You’ve probably heard of peppers being a healthy food, with more Vitamin C than oranges, and all that.
New research out of the University of Washington, however, has been showing a link between peppers and health that’s new, and based on a rather unusual connection: Apparently, peppers contain some nicotine. And no, they aren’t now supposed to be bad for you, nor a substitute for smoking or nicotine patches. Rather, that nicotine seems able (as has been shown in research on smokers, where it also helps in this regard, but comes with many a downside) to protect against Parkinson’s disease.
Other members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), to which tobacco and peppers belong, along with e.g. tomatoes and potatoes, also have something of that effect, but among dietary sources of nicotine, peppers worked best. It still remains to be seen, also, whether another shared substance might actually be at work here.
Now, don’t go smoking those peppers. Or do, but the dietary way ;)