India is well-known for its spicy hot food with innumerable recipes coming from every corner of the country. What is common among all these is the red-hot chillies that put the punch of flavour in the food. Apart from adding colour to the dishes, it adds the real tantalizing taste. It is present in every kitchen and finds its way to plates in the form of whole chilly and chilli powder. Your soups, curries, pizzas, salads, stews, and almost all the non-veg items would not taste that good without using the red chillies. So, while most of you are already a lover of red chillies, did you ever think about the health benefits of eating red chilli every day?
What is Chilli?
Chilli is a Capsicum Genus. There are varieties of chillies and they are differentiated from each other by their pungency. When the chilly fruits ripen and dries, they become red chilly which, when grounded, become red chilly powder. In different parts of the country, we find chillies of varying sizes and spiciness.
Health Benefits of Red Chillies
Red chillies, when used in moderation, can give you a lot of health benefits which remains mostly undiscussed. We talk about black pepper, black salt, coriander, cinnamon and lot many Indian spices, but the hot and burning sensation caused by red chillies make us believe that this might not be carrying any health angle to it. However, homeopathy has been making medicinal uses of red chilly for too long. Below unknown health benefits of red chilli will clarify that this Indian spice is also helpful for the body through its own peculiar properties.
#1. Keeps Cholesterol Levels Down
Chillies contain beta-carotenoids which are actually a cholesterol fighter. So, when you are suggested not to eat spicy food, actually it targets the oil in your food and not the chillies. They actually protect your heart by keeping the cholesterol level in control.
#2. Boosts Your Immunity
Chillies are rich in Vitamin C which boosts the immunity. It also flushes out the free radicals in the body to keep you healthier. You will fall less sick and the seasonal changes might not affect you much. The mucus and cough in the body are also expelled out with the heating effect of chillies.
#3. Makes You Feel Better
Chillies can elevate our mood. You did not expect this, right? But, the endorphins present in chillies can really make us feel better reducing the stress, anxiety, and pain. Yes, endorphins are the natural pain-killing agent as well.
#4. Minimizes Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of chillies also help in minimizing the inflammation of lungs due to smoking. It helps arthritic patients by reducing the swelling of sore joints and increasing the blood flow.
#5. Detoxifies the Body
Chillies are also great in reducing the waste content inside our body and in detoxifying the body systems.
#6. Rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A present in the red chillies contribute to the health of the skin, teeth, and bones. Also, they are great for improving and maintaining your eyesight.
#7 Prevents Colon Cancer
The folic acid, beta-carotene and vitamin C present in the chillies help in the prevention of colon cancer.
#8 Improves Blood Circulation
The hot and spicy property of chillies result in increased production of saliva and enhanced circulation of blood. They are also found to increase sweating. This helps in killing off harmful bacteria inside or outside the body as well as in healing a sore throat.
#9 Settles The Stomach
Though the increased amount of chillies results in burning sensation of the stomach, the right amount can actually help in preventing acid reflux and bacterial infection of the stomach. These bacteria, if left to grow, can result in stomach ulcer in the long term.
#10 Burns Fat
Chillies increase your metabolism which is supported by the capsaicin compound present in them. The increased metabolism helps in fat burning and weight reduction. For all those trying to lose weight, it can be the amazing health benefit of chilli pepper.
Disadvantages of Chillies
Eating too many red chillies can result in heartburn. Also, the hot burning sensation in the mouth and tongue can become unbearable for sensitive people. People suffering from haemorrhoids should completely avoid it as it can lead to rectal burning. Also, due to very less fibre content in chillies, constipation can be a problem for some people.
Word of Caution
Never ever, use red chillies in the preparation for infants and young children. They are very sensitive and might not be able to tolerate its pungent taste. Also, preferably use home-made chilli powder as the one available in the market might be adulterated. The harmful effects of red chilli powder available in the market are due to its carcinogenic content present in the reddening agent that gives it the red colour.
Nature has bestowed good things in every single creation it has made. It depends on us how wisely and appropriately we use them. Chillies are one such exotic and a tempting gift of nature. Enjoy its taste along with its benefits. However, if you are suffering from any specific health condition, then Consult a Dietician nearby who can help in choosing the right food for you and your good health.