Capsaicin is the name of the key ingredient present in hot chili peppers. It is responsible for that burning feeling in your lips and tongue, but it is also the reason why chili peppers are so healthy. The strength of the pepper or its hotness is measured in “Scoville heat units” (SHU). The current hottest pepper in the world is the “Carolina Reaper” with 1,500,000 – 2,200,000 SHU.
Fresh chili peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps protect from scurvy, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity), and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
They are also good in other antioxidants such as vitamin A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidant substances in capsicum help protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress.
Hot Peppers carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamine (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
In summary, there are many good healthy reasons to eat hot chili peppers and spicy salsa, and below is our top 10:
1. Chili Peppers Help Prevent and Fight Cancer.
The Journal of Cancer Research reports that capsaicin has been shown to suppress the growth of cancer cells. The antioxidant nature of capsaicin can combat cell destruction caused by free radicals, according to the American Cancer Society.
2. Chili Peppers Help Protect your Heart.
Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.
3. Chili Peppers Boost your Immune System.
A typical chili pepper packs more vitamin C than an orange. So have a couple to reduce the risk of getting influenza or any other respiratory disease.
4. Chili Peppers Help Lower Blood Pressure.
Eating chili peppers are naturally high in vitamins A and C, and also bioflavinoids. They help strengthen our blood vessels, which makes them more elastic and better able to adjust to blood pressure fluctuations. Chili peppers also can make us sweat, which causes fluid loss, temporarily reducing overall blood volume. They help regulate the insulin level in the blood, making it an efficient treatment against diabetes.
5. Chili Peppers are Anti-inflammatory.
Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It may help cure the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, and Candida. Hot peppers, contrary to the popular belief, can help prevent stomach ulcers. They also help control the genes responsible for tumor growth.
6. Chili Peppers Reduce Migraine and Sinus Headaches.
Studies show that chili peppers can provide pain relief for migraine and sinus headaches. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is known to inhibit a key neuropeptide, Substance P, that is the key brain pain transmitter.
7. Chili Peppers Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion.
Capsaicin’s heat is an effective expectorant to stimulate secretions that aid in clearing mucus from your nose, combatting nasal congestion. It also contains antibacterial properties that help fight chronic sinus infections.
8. Chili Peppers Help Reduce Excessive Weight and Body Fat.
Did you know that capsaicin is a thermogenic? A thermogenic stimulates the body’s burning of fat by increasing the metabolism of the body’s adipose tissue, generating heat. So many of us can stand to shed a few pounds and lose some unwanted extra weight, so a smart and healthy move is to drop the fatty foods and replace them with some chili pepper spice, along with the inclusion of regular exercise, of course.
At Daegu University, Korea, biotechnologist Jong Won Yun and colleagues report that capsicum lowers caloric intake, shrinks fat tissue and reduces fat levels in the blood.
9. Chili Peppers Improve your State of Mind.
Eating spicy foods stimulate the production of oxytocin and serotonin, helping reduce the risk of depression, anxiety and stress.
10. Chili Peppers Improve your Libido.
Hot Peppers are considered as a natural aphrodisiac in many cultures. So, there you have it; Include peppers in your daily diet for a healthier Life Style.
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