Chilis and chili sauces have grown in popularity over the last century and are a common feature of many meals. Chilis are by no means a new discovery and have been used in food and cooking for many hundreds of years. In hotter regions of the world, they were originally added to food to help prevent them from spoiling. The key ingredient in the chili is capsaicin, and it is this compound that helps preserve the food as it helps prevent the growth of bacteria. The capsaicin provides the heat and taste that the chili and is also this compound that is key to the many health benefits that chili can provide.
The chemical name of capsaicin is 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide and it a technically a chemical irritant, which is why is results in the burning sensation when it comes into contact with any tissue. This in itself sounds like a negative property but can actually have positive benefits and many health applications.
The benefits of chili are very wide ranging and have many positive effects on a persons overall health. They have been shown to help improve metabolism and rate of burning fat, as well as contributing to weight loss (along with exercise and a healthy lifestyle!). Chilis can also help prevent food poisoning as their antimicrobial properties can kill a wide range of bacteria.
While chilis can help boost your immune systems, thereby helping fight of colds and flu, as well as fungal infections, their properties can also help with many other ailments. The list is long and ranges from helping with migraines, joint pain and skin conditions to helping with eye health, red blood cell production and even preventing bad breath.
Much research has been done over the years and the following is a summary of the various benefits of chili on general health:
- Boosts immune system , helping fight colds,flu and fungal infections
- Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
- Improves eye health
- Healthy hair and skin
- Promotes red blood cell growth (anaemia and fatigue)
- Prevents allergies
- Reduces cancer risk
- Prevents bad breath
- Helps with skin conditions (calms psoriasis)
- Reduces joint pain
- Helps migraines
- Healthy heart
- Digestive tract/ulcers/upset tummy
- Improves metabolism and helps with weight loss
- Reduces inflammation
Chilis help boost your immune system
Chilis are great a boosting your immune system and contributing to overall good health. They contain a lot of vitamin C and vitamin A, which are vital to a well- functioning immune defense. The compound capsaicin which provides the heat of the chili can also help clear phlegm and congestion. Chilis have antibacterial and antifungal properties which is why chili is a great addition to any meal.
Chilis can help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
Adding chilis to your meal can lead to the correct amount of insulin being released to reduce the blood sugar levels. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). This is helpful in people who are overweight, along with the other constituents of chilis – namely antioxidants, carotenoids and vitamin C which all help with insulin regulation.
Chilis can help to improve eye health
Chili pepper can contribute to maintain good eye health as they are high in vitamin A. This vitamin is important in helping vision in dim light, ( so can help with night blindness). It is also important in helping keep the lining of some parts of the body such as the nose healthy. It is necessary to get your required vitamin A from your diet, so chili peppers are a great source and an easy addition to any meal.
Chilis can contribute to healthy hair and skin
Once again it is the vitamin C content in the chili peppers that has beneficial effects. Vitamin C creates and maintains collagen which is a protein that is part of healthy skin and hair. The capsaicin that creates the heart of the chili can also be added to creams to help with acne scars and wrinkles as it results in an increased blood flow to the area. When mixed with natural olive oil, pepper can improve the condition of your hair and restore its natural shine.
Chilis can promotes red blood cell growth
Chilis can help promotes red blood cell growth. This is helpful in people who suffer from anaemia and general exhaustion. Chilis have a high copper and iron content and these help boost production.
Chilis can help prevent allergies
The key heat making ingredient capsaicin is yet again important as it produces anti- inflammatory benefits. This anti-inflammatory property can help to reduce the symptoms produced by the allergy and in some cases help prevent the allergy.
Chilis can help reduce cancer risk.
Anti-oxidants and anti -inflammatories are being studied as cancer fighters. The flesh of chili peppers contain both these, and it is thought these properties are helpful in killing cancer cells. Research by the American association for Cancer research has shown that capsaicin can reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells, with similar effects being found in breast, pancreatic and bladder cancer.
Chilis can help prevent bad breath
Due to chilis antibacterial properties they can act as kill bacteria in your mouth, acting like a disinfectant, which results in fresher breath.
Chilis can help with itchy skin conditions
Chilis can help with itchy skin conditions such as psoriasis as the capsaicin acts in a similar way to killing cancer cells. It is able to reduce the number of diseased cells that are reproducing and also can aid the reversal of the skin lesions that are produced
Chilis can help reduce Joint pain
Capasicin present in the chili peppers has pain relieving properties. It can be rubbed on the skin in a cream form and this helps reduce the amount of chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. Once the pain receptors are exhausted the capsaicin acts as a natural pain reliever and this will reduce joint pain.
Chilis can help with Migraines.
Migraines can severely debilitate people with a throbbing headache, nausea and sensitivity to light. The basis for the effect of chilis helping with migraines is that the body is no longer focussing on the sole source of pain and becomes desensitised.
Chilis can contribute to a healthy heart
Chilis can also help dilate blood vessels, which helps with the circulatory system and blood flow in the body. They also are thought to help prevent heart disease by reducing fat deposits, which in turn reverses excessive blood clotting.
Chili peppers are high in potassium which is important for a number of processes in the human body. When potassium combines with folate it can help reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Chilis also contain riboflavin and niacin which are also important in maintaining cholesterol levels.
Chilis can help the digestive system
Many people believe that chilis irritate the digestive system, but the capsaicin actually acts as an anti-irritant. Research has shown that chili can be beneficial to ulcers, by reducing the acidity. The antioxidants and other compounds in the peppers can also help with common digestive problems like upset stomachs, cramps and reducing gas.
Chilis can improve metabolism and help with weight loss
Chilis have been shown to improve metabolism and help with weight loss. Metabolic rate can be improved by the heat produced by the capsaicin in the peppers. They help stimulate the thermogenic processes in the body that generate heat. As this process uses energy, you will also burn calories in the process. It has also been found that eating peppers early in the day ( deally at breakfast), results in appetite suppression which also aids weight loss, along with moderate exercise.
Chilis can help reduce inflammation
A study in animals has shown that animals with inflammatory arthritis showed improvement when given a diet high in capsaicin. The animals had a delayed development of the arthritis and there was a notable decrease in inflammation in their bodies. This is due to the valuable property of capsaicin, which is that it inhibits a neuropeptide that is responsible for inflammatory processes in the body. It has the potential to be used to treat arthritis pain, along with diabetic neuropathy and many skin conditions.
In conclusion, chilis provide a huge range of health benefits and are an easy addition to any diet. The wide range of positives is enhanced by chili sauces such as Dr Trouble, which are made purely from natural ingredients. The main constituent of Dr Trouble, along with the chili, is lemon juice.
This is natural freshly squeezed lemon juice and no concentrates are used. Lemon juice is a great source of vitamin C, and can help with weight loss and skin quality. It can also improve digestive health and prevent kidney stones. A bottle of Dr Trouble sauce is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will boost not only the flavour of your meal, but your overall health too.