There are two kinds of people. The ones who can eat raw green chillies one after the other without the slightest sign of discomfort. The other that carefully picks out finely chopped green chillies from their dish and pushes it toward the farthest side of the plate. If you belong to the first category, here are reasons that will convince you to bite into another green chilli. If you belong to the latter, this list will give you a reason to change your mind.
Fresh green chillies are rich in vitamins C while the dried version is higher in vitamin A. Their vibrant color signals high amounts of the antioxidant beta-carotene, and it also contains vitamins B and E, iron and potassium. Here are some benefits of green chillies that are sure to take you by surprise.
1. Treats Common Cold
Remember grandma’s advice to eat spicy food whenever you have a bad cold? Turns out, this remedy is actually rooted in science. Small amounts of green chillies are known to stimulate lung function and provide energy to the body. They also make the mucus thinner and allow you to cough it up. Additionally, the Vitamin C present in green chillies is a potent antioxidant, which speeds up the healing process of several illnesses, including the common cold.1
2. Fights Inflammation
Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your health and lead to several medical conditions. The vitamin C in green chillies displays anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have observed that vitamin C administration can reduce your risk of gout, ulcers, and several heart conditions.2
3. Heals Wounds Faster
Thanks to its high vitamin C content, green chillies can speed up the healing process of your wounds and bruises. Vitamin C facilitates the formation and synthesis of collagen, which is the structural protein that skin is made of. By supplementing the formation of new skin, vitamin C can reduce your wound-healing time.3
4. Boosts Metabolism And Aids Weight Loss
The compound responsible for the “hot” taste and flavor of green chillis is also responsible for its metabolism-boosting effects. By directly converting the food into usable forms of energy (through a process called thermogenesis), green chillies can increase your metabolism and burn calories faster. Capsaicin also suppresses your hunger and prevents you from overeating, thereby facilitating weight loss.4
5. Treats Stomach Illnesses
Green chillies are loaded with dietary fiber that aids digestion, cleanses your colon, and keeps your bowel movements healthy. Fiber is vital for bulking up waste, easing its movement out of the system, and preventing constipation. Green chillies also trigger higher saliva production, which helps in proper digestion of your food. The capsaicin in green chillies can treat gastric ulcers and reduce your risk of gastric cancer.5 6
6. Improves Vision
The vitamin C in green chillis is a powerful antioxidant. It not only improves vision and enhances your eye health but also reduces your risk of eye disorders like cataracts. Green chillis also contain high amounts of vitamin A, which is another nutrient that’s believed to promote eye function.7
7. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Capsaicin to the rescue, yet again! The capsaicin in green chillis benefits your heart in two ways. Firstly, it lowers the level of bad cholesterol in your blood and clears the cholesterol buildup in your arteries. It also improves blood circulation by hindering the activity of a certain gene, which contracts the arteries and obstructs blood flow to other organs. By expanding the arteries, capsaicin improves blood flow and keeps your heart in a good condition.8
8. Prevents Cancer
The capsaicin in green chillies is believed to prevent and delay the progression of cancer, especially of the prostate. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C also contribute to the anti-cancer mechanism of green chillies. Studies observe that ascorbic acid (or vitamin C) can reduce the effect of carcinogens in your body and suggest that it might be able to stop cancer on its path.9
9. Keeps Your Skin And Hair Healthy
By eating including green chillies in your diet, you can keep your skin looking young, healthy, and wrinkle-free. The vitamin C present in the spice reduces oxidative damage caused to your cells and reduces signs of premature aging. Additionally, green chilli displays anti-inflammatory characteristics, which prevent the formation of acne and promote clear skin.10
10. Boosts Sex Drive
Green chillies turn up the heat not only within your body but also in the bedroom. Believed to be a natural aphrodisiac, they can make you want to get down and dirty with your partner. The capsaicin in green chillies make you warm, increase your heart rate, stimulate nerve endings, and enhance blood flow. And since these responses resemble the physical responses encountered during sex, green chillies could have a role to play in boosting your sex drive.
Side Effects of Eating Green Chillies
Although green chillies are good for your health, make sure you don’t have too many. Don’t eat over 5 green chillies a day. Make sure the chilly intake is spread over the course of the day, and don’t eat too many green chillies in a single meal. Here are some pitfalls of eating green chillies.
- Stomach irritation: If you eat more green chillies than your stomach (or mouth) can handle, it can irritate the lining of your stomach. The excretion of green chillies can also be painful. If you cannot tolerate the spice, having a glass of cold milk will help soothe the digestive tract.
- Skin irritation: Ensure you don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth or other sensitive parts of your body after handling green chillies. Wash your hands thoroughly after eating any dish that contains green chillies.
- Toxicity: High concentration of capsaicin can be toxic to your body, so avoid eating more than what your body can take.
Not all green chillies carry the same amount of heat, so make sure you consume green chillies in moderation. If you haven’t used green chillies before, stick to half a pod or lesser. Green chillies are available fresh, dried, ground, canned or pickled. So, take your pick and give your favorite dish some zing by tossing in some finely chopped green chillies.
|↑1||Ströhle, A., and Andreas Hahn. “Vitamin C and immune function.” Medizinische Monatsschrift fur Pharmazeuten 32, no. 2 (2009): 49-54.|
|↑2||Inflammation. Oregon State University.|
|↑3||Moores, Jane. “Vitamin C: a wound healing perspective.” British journal of community nursing 18 (2013).|
|↑4, ↑6||McCarty, Mark F., James J. DiNicolantonio, and James H. O’Keefe. “Capsaicin may have important potential for promoting vascular and metabolic health.” Open heart 2, no. 1 (2015): e000262.|
|↑5||Morais, Mauro Batista, C. Kde Freitas, M. E. Motta, O. M. Amâncio, and Ulysses Fagundes-Neto. “Dietary fiber and constipation.” Jornal de pediatria 80, no. 6 (2004): 527-8.|
|↑7||Gilbert, Clare. “What is vitamin A and why do we need it?.” Community eye health 26, no. 84 (2013): 65.|
|↑8||Hot pepper compound could help hearts. American Chemical Society.|
|↑9||Mori, Akio, Sören Lehmann, James O’Kelly, Takashi Kumagai, Julian C. Desmond, Milena Pervan, William H. McBride, Masahiro Kizaki, and H. Phillip Koeffler. “Capsaicin, a component of red peppers, inhibits the growth of androgen-independent, p53 mutant prostate cancer cells.” Cancer research 66, no. 6 (2006): 3222-3229.|
|↑10||Schagen, Silke K., Vasiliki A. Zampeli, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.” Dermato-endocrinology 4, no. 3 (2012): 298-307.|