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Chili Peppers – There’s more to than Just Being a Seasoning

chilli

If you have tasted a spicy Mexican food that made your eyes water as if trying to put out the fire on your tongue, you probably just had a dose of chili pepper.

But there’s more to this vegetable than fire and heat – there are various health benefits of chili peppers!

There are hundreds of chilies that fall under the food family name ‘Capsicum.’ Cultivated for thousands of years in Mexico, Central America, and South America, these peppers were used for everything from medicinal treatment to decoration to dishes and seasoning.

Cayenne, Anaheim, chipotle, jalapeno, ancho and habanero peppers are the ones we are most familiar with. A variety and combination of these chilies are used to have many of our most popular spices, such as chili powder, cayenne powder, and paprika. But amazingly, the health benefits of chili peppers are not that popular.

It is easy to be confused which chili pepper is which since some are referred to by one name when used fresh (poblano) and another name when dried (ancho). No matter what chili you use, just think of the basic rule of thumb – green, fresh chilies are milder than red, dried chilies.

Now you know that there are many different chili peppers, but did you know there are numerous health benefits of eating chili peppers beyond the spicy taste? Let’s take a look.

Chili Pepper Health Benefits – Nutritional Boost

Two teaspoons of dried chili peppers offers a very respectable amount of the B complex vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and K. You will also find a good amount of calcium, iron, and manganese, along with some dietary fiber and even Omega-3 fatty acids. You will realize that sizzling heat offers more than just flavor.

Health Benefits of Chili Peppers

The ingredient found in chili peppers that produce the heat we know and love is called ‘capsaicin’ which acts to stop inflammation. You will find more of this element as the pepper gets hotter. So enjoy a habanero for the greatest anti-inflammatory benefits.

Jalapenos provide a less potent amount of capsaicin, but they are all good for you, helping to lessen pain from inflammation associated with arthritis, for instance.

Cayenne has been used effectively to decrease cholesterol in several studies. Adding hot chili peppers to your diet meal may also help fight those damaging ‘free radicals’ in your blood stream. In some studies it was even proven that health benefits of eating chili peppers often over time include lower resting heart rate and increased blood flow to the heart.

Even More Health Benefits of Eating Chili Peppers

Most of us already know that when we love a healthy dose of chili peppers we take breaths a bit easier. Yes, chili peppers do help clear sinuses, easing congestion in the respiratory system.