Paprika vs Cayenne Pepper

large close up picture of a cayenne pepper


Paprika vs Cayenne

Both paprika and cayenne pepper are popular spices that are often found in most kitchens. We'll cover the similaritie, differencers, culinary uses, and health benefits of these spices. Each spice brings its own unique kick, try our Something Spicy Blend, which includes a dash of each flavor!


What is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper is red chili pepper that is named after the French Guiana city of Cayenne. The pepper is related to the capsicum family of flowering plant species. Cayenne fruits are eaten raw in some places but, in general, they are dried and ground to make a powder that is sold as a spice in the market. When powdered, the pepper is red in color and added while cooking dishes due to their hot and spicy nature. The fruit of cayenne pepper is considered to be a treasure house of vitamins like Vitamin A, B6, E, C, Riboflavin, and minerals like manganese and potassium. However, most can tolerate only a very small concentration of cayenne pepper because of its hotness, and thus these vitamins and minerals add up to a very small value.  For those who take the heat, Cayenne pepper can be very nutritional! The main ingredient of cayenne pepper remains capsaicin, which is considered to be an aphrodisiac in many cultures, particularly Asian cuisine.

What is Paprika?

In some countries, paprika is the powdered spice made from chili peppers or bell peppers while, in others, the fruit of capsicum itself is called paprika. The addition of this spice makes dishes hot and spicy and also adds to their color and aroma. Paprika can be sweet to very hot depending upon the nature of peppers used to make the spice. The word Paprika comes from the Hungarian word paprika meaning capsicum or pepper. The spice called paprika is used in some countries like Spain, Hungary, Serbia, the state of California, but it is used worldwide as an ingredient in many dishes. Though, in some places, it is sprinkled over dishes for seasoning or garnishing; mostly it is used by heating on oil.

What are the differences between Cayenne Pepper and Paprika?

Cayenne pepper tends to be a bit coarse and flaky, with a bright red color. Chili powder, because of its blended spice content, has a fine texture and a brownish-red hue. Lastly, paprika is a fine, bright red powder. Most paprika powders have a pretty low spice level, so almost anyone should be able to handle it unless someone is extra sensitive to spicy things. Cayenne pepper, in its purest form, is classified as very spicy. Chili powder is not so hot since it contains other spices with lower heat content, although these other spices give it some pungency. 

Compared to the other two spices, paprika is slightly sweet and pungent. Cayenne pepper is very popular in Asian cuisine, such as Korean and Sichuan. Meanwhile, chili powder is a bit more versatile and features prominently in Tex-Mex and Indian dishes. Paprika, thanks to its Eurasian influences, is most often associated with Hungarian and Spanish cuisine. 

Paprika and cayenne both have significant health benefits that travel far beyond the taste buds. Since chili powder is often a combination of the two other powders, among others, we will only be focusing on highlighting the health benefits of cayenne and paprika below. 

Paprika Health Benefits:

  1. Has anti-cancerous properties
  2. Has antioxidant properties that help cleanse toxins and boost the immune system
  3. Contains dietary pigments that promote cardiovascular health
  4. Possesses anti-inflammatory properties which has several benefits, one of which is aiding digestion
  5. Contains large amounts of vitamin A which helps with eye health

Cayenne Pepper Benefits:

  1. May help with psoriasis (a skin condition)
  2. Has more vitamin A than paprika
  3. Can help to fight cancer
  4. Acts as a natural hunger suppressant
  5. Can help to boost metabolism

Thanks for checking is with our Health and Wellness page!  Check back soon as we'll be upating regularly with more tips and healthy content!