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Cayenne pepper vs Black pepper - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan by Arpi Gasparyan | Last updated on May 06, 2022
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Cayenne pepper
vs
Black pepper

Summary

Briefly, black and cayenne peppers are nutrient-dense spices with various health-promoting phytochemicals.

Cayenne pepper is relatively higher in proteins, fats, and dietary fiber, whereas black pepper is higher in net carbs. However, both spices are very high in dietary fiber.

From notable micronutrient differences, black pepper is richer in vitamin K, calcium, and copper, whereas cayenne pepper is richer in vitamins A, E, B6, B9, and zinc.

Introduction

This article will compare two of the most common and widely consumed spices: black pepper and cayenne pepper (moderately hot chili pepper). Comparison topics are their nutritional differences and health benefits.

Classification

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) belongs to the Piper genus and Piperaceae family. Black pepper is made from dried peppercorns that grow on Piper nigrum.

Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum) belongs to the Capsicum genus and Solanaceae or nightshade family.

Nutrition

The nutritional values in this article are presented for spices black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Macronutrients

Black and cayenne peppers are rich in nutrients, making them nutrient-dense spices.

Cayenne pepper is higher in proteins, fats, and dietary fiber than black pepper.

Black pepper consists of 12.5% water, and cayenne pepper consists of 8.05% water, making cayenne pepper denser.

The average serving size of spices is ¼ tsp or 0.5g.

Calories

Due to having 0.5g of serving size, spices are very low in calories. One serving of black pepper provides 1.255 calories, and one serving of cayenne pepper provides 1.59 calories.

When comparing 100g of each spice, black pepper provides 251 calories, whereas cayenne pepper provides 318 calories.

Protein

These peppers have similar amounts of protein. Cayenne pepper is only 1.15 times richer in proteins.

Fats

Cayenne pepper is 5.3 times richer in fats

The predominant fats in black pepper are saturated fatty acids, whereas the predominant fats in cayenne pepper are polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Both spices are naturally absent in trans fats and cholesterol.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are the main macronutrients in black and cayenne peppers. Black pepper is somewhat higher in total and net carbs.

Both spices are rich in dietary fiber: 40% of black pepper carbs and 48% of cayenne pepper carbs are dietary fiber.

Vitamins

Cayenne pepper is the absolute winner in this category, as it is richer almost in all vitamins, except for vitamin K.

Black pepper is two times richer in vitamin K.

Cayenne pepper is 76 times richer in vitamin A, 29 times richer in vitamin E, 8.4 times richer in vitamin B6, and six times richer in vitamin B9 or folate. Cayenne pepper is richer in all B complex vitamins.

Both spices are naturally absent in vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Black pepper is absent in vitamin C.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin A +7506.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +2768.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +203.7%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +410.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +661.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +741.9%
Contains more Folate +523.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +103.9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2497% 597% 0% 255% 82% 213% 164% 0% 566% 80% 0% 201%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 33% 21% 0% 0% 27% 42% 22% 84% 68% 13% 0% 410%
Contains more Vitamin A +7506.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +2768.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +203.7%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +410.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +661.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +741.9%
Contains more Folate +523.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +103.9%

Minerals

Spices are a good source of minerals.

Black pepper is three times richer in calcium and 3.5 times richer in copper. Black pepper is also somewhat richer in iron and magnesium and less in sodium.

Cayenne pepper is from 1.5 to 2 times richer in phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Phosphorus +85.4%
Contains more Potassium +51.5%
Contains more Zinc +108.4%
Contains more Calcium +199.3%
Contains more Iron +24.5%
Contains more Magnesium +12.5%
Contains less Sodium -33.3%
Contains more Copper +256.6%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 45% 293% 109% 126% 178% 4% 68% 125%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 133% 365% 123% 68% 118% 3% 33% 444%
Contains more Phosphorus +85.4%
Contains more Potassium +51.5%
Contains more Zinc +108.4%
Contains more Calcium +199.3%
Contains more Iron +24.5%
Contains more Magnesium +12.5%
Contains less Sodium -33.3%
Contains more Copper +256.6%

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index values of black pepper and cayenne pepper are not calculated.

Acidity

PRAL or potential renal acid load value calculates how much acid or base is produced in the organism from the given food.

The PRAL value of black pepper is -27.2, whereas the PRAL value of cayenne pepper is -31.4, making cayenne pepper more alkaline or base-producing.

Weight Loss & Diets

Both spices are considered keto-friendly and can be consumed during the keto diet.

Cayenne pepper can be consumed in moderation during the Atkins diet.

Black and cayenne peppers can be consumed during the Mediterranean, Dukan, and Paleo diets as well.

Black and cayenne peppers are great for anti-inflammatory diets.

The spices help in weight loss diets in different ways. Black pepper, rich in piperine, enhances intestinal barrier function and inhibits fatty acid absorption from the intestines (1). Cayenne pepper, rich in capsaicin, regulates fat metabolism, stimulates energy expenditure due to increased thermogenesis, and increases the feeling of satiety (2).

Health Impact

Spices have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, as well as glucose, and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Higher consumption of spices is linked to decreased risk of death from various chronic diseases (3).

Cardiovascular Health

Piperine is an alkaloid present in black pepper, which has been shown to have various heart-protecting effects. Animal studies have shown that piperine attenuates drug-induced (isoproterenol) myocardial ischemia and reduces the death of heart muscle cells after reperfusion injury (4, 5).

Active components, mainly piperine, have been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol (triglyceride, total cholesterol or TC, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL-C) levels in animal studies. High “bad” cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for atherosclerosis (6, 7). However, human studies are needed.

Regular consumption of cayenne pepper is associated with a lower risk of total and heart disease-related death (8, 9).

Capsaicin and other chili pepper phytochemicals may positively affect metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis by improving insulin sensitivity, decreasing body fat, and improving liver and heart functions (10, 11, 12).

Diabetes

Animal studies have shown that black pepper lowers blood glucose and fat levels.

Black pepper has also been shown to protect against diabetes-induced oxidative stress and somewhat protect against diabetes complications (13, 14).

Cayenne and other chili peppers may improve insulin sensitivity, regulate blood glucose levels, and aid in weight loss (10).

Neurological Health & Pain

Animal studies demonstrate that piperine may show neuroprotective effects and modulate the activity of epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, as well as improve cognitive functions and relieve pain (3, 15).

Capsaicin from red peppers also has been shown to have pain-relieving properties (16, 17).

Digestive Health

Both black and cayenne peppers are considered to have gastroprotective effects. They enhance the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the mucosal layer of the stomach and intestines and lower mucosal injury (18).

Black pepper has been shown to reduce food transit time and stimulate pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile acids (19, 20). Black pepper has been shown to have hepatoprotective or liver protective and anti-allergic effects (21).

In animal studies, capsaicin from chili peppers has been shown to inhibit gastric acid secretion and stimulate alkali and mucus secretions, which are beneficial against gastric ulcers (22, 23). However, peptic ulcer patients should avoid consuming black and cayenne peppers if the spices cause dyspepsia or discomfort (24).

Cancer

According to several studies, black and cayenne or chili peppers decrease the risk of lung, liver, colorectal, cervix, and prostate cancers due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects (24). Active components from peppers induce programmed cell death, inhibit proliferation and migration of cancer cells, as well as sensitize cancers to radio and chemotherapy (25).

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34591253/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34383610/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/jaoac/article/102/2/395/5658185
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32912121/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33732347/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33492139/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22463744/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31856971/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33657876/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29772784/
  11. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/5/174/htm
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33783751/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4961342/
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2221169112605243
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26560940/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33276488/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273518/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20383223/
  19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17987447/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15218978/
  21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32929825/
  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9403789/
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16621751/
  24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2072799/
  25. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27529277/
Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: May 06, 2022

Infographic

Cayenne pepper vs Black pepper infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Cayenne pepper Black pepper
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Cayenne pepper Black pepper Opinion
Net carbs 29.43g 38.65g Black pepper
Protein 12.01g 10.39g Cayenne pepper
Fats 17.27g 3.26g Cayenne pepper
Carbs 56.63g 63.95g Black pepper
Calories 318kcal 251kcal Cayenne pepper
Starch g g
Fructose g 0.23g Black pepper
Sugar 10.34g 0.64g Black pepper
Fiber 27.2g 25.3g Cayenne pepper
Calcium 148mg 443mg Black pepper
Iron 7.8mg 9.71mg Black pepper
Magnesium 152mg 171mg Black pepper
Phosphorus 293mg 158mg Cayenne pepper
Potassium 2014mg 1329mg Cayenne pepper
Sodium 30mg 20mg Black pepper
Zinc 2.48mg 1.19mg Cayenne pepper
Copper 0.373mg 1.33mg Black pepper
Vitamin A 41610IU 547IU Cayenne pepper
Vitamin E 29.83mg 1.04mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 76.4mg 0mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B1 0.328mg 0.108mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B2 0.919mg 0.18mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B3 8.701mg 1.143mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B5 mg 1.399mg Black pepper
Vitamin B6 2.45mg 0.291mg Cayenne pepper
Folate 106µg 17µg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 80.3µg 163.7µg Black pepper
Tryptophan mg 0.058mg Black pepper
Threonine mg 0.244mg Black pepper
Isoleucine mg 0.366mg Black pepper
Leucine mg 1.014mg Black pepper
Lysine mg 0.244mg Black pepper
Methionine mg 0.096mg Black pepper
Phenylalanine mg 0.446mg Black pepper
Valine mg 0.547mg Black pepper
Histidine mg 0.159mg Black pepper
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g 0g Cayenne pepper
Saturated Fat 3.26g 1.392g Black pepper
Monounsaturated Fat 2.75g 0.739g Cayenne pepper
Polyunsaturated fat 8.37g 0.998g Cayenne pepper

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Cayenne pepper Black pepper
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
388
Cayenne pepper
60
Black pepper
Mineral Summary Score
118
Cayenne pepper
160
Black pepper

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
72%
Cayenne pepper
62%
Black pepper
Carbohydrates
57%
Cayenne pepper
64%
Black pepper
Fats
80%
Cayenne pepper
15%
Black pepper

Comparison summary

Which food is richer in vitamins?
Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Black pepper
Black pepper is lower in Sugar (difference - 9.7g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Black pepper
Black pepper contains less Sodium (difference - 10mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Black pepper
Black pepper is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.868g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (32)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($2.5)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Cayenne pepper - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170932/nutrients
  2. Black pepper - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170931/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.