By Adrian Joele
Hot chilies have long been used as natural remedies for coughs, colds, sinusitis, and bronchitis. There is some evidence that they can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the type associated with stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. There is also some evidence that chilies can help prevent stomach ulcers. And research suggests that chilies might prevent cancer.
In the past, Chile peppers were used to stimulate appetite. But ironically, they may do just the opposite. In fact, Chile peppers seem to provide a three-pronged attack against obesity. Eating Chile peppers may help fight off cravings. According to some experts, eating sharp-tasting foods like hot peppers, pickles, and tomato juice can overwhelm taste buds, cutting off cravings.
Also, Chile peppers may help you to eat less. Researchers in the Netherlands gave 12 men 0.9 gram of ground Chile pepper, either as a pill or mixed into a tomato juice beverage. Thirty minutes later they turned the men loose at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Compared with men who were given a placebo, the men who had Chile pepper reduced their food intake by 10 to 16%.
Thirdly, it actually requires energy to eat Chile peppers. That’s right! It burns calories to eat them. That’s because the heat you feel when you eat Chile peppers takes energy to produce.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that the capsaicin, the compound that gives Chile peppers their heat, caused pancreatic cancer cells that had been implanted in mice, to die through a process called apoptosis. Pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive cancers, is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Another study, this one by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that capsaicin stops the spread of prostate cancer cells. It does that in several ways, including causing cancer cells to commit suicide. Researchers gave animals capsaicin three times a week. After a month, the animals’ prostate cancer tumor growth and seize had decreased significantly
Hot peppers are the ultimate decongestant to clear up a stuffy nose. “A hot chili can work as well as over-the-counter cold remedies”, says Dr. Ziment, ”Some of the foods used to fight respiratory diseases for centuries, including hot peppers, are very similar to the drugs we use now.” The plant chemical that gives hot peppers their sting and makes them so nose-clearing good is capsaicin. It is similar to a drug called guaifenesin, which is used in many over-the-counter and prescription cold remedies, says Dr. Ziment.
Of course, eating a Chile pepper has more of an immediate impact than taking a spoonful of medicine. When you get a hot pepper on your tongue, your brain is slammed with an onslaught of nerve messages. The brain responds to this “Ow!” message by stimulating secretion-producing glands that line the airways. The result is a flood of fluids that make your eyes water, your nose run, and the mucus in your lungs loosen. In other words, Chile peppers are a natural decongestant and expectorant.
Support for heart and stomach
Consuming peppers may lower your risk for heart disease. Capsaicin not only improves circulation, but it also decreases the clotting potential of your blood, preventing blockages in the arteries of the heart and brain that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In experiments at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, capsaicin was found to reduce the occurrence of dangerous heart-rhythm disturbances, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow to the heart. It seems to function in these roles as a natural calcium channel blocker, analog to some prescription heart drugs, says Dr. McAllister
Interestingly, capsaicin has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in turkeys, eating high-cholesterol diets. Like humans, turkeys are known to develop hardening of the arteries that can lead to heart disease.
For years, doctors advised people prone to ulcers to abstain from spicy foods. Research now suggests the opposite -that Chile peppers may help prevent occurring ulcers. Capsaicin seems to shield the stomach lining from ulcer-causing bacteria by stimulating the flow of protective digestive juices.
Getting more hot Chiles into your diet may strengthen your personal anti-aging arsenal because they are a rich source of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body). Increasing your intake of antioxidant vitamins, researchers believe, may help prevent damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and stroke, as well as arthritis and a weakened immune system.
One red Chile packs 3 milligrams of beta-carotene, between 30 and 50% of the amount recommended by most experts. Studies show that people who consume more beta-carotene rich foods are not as prone to cancer and heart disease.
Eating the entire pepper-seeds and all-gives you the highest concentration of the healing compound capsaicin and most heat.
Buy fresh Chile peppers that have vivid, deep colors. Their skin should be glossy, firm and taut, and their stems should be hardy and fresh.
Store them in paper bags, instead of plastic. Enjoy them raw, that’s the best way to get the most vitamin C.
The hottest Chile pepper is not necessarily the most healing, so don’t make yourself suffer. Here are a few different types of Chiles, from hot to mild, you may like to try:
* Habanero pepper and Scotch bonnet are among the most mouth-blistering peppers.
* Jalapeno and Fresno peppers weigh in at 50% firepower, compared to the Habanero.
* Hungarian cherry and Anaheim emit more of a glow than a flame and are a good choice for tamer palates.
About the Author
I have been involved in nutrition and weight management for over 12 years. I like to share my knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. Also, I like to help people solve their problems. For more info about nutrition and weight loss, visit https://www.nutrobalance2.net.
Article source: Amazines