As one of the world’s favourite spices, it’s strange to think that chili peppers weren’t introduced to the wider world until the 16th century, thanks to the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and for this we thank him!
Whether they’re red, green, crushed, bell or ancho, dried chillies are packed full of nutrients, and as a result, a host of healthy, and sometimes quite unusual, benefits too!
Warms your feet
Yes, you read that right. If you find yourself suffering from cold feet, try sprinkling some chilli powder onto your feet before putting your socks on. A favourite little trick with skiers, the capsaicin helps stimulate nerves and blood flow which, in turn, makes us feel warmer.
Helps burn fat
From one of the most unusual benefits of chilli to probably the most well-known benefit of chillies… Chillies are also good for losing unwanted weight! Thanks to the capsaicin, a thermogenic compound, eating chillies increases the metabolic rate, which aids in the fat burning process.
Capsaicin has become so well-known for fat loss that it can now be found in many anti-cellulite creams!
Supports healthy digestion
Chilli peppers have a bad, and quite mistaken, reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers. Not only do they not cause ulcers, but they help protect your stomach against nasty bacteria.
Warning: Frequent digestion of fresh chillies may cause stomach problems, so try sticking to dried chillies moderately.
Chillies are jam-packed full of vitamins A, B, C, E which are also powerful antioxidants.Here’s a great fact for you… chillies contain seven times more vitamin C than an orange!
The bright colour of red chili peppers signals its high content of beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Often called the anti-infection vitamin, vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membranes and serve as the body’s first line of defense against invaders.
As well as boosting the immune system, eating chillies can also help relieve the symptoms of the common cold. Capsaicin’s peppery heat stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffy nose or congested lungs leaving you feeling, more refreshed.
Effective pain relief
Capsaicin has also been found to provide effective pain relief without the numbing effect usually associated with anaesthetics and over-the-counter pain killers and has historically been used to help relieve migraines, muscle, joint and nerve pain.
Here’s the science… Capsaicin helps alleviate pain by depleting your body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that is involved in transmitting pain signals to your brain.
Lowers blood sugar
Studies have shown that when meals are prepared with chili peppers, lower amounts of insulin are needed after that meal to regulate blood sugar levels.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to source the most up to date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that remedies in our articles are effective, when in doubt, consult your GP or a qualified Medicinal Herbalist. Remember also that herbal remedies can be dangerous under certain circumstances therefore you should always seek medical advice before self-treating with a homemade remedy, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding or suffer from any known illness which could be adversely affected by self-treatment.
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