Since my childhood, I have had the greatest innate love for spice, heat and chillies and often add a kick to my everyday meals which my own children have yet to appreciate. Whilst consuming very hot chilies may not seem so desirable to others, it can offer a surprising array of health benefits thanks to the fiery kick powered by a compound called capsaicin.
So let’s take a look into the world of heat and its many exciting perks…
Capsaicin revs up the metabolism, causing your body to naturally burn more calories. This can be a helpful tool for assisting in weight management, although it’s important to remember that munching on chilies alone won’t make you skinny!
Capsaicin, found within chillies, has natural pain-relieving properties, which is why it’s often found in topical creams for muscle aches and joint pain. It works by tricking the body into thinking the burning sensation is more important than the underlying pain.
Immune System Support
Hot chilies are loaded with vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that bolsters your immune system and helps to naturally fight off infections. Red chili peppers, in particular, are even richer in vitamin C than oranges!
Potential Cancer-Fighting Properties
Studies suggest that capsaicin may have anti-cancer properties, potentially slowing down the growth and spread of cancer cells. However, further research is needed in this area.
Improved Heart Health
Capsaicin may help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, hot peppers contain potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure.
The runny nose you sometimes get from eating spicy food? It’s actually your body’s way of clearing out congestion. Capsaicin can thin mucus and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, providing temporary relief from a stuffy nose.
A Taste Adventure
Let’s not forget the pure enjoyment of experiencing the complex flavour profiles of different chili peppers. From the smoky heat of chipotles to the citrusy zing of habaneros, there’s a whole world of taste to explore for the adventurous palate.
Of course, it’s important to remember that moderation is key when it comes to consuming very hot chilies. They can irritate your digestive system and cause discomfort if eaten in excess. Start slow and gradually increase your intake as you build up your individual tolerance.
Whilst fresh chillies can be frozen whole in order to preserve their integrity and flavour, you can also keep a jar of chilli flakes in your spice rack for your recipes or treat yourself to a jar of chilli puree. My go-to chilli fix is the Habanero Mokka Chilli Puree from the One Stop Chilli Shop which is rated as a four chillies for heat level and is recommended that you “use with extreme caution! This product is very hot!”
Crafted from 75% Habanero mokka, cider vinegar and salt, once opened, the 41ml jar of chilli puree must be kept refrigerated and consumed within 3 months. This beautifully light and slightly sweet puree delivers the most deliciously undisturbed firey kick of heat with just the smallest of additions to any meal. Whether you disperse a few drops onto your avocado toast, stir into a vegetable cous cous, curries, soups, salads or snacks such as cheese and crackers, the tingle and warmth is divine!
So, the next time you reach for a fiery chili, remember, you’re not just adding heat to your dish, you’re potentially giving your body a boost in several ways. Just keep it sensible and enjoy the ride!
You can use my code “TRACYKISS” at One Stop Chilli Shop for a 20% discount!