Health Benefits of Chilies
Capsaicin, the active compound in chili peppers gives it the heat. Generally speaking, the hotter the chili or pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.
Capsaicin helps increase metabolism which uses more energy which in turn burns calorie and fat.
Some studies have suggested that capsaicin may help suppress appetite by increasing the sensation of fullness, leading to weight loss over a period of time.
*Antioxidants and Nutritive Value
Hot peppers are good sources of antioxidants and high in carotenes and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals ingested through the chemically laden food we eat, polluted air and water and generated during stress.
Chilies also contain about twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits. All varieties are excellent sources of vitamins A, potassium, folic acid, manganese, iron, magnesium and fiber. Potassium helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
*Prevents Sinusitis and Relieves Congestion
Capsaicin has potent antibacterial properties that fight and prevent chronic sinus infections, or sinusitis. The heat also helps to stimulate fluid secretions that help clear mucus from your nose, thereby relieving nasal congestion. This phytochemical may also help relieve sinus-related allergy symptoms.
Scientists have found that Capsaicin inhibits cancer cell growth. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of habanero peppers which is high in capsaicin, can offer a beneficial effect against prostate cancer. There have been studies that found that people who eat a lot of chili peppers have a lower incidence of prostate cancer. Peppers proved to be anticarcinogenic in cancerous human lung and pancreas cell cultures. Additionally, it has been proved that a dose of it causes death of the cancerous cells and does not have said effect on normal cells.
*Anti Inflammation & Pain Reliever
Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammation that results in pain, heart diseases and other conditions. Because of this property, it has been used in a variety of chemotherapy studies for pain relief and also in many treatments involving nerve fiber disorders, conditions like psoriasis, arthritis diabetic neuropathy, plus many more.
*Beneficial to the Heart
Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. Capsaicin has blood thinning properties as it helps the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Capsaicin was found to be have an effect of lowering arterial blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
*Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Research showed that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower.