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Author Topic: Chili  (Read 31 times)
Bonnie and Bobby Barnicle

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« on: Jan 03, 2014 06:47 am »

I recently made some chili in my crack pot. I was amazed to find out the health benefits of red peper which is the main ingredient in chili spice.


Several cultivars of peppers are grown all around the world. The chili plant is native to Central American region where it was used as the chief spice ingredients in Mexican cuisine for centuries. It was introduced to the rest of the world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers during 16th and 17th centuries and now grown widely in many parts of the world as an important commercial crop.

Chili plant is a perennial small shrub with woody stem growing up to a meter height and bears white colored flowers. The pods are very variable in size, shape, color, and pungency. Depending on the cultivar type, they range from the mild, fleshy, Mexican bell peppers to the tiny, fiery, finger-like chili peppers, commonly grown in Indian subcontinent. The hotness of chili is measured in “Scoville heat units” (SHU). On the Scoville scale, a sweet bell pepper scores 0, a jalapeño pepper around 2,500-4,000 units, and a Mexican habañeros have 200,000 to 500,000 units.

Interiorly, each fruit features numerous tiny, white, or cream colored, circular and flat seeds. The seeds are actually clinging around the central white-placenta.

To harvest, chilies can be picked up while they are green or when they reach complete maturity and dried in the plant. Usually, the fruits are picked up by hand when they are matured and turned red. They are then left to dry, which causes them to shrivel. Chilies have a strong spicy taste that comes to them from the active alkaloid compounds: capsaicin, capsanthin and capsorubin.

Health benefits of chili peppers

Chili pepper contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.

Chilies contain health benefiting an alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.

Fresh chili peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 143.7 µg or about 240% of RDA. Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

They are also good in other antioxidants like vitamin A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, α-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidant substances in capsicum help to protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions.

Chilies contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.

Chili peppers have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance):
240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
 39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
 32% of vitamin A,
 13% of iron,
 14% of copper,
 7% of potassium, 
but no cholesterol.
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2014 06:54 am by Bonnie and Bobby Barnicle » Report Spam   Logged
Steve Hydonus
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2014 07:01 am »

Hot Chili Peppers - Friend of Foe?

Health Benefits of Eating Hot Chili and Cayenne Peppers

By Darlene Schmidt

Hot chili peppers.... Never has there been a food to inspire both wonder and wariness, love and hate. If just the sight of some hot chilies in your Thai dish makes your stomach spasm, I have news for you: not all chilies are created equally. In fact, some are actually good for your stomach and can help heal it. But first let’s start by looking at the benefits of adding this wonder of nature to your diet:

•You’ll sleep better. Recent studies prove that consuming just a little chilli pepper (fresh or dried) each day helps us fall asleep, and stay asleep longer. And adding a little fresh-cut chili to your evening meal may also help you feel more awake the next day. (For more on this, see:  Eat Chili and Sleep Better!)
•Your heart will be healthier. Studies show that eating chili regularly helps keep your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol, keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range, and allowing more blood to reach the heart. See: The World's Healthiest Foods
•Your body will be able to fight inflammation, a leading cause of disease. Everyone these days seems to be talking about inflammation—not the type you get when you get a cut or a pimple, but inflammation inside our bodies and cells, the kind that can’t be seen, preventing diseases like arthritis and diabetes, and possibly cancer. In fact, studies have shown that those cultures whose diets includes plenty of hot chillies have lower rates of certain types of cancer, including colon and stomach cancer. See: Benefits of Chili/Capsaicin.

Now, having touted the health benefits of hot chillies, I must also add a cautionary note. Six years ago, when I developed breast cancer, the treatments left my stomach raw and inflamed. Around that time I had also switched to an Asian diet, believing it would help me heal from the cancer and prevent it from coming back (which it did). The only problem was that I continued to eat my chili sauces and fresh-cut chili peppers. My stomach couldn’t take it, and I was soon going back to the hospital for an inflamed stomach lining and possibly ulcers. I was told NOT to eat chilies—-that this was the main culprit. Actually, the culprit was chemotherapy, and the cure? Well, none other than chili peppers! Not the ones I had been eating, however.

After doing a lot of research, I discovered that, while regular chilies can disturb sensitive stomachs like mine, a specific type of chili—-cayenne pepper—-could actually heal and kill off any bad bacteria that might be causing my inflammation, pain, and heartburn. My main source of information for this was Dr. Weil (see:Dr. Weil's advice.)

So I began seeking out fresh cayenne chilies for my Thai cooking. When I couldn’t find them, I bought the dry ground cayenne pepper in the spice aisle. I began using it to make Thai Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce, and added it in all my recipes whenever I wanted some “heat”. I even began growing my own fresh cayenne peppers, which I still do to this day (pots of them can be found all over my deck and garden during the summer months!). For me, cayenne was the answer to my stomach problems. That, and laying off regular chilies (e.g. any other type of chili). I also had to stay away from coffee and anything acidic for a long while.

Now I find I can eat any type of chili peppers, but only sparingly (a meal here and there at a Thai restaurant is fine). If I eat them regularly, however, my stomach tends to grow sensitive again, and I have to go back to eating my cayenne pepper.

So, if you suffer from a sensitive stomach, ulcers, or heartburn, I highly recommend trying cayenne pepper. You can also get it in the form of a supplement (capsule) from your health food store, but I myself find this too potent a dose which seems to burn and make my stomach feel worse. Better to just add it to your food everyday, or make your own chili sauce and add a little to your meals. It really works for me, and my husband too, who used to suffer from chronic heartburn. Try my own chili sauce recipe, which is quick to make and includes instructions for using cayenne pepper: Homemade Thai Chili Sauce Recipe (Nam Prik Pao).

So go ahead and eat that chili--and get the wonderful health benefits that come with it!
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2014 07:04 am by Steve Hydonus » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 03, 2014 07:11 am »

Kristie Leong M.D., Yahoo Contributor Network
Mar 15, 2010 "Share your voice on Yahoo websites. Start Here.".
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A bowl of hot chili is the ultimate comfort food. Some people think that something that tastes so good couldn't possibly be good for you. Not so with chili. If you make at home, chili can be a nutritious dish that also satisfies the soul. Here are the some of the health benefits of eating chili.
Health Benefits of Chili: It's Heart Healthy

Can chili possibly be heart healthy?  First, there's the fiber. The average bowl of chili has around ten grams of fiber - thanks to the beans it contains. That's more than a third of a day's fiber requirement in one tasty cup.  You can also make chili without any meat at all - and it still tastes great.

Benefits of Eating Chili: Protection Against Cancer?

Chili may help to ward off cancer thanks to the lycopene-rich tomatoes it contains. Lycopenes are a good source of carotenoids - the same group of natural plant chemicals that make carrots and pumpkin such a healthy choice. Carotenoids are strong antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against certain types of cancer. A piping hot bowl of chili offers one of the best ways to get lycopenes since the tomatoes are cooked which makes them more easily processed by the body.

Health Benefits of Chili: Better Blood Sugar Control

A steaming serving of chili will help to keep your blood sugars under control if you add chopped onions. Onions are a good source of the trace mineral chromium that helps the body process insulin better. Onions also contain allyl propyl disulfide - another natural chemical that helps to lower blood sugar levels. All that fiber doesn't hurt either. Chili is a good choice for diabetics.

How to Get the Health Benefits of Eating Chili

To push the health value of a bowl of chili up a notch, throw in some red and green peppers which are good sources of vitamin C. When you add chili powder, sprinkle in some tumeric too. Not only will it add additional flavor, but you'll get the anti-inflammatory benefits inherent to this spice. Whatever you do, don't turn a healthy bowl of chili into a decadent splurge by adding a dollop of sour cream and sprinkles of cheese. If you need a topping, choose low fat sour cream or low fat yogurt instead. Go light on the salt too. Who needs more sodium?
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2014 07:12 am by Steve Hydonus » Report Spam   Logged

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