One medium green chili has as much vitamin C as 6 oranges? OR
Hot chili peppers speed up the metabolism to help with weight loss? OR
Teas and lozenges are made from chili peppers to help sore throats? OR
The Capsaicinoids in chili peppers are used to treat sore muscles? Strange as it may seem but itís true.
Well if this changes your thinking about that tiny green chilly which we often saw our mom using it in the kitchen and didnít ever think of its uses.
Now I can see that strange look on your face which says --- ďUSES OF THE TINY CHILLY?Ē
Let me tell you 2 basic facts about chilies
1) As a rule the larger the chilly the milder it is. Tinnier the stronger.
2) More the merrier (Excess of everything is bad)
Chilies are associated with burning tongue and watery eyes. Although known for their extreme bitter and spicy nature, green chilies can provide various health benefits GREEN CHILIES are now developed around the world because they are usually employed like spices or vegetables in kitchen, and like medicine. The fruit is eaten cooked or raw for its fiery hot flavor which is concentrated along the top of the pod. The stem end of the pod has glands which produce the capsaicin, which then flows down through the pod. Removing the seeds and inner membranes is thus effective at reducing the heat of a pod. Chilies start off as green. As they ripen, they turn red or yellow Capsaicin is the chemical compound that gives chilies their heat.
1)Psychological benefits of green chillies
Psychologist Paul Rozin suggests that eating chilis is an example of a "constrained risk" like riding a roller coaster , in which extreme sensations like pain and fear can be enjoyed because individuals know that these sensations are not actually harmful. This method lets people experience extreme feelings without any risk of bodily harm.
The potency of chilies is firmly believed to have a supernatural element. It is customary to hang a few chilies with a lemon over the threshold of a residence to deter evil. Chilies are also used to ward off the evil eye.
A handful of chilies together with other condiments such as curry leaves and a little ash from the hearth are waved over a person's head to create a shield against curses and bad spells.
2) Irritant weapon
Capsaicin extracted from chillis is used in a spray as a non-lethal weapon.
Farmers in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent have found the use of chilis effective in crop defence against elephants. The chilis are spread on fences and other structures to keep the elephants away. Because the elephants have a large and sensitive olfactory and nasal system the smell of the chilli causes them discomfort and deters them from feeding on the crops. This can lessen dangerous physical confrontation between people and elephants.
4) Used by birds for defense
Birds do not have the same sensitivity to capsaicin, because it targets a specific pain receptor in mammals. Chili peppers are eaten by birds living in the chili peppers' natural range. The seeds of the peppers are distributed by the birds that drop the seeds while eating the pods, and the seeds pass through the digestive tract unharmed. This relationship may have promoted the evolution of the protective capsaicin. Products based on this substance have been sold to treat the seeds in bird feeders to deter squirrels and other mammalian vermin without also deterring birds. Capsaicin is also a defense mechanism against microbial fungi that invade through punctures made in the outer skin by various insects.
5) They do not contain fat or cholesterol and help block the body's absorption of cholesterol while remaining low in calories. Research in humans found that "after adding chilli to the diet, the LDL, or bad cholesterol, actually resisted oxidation for a longer period of time, (delaying) the development of a major risk for cardiovascular disease.
6)They are very high inpotassium, magnesium, and iron. Their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.
7). Red chilis contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilis (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6, in particular
Green chilies are rich in vitamins A and C with the dried version higher in vitamin A and the fresh version higher in vitamin C. They can contain as much as six times the amount of vitamin C as a single orange. Their vibrant color signal high amounts of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which supports the cardiovascular system, as well as helps maintain the health of the skin, eyes and immune system. Green chilies also contain vitamins B and E.
8) They are often used as a hot spice, providing a spicy nature to the food, especially in ethnic cuisine such as Mexican, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Arab, and Spanish cooking.
9) It helps build your immune defense system
10) Chilies can also help prevent serious problems like cancers along with inhibiting the growth of leukemia and prostate cancer cells.
11) Capsaicin, the active chemical stored in the veins and seeds that gives them their heat has many nutritional and health benefits. It helps dissolve blood clots and aids in digestion. Capsaicin as a drug has been prescribed to treat wrinkles, heart health and facial twitching.
12) Working as a thermogenic agent, capsaicin in chilies provides an extra boost to a weight-loss program It actually burns calories by increasing your metabolism, as well as curbing your appetite.
ē The heating quality of chilies, due to the presence of capsaicin, intensifies bodyís metabolic activity thereby increasing its ability to burn calories and fats. There is scientific evidence that capsaicin revs up your metabolic rate by 30 percent for several hours after you eat a meal. This temporary metabolic boost helps you lose weight by burning calories at a faster rate. However, to keep your metabolism running in a higher gear, you need to eat 5 to 6 smaller chili-spiked meals (rather than 3 large meals) per day.
13) Capsaicin also releases endorphins in the brain and puts chili eaters in a better mood.
Green chillies help in pain relief as after its consumption, our brain releases natural opiates endorphins that reduce the pain and also affects emotions.
14) Capsaicin creams have also been used as anti-inflammatory medicine and in the treatment of arthritis.
They also provide relief from problems like migraines, headaches, sinusitis and even arthritis.
The hot stimulating properties of this pepper make it useful in clearing mucus, eliminating headaches and circulating the blood.
15) In some countries, spicy dishes with a lot of chilies and fiery capsaicin are eaten during summer months. The heat from the chilies makes you sweat and the process of sweating cools the body down.
16) Reduces microbial contamination levels of food in countries with minimal or no refrigeration.
17) They help in the dissolution of blood clots if your stroke is ischemic (due to a clot cutting off proper blood flow to the brain) the Cayenne will 'stimulate the return of blood to the cerebral tissues. If, on the other hand, your stroke is hemorrhagic (a bleed inside the skull), the Cayenne will act as a local styptic (staunching blood flow).
18) They are excellent medicines for lungs as they act as decongestants. Chilies seem to have an anti-inflammatory property and have also been found to protect the lung tissue. In this way it has shown to cut the recovery time of colds and fluís in half when taken liberally in the early stages of these diseases."
19) Chilly aids digestion by increasing blood flow which improves efficiency, reducing gas and increasing the absorption
20) The capsaicin in chilly peppers also has a stimulating effect on the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses. Studies have shown that capsaicin stimulates blood flow through the membranes and causes mucus secretions to become thinner and more liquid. This action makes it beneficial in combating the common cold and sinus infections.
21) The amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chilly pepper.
Chilies are a great way of keeping healthy naturally and thus they should not be considered as mere tongue-burning element. Everybody who has ever tried a green chili is familiar with the mild bitterness and intense, sinus-clearing heat, but a lesser known fact is the myriad of health benefits that green chilies provide to those who consume them.The heat that the capsaicin provides is even a health benefit, so when you feel the heat, you know its working.
Warning- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, mouth or other sensitive parts of your body after handling chilies. The capsaicin will stick to your fingers and hands and burn very badly. Make sure to wash your hands many times after touching chilies.
Eat all the green Chili you want and stay healthy. If you are not used to eating the green stuff I have to warn you that it can be very hot and cause you to make a few extra trips to the bathroom. Over time you get used to it and only good things can happen. However, it should be noted that one can get the most benefits from the green.
Available fresh, dried, ground, canned or pickled, there are a number of ways to enjoy the taste and health benefits of green chilies. This is great stuff and you can add it to almost all your dishes and it will taste great chilies only when it is green and fresh. Chilies are a great way of keeping healthy naturally and thus they should not be considered as mere tongue-burning element. Itís cheap and also available the entire year around. So go ahead and have a CHILLING TIME and stay healthy!
The author of this article ,Priti Pasricha ,is an experienced Academician andCcounselor.She has been acting as a bridge between Teacher-Child-Parent Counseling for the past many years.
She is a professionally trained n qualified Primary Teacher and for the past few years she has been working as a Centre Head with an Internationally reputed Chain of Primary Schools based at Delhi.
Besides her academic interest, she's an explorer and a keen learner of the world around her with music and reading as her PASSION.