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Cayenne pepper vs Paprika - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 25, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Cayenne pepper
vs
Paprika

Summary

Paprika provides more Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, fiber, Vitamin B3, iron, and zinc. It is also lower in saturated fats.

On the other hand, cayenne pepper contains more manganese, folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. Cayenne pepper is also lower in sodium than paprika.

Introduction

This article will discuss the main differences in the nutrition of paprika and cayenne pepper, focusing on their health impact.

What's The Actual Difference?

Cayenne pepper spice is derived from cayenne peppers, whereas paprika is derived from a variety of sweet peppers.

Cayenne's color range is limited to an orange-red, with slight variations due to the cayenne color when dried and smoked. Cayenne pepper is typically spicier than paprika. Most paprika varieties have a sweet and fruity flavor as well.

Nutrition

You can find nutritional infographics at the bottom of this page that visually show the differences between cayenne pepper and paprika.

Calories

Cayenne pepper has more calories than paprika. Cayenne pepper contains 318 calories, while paprika has 282 calories per 100g. Both are considered high-calorie food; however, people usually consume them in tiny amounts, so calories don't matter much.

Fats

Cayenne pepper has 17.27g of fats per 100g, whereas paprika provides 12.89g of fat.

Carbs

Both cayenne pepper and paprika are high in carbs. Cayenne pepper contains 56.63g of carbs per 100g, while paprika contains 53.99g of carbs. But here again, as both are usually consumed in small quantities, the number of carbs doesn't matter much.

Fiber

Cayenne pepper has 34.9g of fiber, the rest are net carbs, paprika has 34.9g of fiber, and 19.09g are net carbs, falling in the top 7% of foods as a fiber source.

Cholesterol

Both paprika and cayenne pepper have no cholesterol.

Minerals

Paprika has more magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, and copper.

Paprika falls in the range of the top 4% foods as a source of iron.

However, cayenne pepper provides less sodium than paprika.

Both contain an equal amount of phosphorus.

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 less Sodium -55.9%
Contains more Calcium +54.7%
Contains more Iron +171%
Contains more Magnesium +17.1%
Contains more Potassium +13.2%
Contains more Zinc +74.6%
Contains more Copper +91.2%
Equal in Phosphorus - 314
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 45% 293% 109% 126% 178% 4% 68% 125%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 69% 793% 128% 135% 202% 9% 119% 238%
Contains less Sodium -55.9%
Contains more Calcium +54.7%
Contains more Iron +171%
Contains more Magnesium +17.1%
Contains more Potassium +13.2%
Contains more Zinc +74.6%
Contains more Copper +91.2%
Equal in Phosphorus - 314

Vitamins

Paprika contains a significantly higher amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B3.

It falls in the range of the top 8% foods as a source of Vitamin A.

Cayenne pepper has more Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and folate.

Both have equal amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin K.

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 C +8388.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +14.4%
Contains more Folate +116.3%
Contains more Vitamin A +18.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +33.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +15.6%
Equal in Vitamin E - 29.1
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.33
Equal in Vitamin K - 80.3
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 2956% 583% 0% 3% 83% 284% 189% 151% 495% 37% 0% 201%
Contains more Vitamin C +8388.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +14.4%
Contains more Folate +116.3%
Contains more Vitamin A +18.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +33.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +15.6%
Equal in Vitamin E - 29.1
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.33
Equal in Vitamin K - 80.3

Health Benefits

Diabetes and Cancer

Both paprika and cayenne peppers contain a high amount of capsaicin, which has many health benefits.

Capsaicin was first isolated from chili peppers. Capsaicin is used to treat psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy as a topical treatment [1].

One study [2] discovered that subjects who ate a cayenne-containing meal had lower blood glucose levels. Lower blood insulin levels were also observed, particularly in a subgroup that had eaten a cayenne-rich diet for a month before the test. This suggests that cayenne consumption may improve tissue insulin sensitivity, requiring less insulin to move glucose from the blood to the tissues.

According to research [3], capsaicin has antioxidant properties that can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease while improving immunity.

It also may help protect against cellular damage caused by oxidative stress, which is an imbalance in the body's antioxidant defenses and damaging molecules called free radicals.

Cardiovascular Health

A 2019 Italian study [4] of 22,811 adults discovered that regular capsaicin consumption was linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease. Some researchers say capsaicin may improve certain aspects of cardiovascular health, including blood vessel function, but more research is needed to confirm this potential benefit. Another three-month [5] study discovered that capsaicin significantly reduced the risk factors for heart disease in adults with low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

Paprika allergy symptoms are usually moderate, but severe paprika allergies can cause anaphylaxis, so if you have a history of food allergies, you should get tested.

Cayenne pepper, also known as capsicum, is a type of red pepper with savory to hot and spicy flavors. Itchiness near and around the mouth, eyes, and other body parts and diarrhea are common symptoms [6].

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29083760/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986509/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794743/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109719382063
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622797/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30883393/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 25, 2022

Infographic

Cayenne pepper vs Paprika 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 Paprika
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Cayenne pepper Paprika Opinion
Net carbs 29.43g 19.09g Cayenne pepper
Protein 12.01g 14.14g Paprika
Fats 17.27g 12.89g Cayenne pepper
Carbs 56.63g 53.99g Cayenne pepper
Calories 318kcal 282kcal Cayenne pepper
Starch g g
Fructose g 6.71g Paprika
Sugar 10.34g 10.34g
Fiber 27.2g 34.9g Paprika
Calcium 148mg 229mg Paprika
Iron 7.8mg 21.14mg Paprika
Magnesium 152mg 178mg Paprika
Phosphorus 293mg 314mg Paprika
Potassium 2014mg 2280mg Paprika
Sodium 30mg 68mg Cayenne pepper
Zinc 2.48mg 4.33mg Paprika
Copper 0.373mg 0.713mg Paprika
Vitamin A 41610IU 49254IU Paprika
Vitamin E 29.83mg 29.1mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 76.4mg 0.9mg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B1 0.328mg 0.33mg Paprika
Vitamin B2 0.919mg 1.23mg Paprika
Vitamin B3 8.701mg 10.06mg Paprika
Vitamin B5 mg 2.51mg Paprika
Vitamin B6 2.45mg 2.141mg Cayenne pepper
Folate 106µg 49µg Cayenne pepper
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 80.3µg 80.3µg
Tryptophan mg 0.07mg Paprika
Threonine mg 0.49mg Paprika
Isoleucine mg 0.57mg Paprika
Leucine mg 0.92mg Paprika
Lysine mg 0.69mg Paprika
Methionine mg 0.2mg Paprika
Phenylalanine mg 0.61mg Paprika
Valine mg 0.75mg Paprika
Histidine mg 0.25mg Paprika
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g 0g Cayenne pepper
Saturated Fat 3.26g 2.14g Paprika
Monounsaturated Fat 2.75g 1.695g Cayenne pepper
Polyunsaturated fat 8.37g 7.766g Cayenne pepper

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

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
415
Paprika
Mineral Summary Score
118
Cayenne pepper
211
Paprika

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
85%
Paprika
Carbohydrates
57%
Cayenne pepper
54%
Paprika
Fats
80%
Cayenne pepper
59%
Paprika

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Paprika
Paprika is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.12g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Paprika
Paprika is lower in glycemic index (difference - 32)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Paprika
Paprika is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper contains less Sodium (difference - 38mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (10.34 g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
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. Paprika - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171329/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.