The chili is the fruit pod from the chili plant, a perennial plant that belongs to the family of Solanaceae and the genus Capsicum. Inside each fruit, there are tiny, white, circular and flat seeds. Chilies are usually red or green in color and have a strong spicy taste as a result of their active alkaloid compounds. They are picked up and then dried, causing them to shrivel.
There are different types of chili peppers, each of them with its own size, shape, flavor and pungency. Some of the most popular varieties are habanero, chipotle, jalapeño and cayenne pepper. The chili powder that is used as a spice comes from ground chili peppers. An example is a cayenne, a well-known spice resulting from dried cayenne pepper.
- Chili peppers are used as food, seasoning, spice and natural treatment for several conditions because of their therapeutic qualities.
- Chilies are popular spices widely known for their fiery hotness, but they actually have medicinal properties and health benefits.
The active ingredient in chilies is an alkaloid compound called capsaicin. This compound is responsible for chilies’ hotness, but also for their disease-preventing and health-promoting properties.
- Capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. That is a long list of beneficial properties for an ingredient with such a bad reputation.
- Capsaicin also relieves pain caused by arthritis and shingles.
Chilies are very rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The fact that fresh chili peppers are loaded with beta carotene and vitamin C is the best example.
- Thus, chilies stimulate the production of collagen in the body and contribute to fighting cancer and heart diseases.
- Additionally, they contribute to preventing heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes by reducing the risk of suffering blood clots and stimulating blood circulation.
Chilies have also the capacity to speed up your metabolism, as evidenced by the fact that people tend to perspire (and they stimulate secretions, which help to clear congestion too).
- As a result, chilies can help to lose weight, as they make the body burn off calories at a faster rate.
- They also help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
- Furthermore, chilies improve digestion and prevent gas from forming in the intestines.
Ways of eating chili
Eating chili regularly has a lot of benefits. The easiest way of eating chilies is simply adding them to your meals.
- On one hand, you can use fresh chili pepper to add to sautéed vegetables or any other dish.
- On the other hand, you can use ground turmeric to spice up your meals.
Chili is very strong so it mustn’t be eaten in large amounts- and it may also cause burning sensation in hands and irritate nasal passages, eyes, and throat. However, studies have shown that it doesn’t cause ulcers, so eating them provides more benefits than problems can cause, as long as you don’t eat large quantities regularly and you don’t suffer from the irritable colon.