Health Benefits of Eating Chili

(Photo Credit: 123rf)
(Photo Credit:  123rf)
(Photo Credit: 123rf)

Perhaps, there is no place anywhere in the world where chili is not known nor used.   For as long as I can remember, it has been part of many meals; the only difference is that while others can consume so much chili, other people prefer just a little of it in their food or none at all.

Go to any restaurant or even food stalls or booths; they have chili sauces or very hot catsups for the chili lovers.  Ask some people why they love their food with chilies, most would just tell you it’s appetizing; it’s delicious.  Only a few would tell you that they take chili because it’s good for the body.  From the ten people I asked, not even one of them knew that chili do have benefits for the body.

Oh really?  You might also ask.  Yes; really. 

I myself like a little spicy chili sauce on my pizza and frankfurters, so I checked on what good that would do for me.  Here’s a list of what I found out:

 

  • Chili is high in nutrients such as calcium plus vitamins A and C.
  • Capsaicin, a chemical and main component in chilies, is responsible for the intense burning heat we feel upon consumption, which makes us take a lot of water; thereby making us well-hydrated.
  • It also lowers blood sugar levels, which means it’s good for those who are overweight or those with diabetes.  Moderate consumption of chilies can help to significantly control insulin levels
  • Capsaicin also helps to improve the condition of the heart, boosts the circulatory system, and thins blood to lower risk of strokes; so daily chili consumption is not bad after all.
  • Chilies help to burn fat in our body because capsaicin is also a thermogenic compound which helps to increase the metabolic rate, and which, in turn, helps in the fat-burning process. (Now I know why two of my sons are so sexy and my non-chili eater son is twice their size!)
  • It helps to lower cholesterol and to reduce the amount of fibrin in our blood; hence, it lowers the blood’s tendency to clot.  Adding chilies to our meals has been found to protect against  the build-up of cholesterol in our blood. 
  • Capsaicin  also provides relief from pain and aids in reducing inflammation.  It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties  such that regular intake of chilies can help to minimize the effects of auto-inflammatory diseases such as  arthritis and rheumatoid  on the body which means it could be a safe alternative to  other painkillers as it also prevents the gastric damage associated with anti-inflammatory painkillers.
  • Capsaicin acts as a therapeutic and a relaxant and therefore, useful in relieving and preventing common problems we experience such as headaches, migraine attacks and sinus discomfort.
  • Capsaicin helps clear congestion when you have a cold; so make sure to have some kind of soup graced with chili to effectively open your nasal passages and allow easier breathing.  Just don’t make it too hot to cause panting.
  • Capsaicin helps in limiting the spreading of prostate cancer because it inhibits cancer cell growth;  capsaicin also minimizes the risk of stomach cancer, according to cancer research studies,  because it actually protects the stomach lining.  However, too much, as in, excessive addiction to chilies could very well  cause stomach damage which might lead to stomach cancer.
  • Moderate to high intake of chili is really beneficial, yes; but excessive intake could be very detrimental to our health as TOO MUCH of anything is never good for our health, so don’t “burn yourself” to hell.  ^_^

After learning so much about the benefits of chili, I started to recall those who eat a lot of chili in my family and friends list and how their state of health is.  Their common denominator seems to be a flat tummy! I am starting to believe that those of us on the heavier side of the scale are the less chili eaters.  It’s probably time I learn to put a little chili in our everyday meals; and not just on my pizza!  ^__^

Web Sources:

http://www.chilli-willy.com/chilli-health-benefits/

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/healthy-eating/why-spicy-food-is-good-for-you