Chili pepper, which is also called Chile pepper in the Southern US or chilli in the UK, belongs to the nightshade family Solanaceae. Chili peppers are the fruits of the genus Capsicum plants. It is believed that they originally grew in in Mexico and then was brought by traders to India, China, and Turkey and finally across the entire world. It is now among the most commercial grown and consumed crops. Chili peppers can be consumed raw (although really hot), cooked, dried, or added as the base in powders and sauces. The strong, spicy flavor enhances most curries. Its pungency is due to an active alkaloid called capsaicin, which determines how hot the chili would be.
You need continuous supply of oxygen and a good amount of iron to achieve/ maintain good cognitive performance. Adding chilli peppers to your everyday diet, in moderation, can ensure that the risk of developing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease remains low while you age.
Anemia and fatigue are caused due to extreme iron deficiency. Chili peppers contain copper and iron in abundance. These minerals are vital for the formation of new red blood cells. Chili pepper is also rich in Folic acid. Folic acid helps in the production of RBCs too, as well as prevents and treats anaemia. It also helps in rapid cell division and growth in pregnancy. Pregnant women must never undergo Folic acid deficiency; otherwise it could lead to certain birth defects in newborns as well as risk of haemorrhage in mothers while or after delivery.
Chilies contain potassium, which has different functions in the body. An adequate intake of potassium combined with folate can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases. Potassium relaxes the blood vessels; thus enhancing the blood circulation. Chili peppers are also an excellent source of riboflavin and niacin. Niacin increases the HDL or good cholesterols, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Niacin deficiency can lead to a disease called Pellagra, which is characterized by insomnia, dementia, and diarrhea.
Capsaicin also relieves congestion. Its fiery heat stimulates secretions that aid in clearing mucus from stuffy nose. Capsaicin has antibacterial properties that combat against chronic sinus infections, thanks to its ability to induce vasoconstriction in the blood vessels of the nasal cavity.
Chili peppers are often used as food preservatives because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Capsaicin can kill bacteria such as Helicobactor pylori and prevent inflammatory bowel diseases.
The bright red color of chili peppers indicates its high pro-vitamin A or beta-carotene content. You can achieve about 6% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C with just two teaspoons of red chili peppers. Vitamin A is vital in keeping a healthy respiratory tract, intestinal tract, and urinary tract. Vitamin A is also known as the anti-infection vitamin and serves as the first line of defense against infections.
We need vitamin A to keep our vision healthy at all times. Including chili peppers in our regular diet, approximately one tablespoon each day, can definitely improve your eyesight. It also prevents night blindness as well as macular degeneration.
American Association for Cancer Research has stated that capsaicin has the power to kill leukemia and cancer cells. Just like turmeric, a spice used in making curry, chilies can inhibit tumor growth and cancer too. Medical News Today has cited that Capsaicin might actually have the ability to stop breast cancer. However, further studies are still required.
Obesity is a serious health condition and must not be taken lightly. You can lose weight by eating chilies regularly with regular exercise, of course. Capsaicin is thermogenic. It reduces your untimely cravings and increases your metabolism. The heat you feel after consuming chili pepper produces energy and burns calories. Even cosmetic manufacturers have incorporated chili peppers in slimming lotions.