Chillies are good for us
Besides being an awesome spice, Chillies are also good for us, with great health benefits. They are loaded with vitamins and other compounds essential to our good health and well-being.
One of the key elements of the Chilli that gives it its health-giving properties is a substance called capsaicin. This is what creates the burning sensation we experience when eating Chillies, but it also provides a multitude of benefits for our well-being.
The level of capsaicin in Chillies varies from type to type. One of the hottest, the Scotch bonnet, has a lot of capsaicin, while milder varieties like Jalapenos have less. Obviously, the more capsaicin a Chilli contains, the greater the burning effect that we experience.
When we eat Chillies (or are unfortunate enough to get them in our eyes), receptors on the tongue and skin – experiencing the effect of capsaicin – send a message to the brain that we are feeling pain. The brain responds by instructing the body to produce endorphins. These pain-relieving hormones take the pain away and make the body feel that it is well looked after. And as we know, if we feel good, we feel healthy. Indeed, a considerable bonus from something we enjoy eating so much!
The health benefits of Chillies
Capsaicin in Chillies has been documented to have definite health benefits in the following areas:
Increases metabolic activity (the rate at which the body processes food), which helps burn off fat and calories. Many slimming aids contain capsaicin.
It slows down the process that causes inflammation.
As a painkiller.
It slows down the action of a substance that transmits pain to the brain. Studies have shown capsicum is effective in the treatment of headaches. It is also recognised as a treatment for osteoarthritis pain.
Prevention of Congestion
Capsaicin is not only anti-bacterial, but also stimulates the production of substances that will clear a blocked nose.
The above are only a handful of the Chillies’ health benefits. It has also been shown to have promising use in cancer treatment, looking after your heart and soothing the symptoms of some stomach diseases.
In addition to capsaicin, Chillies are also full of antioxidants, including vitamin C and carotenoids. It is believed that eating Chillies helps regulate insulin production as less insulin is needed to control blood sugar.
So not only tasty, but beneficial to your health as well!
Learn how to Cook healthily with Chillies