Hot in Here: Chilies and Their Many Health Benefits

chili peppersEver since its discovery, the chili has captured our taste buds’ attention. The heat that a chili presents is unique. What once was a flower’s defense mechanism to protect its fruit is now one of our many delicacies. Different cuisines around the world treasure the chili’s spice but none more so than its originators: Mexican cuisine. The chili is used in countless Mexican sauces, stews, and dishes.

Mexican food catering in Iowa is readily available for your next event. But before you bring out the jalapenos, La Regia Taqueria shares some of the chili’s healthful properties.

Nutritional Value of a Chili

A chili is considered a fruit, and like all fruits, it has its share of health benefits. A 100g serving of chili contains a host of vitamins, including Vitamin A, K, and C. Minerals like iron and copper are essential in forming blood cells. Also, chilies also contain folic acid which helps in red blood cell production and fighting anemia. Chilies also contain potassium and niacin which prevents heart disease and lowers cholesterol.

Capsaicin Characteristics

The active ingredient in chili — that compound that makes it burn so good — is called capsaicin. But capsaicin does more than just make you hot around the collar. Studies show that capsaicin can also lower blood sugar and lessen the risk of diabetes.

Capsaicin is a known neuropeptide, which means it can help with the inflammatory process. Chilies are proven to have effects on auto-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid and arthritis. Studies also show that capsaicin provides effective pain relief without the numbing sensation that usually comes with anesthetics.

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Perhaps the best characteristic a chili has is its ability to capture palates the world over. Why something so painful still tastes so good will remain a mystery, but chili’s many health benefits add spice to both your meals and quest for health.