Chili or also well known as chili pepper belongs to family with Latin name Capsicum, so chili is fruit instead of vegetables though the function is to spice up your foods and not something you could mix with your fruit salad unless you want a bit of the fiery heat on your salad. Chili is very popular around the world and it seems each country has its own signature kind of chili and it seems each country also claims that their chili is the hottest in the family.
Meanwhile, chili originated is from Mexico though the biggest producer, exporter and consumer of chili today is India. Since chili is introduced to the world through Columbia exchange and brought to Asia continental by the Portuguese in 16th century, chili has been used for both food and medicine. Though it is rare to find medicines or supplements extracted from chili but chili has a lot of properties for the sake of health as well as beauty which benefits could be obtained just by adding chili as spices of foods consumed.
|Chili: Red and Raw||Serving size 100 gr|
|– Sugar||5.3 gr|
|– Fiber||1.5 gr|
|– Saturated||0.04 gr|
|– Monounsaturated||0.02 gr|
|– Polyunsaturated||0.24 gr|
|– Omega 3||0.01 gr|
|– Omega 6||0.23 gr|
|Vitamin A||48 µg – 5 %|
|Vitamin C||144 mg – 160 %|
|Vitamin E||0.69 mg – 5 %|
|Vitamin K||14 µg – 12 %|
|Vitamin B1 – Thiamine||0.07 mg – 6 %|
|Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin||0.09 mg – 7 %|
|Vitamin B3 – Niacin||1.24 mg – 8 %|
|Vitamin B5 – Panthotenic Acid||0.2 mg – 4 %|
|Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine||0.51 mg – 39 %|
|Folate||23 µg – 6 %|
|Choline||11 mg – 2 %|
|Calcium||14 mg – 1 %|
|Iron||1.03 mg – 13 %|
|Magnesium||23 mg – 6 %|
|Phosprous||43 mg – 6 %|
|Potassium||322 mg- 7 %|
|Sodium||9 mg – 1 %|
|Zinc||0.26 mg – 2 %|
|Copper||0.13 mg – 14 %|
|Manganese||0.19 mg – 8 %|
|Selenium||0.5 µg – 1 %|
|Aspartic Acid||286 mg|
|Glutamic Acid||264 mg|
|Capsanthin||This compound is responsible for the red color in chili and contained one of the most powerful antioxidant called carotenoid.|
|Violaxantin||Just like capsanthin, violaxantin is responsible for the yellow color of chili though the carotenoid contained is not as high as in red chili.|
|Lutein||Lutein is responsible for the green color of chili when it’s still in immaturity level.|
|Capsaicin||Capsaicin is the key and the most important compound in chili because this compound is responsible in giving the burning sensation and provides so many benefits for human health.|
|Sinapic Acid||Sinapic Acid is one of the powerful antioxidant with so many benefits of human health.|
|Ferulic Acid||Ferulic Acid is quite similar with sinapic acid which is another type of antioxidant with a lot of health benefits.|
Meanwhile, chili is a spicy herbal spice yet it contains many nutrients to fix our body. Thus, eating chili in our menu complimentary may bring benefits for health. Here is health benefits of chili.
1. Fight Inflammation Effectively
The function of capsaicin is more than just giving chili the burning sensation but also responsible to fight inflammation effectively by inhibiting a certain substance called neuropeptide which associated with the inflammatory process. Since capsaicin is mostly found in chili, so consuming chili regularly could deal with the condition well.
2. Treatment for Sensory Nerve
Still related to the point number one, the same compound, capsaicin has been using as the treatment for sensory nerve. In other words, conditions which related to inflammatory could be treated effectively by capsaicin like arthritis pain. Capsaicin is normally found in fruits or vegetables with spicy taste including jalapenos but chili has the highest level of capsaicin in the family.
3. Treat Arthritis
Capsaicin is not going to magically cure the condition but many studies have proven that this compound is effective to treat arthritis pain. So, don’t even try to eat chili in order to treat your arthritis though right now there are a lot of capsaicin medicines or supplements you could consume to treat your arthritis though of course should be based on doctor’s prescription.
4. Natural Pain Relief
Condition like arthritis pain and diabetic neuropathy could come with unbearable pain and capsaicin has important role in treat the symptom well. It is probably related to the burning sensation that could numb the sensory nerve system. Another studies also have proven that capsaicin is probably able to treat migraine as well. Though some more studies are still required to prove this statement.
5. Treat Osteoarthritis
As mentioned above osteoarthritis condition always come with pain which sometimes could be unbearable. Consult your doctor whether you could get medicine with capsaicin because it is one of the compound which mostly found in chili and has been proven to be effective in dealing with the condition.
6. Reduce Blood Cholesterol Level
Many studies also have proven that capsaicin found in chili has shown significant role in reducing the blood cholesterol level. Capsaicin could reduce the production of LDL or bad cholesterol and at the same time increase the ability to dissolve fibrin and increase the production of good cholesterol or HDL.
7. Control Triglyceride Level
Just like chili could control the cholesterol level, the same compound is also able to control the triglyceride level and prevent all conditions caused when the level of tryglyceride is uncontrolled.
8. Prevent Blood Clots
Vitamin C in chili is also water-soluble antioxidant which promote a certain proteins which has prominent role in maintaining the health of blood vessels. Together with capsaicin which has role in reducing the LDL cholesterol level since LDL is responsible to the accumulation of plaques in the vessel that cause the blood clots.
9. Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack
When the blood vessels are in flexible condition, there is no blood clots means the heart is functioning in normal pace. Heart attack happened when heart is forced to work too hard, mostly caused by the disturbances in the blood vessels.
10. Reduce the Risk of Stroke
There are two chronic conditions when heart is forced to work too hard. First is heart attack when heart is working more than its capacity and second is stroke when brain is not get enough blood and oxygen. The survivors of stroke usually suffered some nerve problems that could lead to disable condition.
11. Good for Heart
From some previous points above, chili which is rich of vitamin C and capsaicin is really good for heart. Furthermore, potassium contained in chili is also relatively higher if compared to the sodium. Potassium is one of the mineral which is good for heart because it is able to control the heart rate as well as the blood pressure by removing the excessive sodium in the blood.
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12. Circulation Booster
Why chili is considered to be circulation booster? Well, don’t talk science, just try to remember what you think when you eat spicy food. It seems like you are energized or something, it is because all of your body is in a very good metabolism, your blood circulation is in the normal pace so oxygen will be distributed optimally. Since oxygen is one of the important compound required by cells for regeneration.
13. Natural Protection Against Free Radicals
It is getting harder and harder to avoid free radicals today since pollution is everywhere. Well, if you cannot avoid it, making sure you protect yourself from inside. Antioxidant is what you need to fight free radicals and lets count how many types of antioxidant found in chili, from Vitamin A, flavonoid, Beta Carotene, lutein, violaxantine, sinapic acid and ferulic acid.
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14. Natural Solution of Congested Lungs
You got problem with congested lungs? Well, this condition could be caused by certain factors but whatever it is, consuming spicy foods could assist in treating the condition naturally. That’s why it is recommended for those who are in the recovery state from cold to consume hot and spicy soup. It is such a delicious way to get better.
15. Clear the Stuffed Nose
If capsaicin could treat congested lungs surely of course it is effective in clearing the stuffed nose since the condition is less severe compared to congested lungs. It is due to the peppery heat from chili that will clear the mucus and make it much more flexible. You could say goodbye to the stuffed nose right after consuming a bowl of hot soup.
16. Immunity Booster
It is a common knowledge that all foods that are high in Vitamin C is good for immunity. Furthermore, the red color of chili is also rich of Beta Carotene and Pro Vitamin A which has similar function for your immunity system. Like it is not powerful enough, chili is also rich of antioxidants that will provide one more layer of protection for your body.
17. Able to Inhibit the Spread of Certain Cancer
Capsaicin could do all the wonders because according to some studies, this humble compound is not simple at all since it is able to inhibit the spread the prostate cancers. Furthermore, as rich source of antioxidant and relatively high in vitamin C means, chili is also effective anti-cancer.
18. Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Surely you have heard this a thousand times that chili is always associated with stomach ulcers. Well, it seems like chili has bad reputation with stomach problems. Actually, this statement is not entirely true because chili has anti-bacteria properties that will beneficial for stomach but if you consume chili too much, the effect is totally the opposite.
19. Treat Intestinal Problem
Intestinal problem could be caused by certain factors but chili has some properties that could beneficial for intestinal system. First, as anti bacteria chili will make sure your intestine system free from infections caused by bacteria. Second, the fiber in chili will bind some unnecessary properties inside your intestinal to be wash away from your body system.
20. Weight Loss Solution
Believe it or not, putting chili as part of diet in a weight loss program is recommended. Surely you could feel the burning sensation will produce sweat and it means there are energy you’ve spent and of course calories to be burnt. It is because chili has a certain substance that will make you need more oxygen than you usually do. The effect is similar to what you feel during a workout.
21. Diabetes Friendly Food
Chili is also considered to be one of the friendly foods for people with diabetes, especially diabetes type 2. After a meal, normally the rate of insulin level will be increased in order to lower the blood sugar level. However, in diabetes type 2, the insulin is not used optimally and as the result the blood sugar level will be higher. If you put chili as part of the diet, it will lower the amount of insulin to avoid a raising of blood sugar level.
22. Has Anti-bacterial Properties
As mentioned above chili is also containing an anti-bacteria properties so it is effective to fight conditions caused by bacteria. Consuming adequate amount of chili is good for your bowel.
23. Contained Properties for Collagen Synthesis
Collagen is one of the important protein used to maintain the healthy cells, accelerate the cells regeneration. Collagen has important role in making your skin look shiny and younger. Collagen is also assisting in maintaining the flexibility of blood vessels along with the integrity of bone mass. However, to produce collagen, body needs Vitamin C in relatively high amount and chili could cover it.
24. Excellent Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidant is essential for your body since it is the only solution available to make sure your body is protected from free radicals. Surely you have known that free radicals is the main reason behind the development of cancerous cells, free radicals are also inhibiting the regeneration of new cells. Without new cells, you will grow old faster and your body will be more vulnerable from viruses and bacteria. Chili contains a lot of types of antioxidant that could provide one more layer to protect your body from inside.
25. Increase Metabolic Rate
Healthy metabolism is essential if you want to life healthy. Healthy metabolism means your heart is working based on its capacity, each cell in your body is fully oxygenated, your body is well protected from both outside and inside intervention. Well, chili has all the properties to make sure all of those things.
Actually there are a lot of varieties of chili which spreads around the world and the hot level of each kind is also different. However, the more capsaicin contained in chili the hotter the chili is. Moreover, the red chili usually has the highest level of hotness compared to the other colors like green, yellow and black but don’t estimate the chili in tiny size, some varieties of chili in tiny size considered to be the hottest in the family.
Meanwhile, chili is spicy yet good for body. In the end, that’s the health benefits of chili that you now know.
Cautions of Chili You Should Aware Of
Asides from the benefits, chili also has some drawbacks you should take as cautions. Most of them caused by the capsaicin contained in chili but there are also some other properties that could cause much more serious problem than just a burning sensation. Below is some cautions of chili you should know.
1. Too Much Chili Could Burn You Internally
Well, consuming chili is not literally burning you from the inside but the sensation could be bad. If capsaicin in chili has a direct contact with your oral organs, the first feeling you will get is the hot sensation in your mouth and then your throat. In adequate amount, you would not feel the effect in the stomach but if too much, you will feel the burn sensation even from inside your stomach.
2. Chili Could be Irritated for Your Eyes and Hands
After you touch chili, you have to make sure to wash your hands completely with soap because the chili oil could be stubbornly stick to your skin. If you don’t wash it properly, it could be dangerous when unintentionally you’re touching your eyes with the hands contaminated by chili oil.
3. Could be Bad for Those Who Already Suffering from GER Condition
GER or Gastro-esophagel Reflux is a condition that could be getting worse if you are consuming too much chili. Just to be in the safe side, if you’ve diagnosed with this condition is better for you to avoid chili in all cost.
4. Chili Could Cause Diarrhea and Stomach Pain
Similar to point number one, too much chili could be affect your stomach as well. If it is not able to deal with the burning sensation could cause the intestinal distress, this condition will lead to stomach pain and diarrhea.
5. Cancer Risk
Asides from its benefit of inhibit the spreads of certain cancer, chili is also containing properties that has cancer risk. Though, there are so much debates toward this subject.
One thing to note about the wonders the chili could do is some studies have found that in certain conditions like stomach problems, those who consume chili regularly will utterly suffer the stomach problems or at least increase the risk or possibility but for those who don’t eat chili regularly may get benefits by improve the stomach health. The opposite occurs in treating conditions caused by inflammatory, for the benefits regular intake is required. Furthermore, from the 25 benefits mentioned above, capsaicin has the most credits but as mentioned in the last point of the caution, the possibility of capsaicin in increasing the risk of cancer is also there. So, it is important to consume chili wisely and the cautions mentioned above should be taken into account.