Chillies have long been considered a favourite ingredient by many people to add flavour and heat to recipes. Many people are also aware that they hold some nutritious benefit, so we decided to do a little research to find out what those benefits are to share with you all….
Other than being super tasty and adding something special to your meal to make it a little more interesting, recent studies are showing us that chillies are growing in popularity all the time due to the goodness found in them, therefore being added more regularly to weight loss diets and every day cooking!
You may have heard already about how chilli peppers help to improve heart health, prevent strokes and lower cholesterol, but what about the other important benefits they hold?
Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidants
Chillies have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help to calm irritable bowels and relieve symptoms of psoriasis – a skin disease which causes severe itchiness and redness, as well as a scaly-like texture on the affected areas.
Chillies are also known to be rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C & A, as well as minerals like iron and potassium.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
They also help to lower blood sugar levels and help with neuropathy – a disease which typically effects the nerve-endings and causes pain and numbness.
Neuropathy is caused by the onset of diabetes and can become quite serious if not treated properly, so it can’t hurt to add chillies to your diet to combat this if you suffer from it!
Pain relief is also a common use for chillies. One known case of chillies being used as a pain reliever dates back to ancient Mayan times, when they would rub chillies over their teeth to help fight toothache. The Mayans used chillies in numerous other ways too, including punishment and as a weapon, where Mayan’s burned chillies to create a barrier, as this would affect the eyes, effectively blinding enemies temporarily. Similar to the modern-day pepper spray!
“Joshua Tewksbury, a natural historian at the University of Washington, thinks the burning sensation we experience when we come into contact with chillies is an evolutionary trick. "We're not actually being damaged by the capsaicin the way we would be if we were touching a stove, but our brain thinks we are," he says, adding that all mammals experience the same sensation but that birds do not. "They can eat chillies like popcorn and they don't feel the heat."
In this way, Tewksbury suggests, the plant evolved to repel animals that might crush its seeds with their molars, but not ones that would help disperse them.” – BBC News
Reduces Risk of Cancer
It has also been shown in recent studies that chilli peppers are actually helping to lower the risk and limit the spreading of prostate and stomach cancer. If these studies are proven to be right, then this could help millions of people affected by these illnesses by giving them more time for treatment.
Congestion Relief and Reduces Appetite
My granny always gives me a spicy home-cooked meal whenever I feel a cold coming on and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Spicy food is well known for it’s healing properties, as we have already mentioned, but is particularly skilled at fighting off nasty viruses such as colds and flu.
The heat in chillies can also help to greatly reduce your appetite as well as boosting metabolic rates. These both contribute to fat burning and studies have recently shown that chillies are being used more and more in diets because of this. How awesome is that?
Last, but certainly not least – chillies are a natural aphrodisiac! Many people might not know this, but chilli peppers are known for being good at increasing libido when consumed, meaning you can literally spice up your love life. The more you know!
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