainly used a great deal of and taken for granted. I had no idea it was comprised of several different kinds of peppers. Very interesting! Thank you for yet another delightful article! Aloha, my friend!

      Joe

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I have recently discovered the value of this spice, having previously dismissed it as merely a decorative color for deviled eggs (I know, I know!). Now it is the secret ingredient in several of my best recipes. Who knew? I bet you did, Rajan! Nice presentation of its benefits, varieties, and uses.

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 3 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Voted up, useful and interesting!

      It is undoubtedly an informative article. Loved it and recipes are awesome! Sharing and pinning!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Absolutely love paprika. Thanks for this informative hub about some of the benefits which I didn't know about paprika. Passing this on.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Interesting and informative hub, rajan. While I use quite often paprika in my cooking, I had no idea about being so closely associated with Hungary. I'm glad to hear that besides adding a great flavor to a food it also has many health benefits!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      And I thought Papriki was only used on top of my deviled eggs! I would never have thought of actually cooking with it. I never knew how Papriki was made, either. I learned a lot from this informative Hub.

      Voted UP and shared.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      What an interesting article! I had no idea so many varieties existed or that is was the national dish of Hungary. I have used it but my knowledge has just been increased greatly for further ideas! Thanks so much for another great informative piece, you never fail to deliver! Voted up, useful, interesting, awesome and shared!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I use paprika a lot and glad to know all the benefits..Like the smokey type best. Great job as always.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I don't have any paprika on my spice shelf. I'm putting it on my shopping list for tomorrow. Thanks for the wonderful information.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I just happen to have some paprika on-hand and your hub reminds me to try it on some chicken I'm cooking tonight. Thanks for the tip, rajan. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • larakern profile image

      larakern 3 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, great hub with a lot of information that I didn't know! I love paprika on my eggs but I never knew that it had vitamin c. Great job! Voted up.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 3 years ago from Thailand

      Wow, this really has a lot of benefits. Something I will have to look into when I am back in Thailand, as fresh paprika is in many areas. I also like that you have included recipe videos at the end ... a nice touch!

      Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and useful.

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @Devika-thanks and glad to know you use it regularly.

      @Bill-thanks for the read, votes and shares.

      @Kathryn-thanks for reading and have a nice day.

      @Peggy-thanks for the thumbs up. appreciate all the votes and sharing.

      @Bill-thanks for visiting and commenting. hope you have a great weekend as well.

      @Joe-thanks for your kind comments and have a fine weekend.

      @FlourishAnyway-thank you.

      @Shampa-thanks for reading and sharing.

      @Rasma-Appreciate your visit and the sharing.

      @Elias-thanks for stopping by.

      @Mary-glad to note this hub was informative. Thanks for dropping by.

      @Suzie-thanks for all the kind comment, votes and sharing.

      @Carol-thanks.

      @MsDora-glad you found this info useful. Thanks.

      @Alocsin-thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your chicken dish all the more.

      @larakern-thanks.

      @Brett-thanks and glad you will be using it now. I appreciate all the votes and sharing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Thank you for sharing this useful and informative hub. Great recipes. Voted up.

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks Nithya.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 3 years ago from The City of Generals

      This is very useful, Rajan. We have paprika in the kitchen but really haven't been using it other than a mere spice. It's perfect for as it helps maintain vision and prevent age related eye disorders. We needed this! Thank you for the list of nutrients. My votes up! :=)-Tonette

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I use paprika a lot but didn't know about all the health benefits. You write such interesting food hubs. Voted up and shared.

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @Tonipet-I'm glad you like the info and maybe have been motivated to use it more often. Thanks for the read and votes, Tonette!

      @moonlake-Thanks and it feels good to be appreciated. Thanks for the sharing as well.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Had to choose this article today because I was wondering what you would have to say about paprika. It has been my understanding all of my life that paprika is mainly for appearances, but I have learned from this very informative hub that paprika does indeed have many health benefits. I never knew before that it was made from ground peppers either. I will have to see what I can do to add it to more of the foods I eat. The best thing about your articles is that I always learn something.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and will share.

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks Au fait. It feels good to know my articles provide useful info. Thanks for reading and I appreciate the sharing.

    • swathi180 profile image

      swathi180 3 years ago

      As a south Indian I eat a lot of spicy food in which we use a lot of paprika. A nice share of information about its health benefits.Voted up :-)

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks, swathi.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This is really interesting to me. I have never, ever taken a moment to consider the health benefits of paprika until now. I learn so much by reading your hubs. Like, I didn't know paprika came from a pepper. I guess I was thinking paprika came from a paprika plant or something. Now I know why my mom is so picky about her paprika. I just didn't understand paprika. Now I do. Thanks so much.

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Glad that this information on paprika has been useful. Thanks for reading.

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