9 Bizarre Truths Behind Chillies (Because 10 is getting overrated)
Chillies, more commonly known as chilli peppers are commonly used additions to almost every meal to flavor it. But what are the perks of adding these spicy, dried fruits to our dishes? So here is a brief article on the benefits of chillies, including its health benefits.
MAY HELP WITH CANCER:
Yes, this is controversial but I honestly think chilli peppers preventing cancer outweighs the possibility of it causing cancer. To break it down, chillies have their characteristic pungent and hot taste because of a compound called Capsaicin. Certain studies have shown that capsaicin promotes a process of cell death called apoptosis - meaning, cell death of the cancer cells, and thereby can mitigate the spread of cancer.
But there is also speculation of how the capsaicin compound can be an irritant and increase the malignancy of cancerous tissue.
However, to conclude, adding a little chilli pepper to your diet should do you more good than harm.
ZERO CALORIE FOOD:
Okay come on, you can't tell me that didn't make you a little interested! Yeah, that's right! Zero calories, baby! Who cares about cancer!? So, now you know, adding chilli peppers to your cuisine is not disrupting any diet. In fact, what I'm going to tell you next might wanna make you consider it a little harder - Studies have shown that chillies can help in WEIGHT LOSS. Yes, you read that right. And here's the science behind it: Capsaicin is a thermogenic chemical. As in, when you eat a spicy chilli, it increases your body temperature. How does your body temperature increase? Because you just BURNED CALORIES. So, ta-da!
KNOWN TO PROVIDE PAIN RELIEF:
This is one of the most well-known and important benefits of chilli peppers - curing pain. Many pain-relieving products manufactured today invariably have capsaicin - creams, gels, pills. Capsaicin is proven to be effective in curing pain associated with arthritis, muscle sprains, muscle strains, allergies, headaches and pain from ulcers. What's the science? So, there is this chemical that sends pain messages to the brain - that's why you go, 'Ahh!' when something hurts somewhere. Capsaicin reduces said signal.
Another way it helps is by the theory of "keep-doing-it-till-they-get-tired-of-stopping-you." What I mean is this - you know that burning feeling you get when you bite into a chilli that had camouflage abilities 10/10 with your food and you went crazy for the next 10 minutes no matter how much water you chugged? Yeah, so that happens because capsaicin first thing inside your system binds with certain heat receptors that respond with pain signals once they receive heat signals. That make sense? Over time, if you keep consuming chillies anyway, these receptors become numb to the signal. Next time something actually hurts, guess what? The receptors are still numb to the pain and you just got away with it
IS GOOD FOR A BAD DIGESTIVE TRACT:
Okay, okay! Everyone's saying, "Hey! Chilli and spicy food is not good if you've got stomach issues, man! C'mon! Eat up this bland cereal for 2 days!" But listen up: that ain't it. That's not facts. It's like when everyone was going 'Napoleon was short' when the dude was a 5'7. Peppers stimulate gastric juices and help soothe gastric-acidity, diarrhea and upset stomachs. And again, contrary to popular belief - chilli peppers are NOT BAD for ulcers - Capsaicin inhibits the bacteria that is responsible for ulcers so, really, it helps.
CONTAINS PRETTY COOL VITAMINS:
"Don't forget to take your vitamins, kids!" It is not a lesser known fact that chillies have vitamins. Chilli peppers have significant quantities of vitamins A, C, B6, and K1.
Vitamin A - When a process known as oxidation occurs in our body, it produces something known as 'free radicals' that lead to damage of membranes and DNA and can even lead to heart complications. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and nullifies the effect of free radicals. These free radicals can cause a lot of problems in our bodies ranging from retinal damage, neural impairing, arthritis and cancers. Another effect is accelerated ageing - antioxidants slow down the ageing process. So, adding chilli peppers to your food can be a good source of vitamin A.
Vitamin C - This vitamin is most commonly known to better our immunity. Vitamin C benefits overall good health of our body, and its effects range from helping a common cold to preventing cancer.
Vitamin B6 - Fun fact: your body doesn't have the ability to make this vitamin. Why do you care? Because this vitamin is pretty important. Vitamin B6 helps in metabolism, creating blood cells, improving your moods, reduces Alzheimer's risk, and promotes eye health. To be honest, there are a lot more benefits that come with this vitamin but that would take too long to go into.
Vitamin K1 - The most important and well-known use of Vitamin K1 is in blood clotting. This vitamin produces prothrombin and clotting factors that are responsible for effective clotting of blood which in turn, helps close wounds.
I'd have to point out that I'm not saying chilli peppers alone can source these vitamins and solve issues, but the minimal amounts that are present can be cumulatively beneficial.
CLEARS THE RISK OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS:
So, what is this big-word "Atherosclerosis"? Atherosclerosis is basically the accumulation of fats and lipids like cholesterol in your blood vessels. This thereby narrows your arteries. This plaque eventually leads to formation of an internal blood clots which then leads to heart attacks and strokes. Yup! It can get that serious. So how do chillies help? Capsaicin can do two things to help - one, it reduces and breaks down the size of the accumulated plaque in your blood vessels. And two, this is quite interesting, - capsaicin nullifies the effect of a gene that causes constriction of muscles in the blood vessel walls. So, this in turn leads to relaxation of the muscles, widening of the arteries and free blood flow.
Chilli peppers have about 6% copper content. Copper is responsible for the formation of blood cells along with iron and it promotes healthy bones and nerves and can prevent osteoporosis and cardiac diseases. What makes chilli significant is that not many foods in our regular diet contain copper.
HELPS WITH BAD BREATH:
This is a handy tip, alright? You're gonna thank me when you need it. Chilli pepper, specifically the Cayenne ones, help battle bad breath by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth and also induces more secretion of gastro-intestinal juices. Basically, it tells your digestive system, "Yo! You gotta hurry up with the digestive process! This guy stinks!"
So next time, just chew some cayenne peppers and you're good to start talking again.
Okay, disclaimer: I'm not saying chilli peppers can cure your cold - all I'm saying is that it helps in decongestion - as in it loosens phlegm in your nose and even in your sinusoids, and that can help expel it out of your system faster. Most people mix chilli peppers like Cayenne peppers and Black Pepper with honey or even Vodka to help with the cold season.
Okay, that's about it! The 9 benefits of eating chillies! But let me add this - all these things listed above don't in ANY WAY encourage you to load a plate of chillies on your every meal. There are several side effects of chillies that must be taken note of. Anything that's too much is bad so tread on this new information with caution!
Recent Blog Posts