Green Chillies are a popular condiment in Indian food. Raw, fried, roasted in your tadkas or added to curries, this little spice is not only delicious but also rich in so many vitamins. It comes with a pack of health benefits. Edible at every stage, from the seed to the full-grown chili pepper, this spicy vegetable is easy to grow and abundant all over the world.
Boasting high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants, chillies have been found to help prevent lifestyle diseases including some cancers and stomach ulcers. Meanwhile, their ability to create heat within the body has also linked the peppers to weight loss as well as lowering the risk of type II diabetes.
Red varieties, which are typically high in beta-carotene and pro-vitamin A, are said to boost immunity and promote healthy mucus membranes, which may ease congestion of the lungs, nasal passages, urinary and intestinal tracts. Discussed in this article re some health benefits of chilli.
Nutritional facts about chilli
The nutrition facts for 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of raw, fresh, red chilli peppers are:
- Calories: 6
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 0.3 grams
- Carbs: 1.3 grams
- Sugar: 0.8 grams
- Fiber: 0.2 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
Vitamins and minerals
Chilli peppers are rich in various vitamins and minerals.
However, since they are only eaten in small amounts, their contribution to your daily intake is minuscule. These spicy fruits boast:
- Vitamin C. Chilli peppers are very high in this powerful antioxidant, which is important for wound healing and immune function.
- Vitamin B6. A family of B vitamins, B6 plays a role in energy metabolism.
- Vitamin K1. Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is essential for blood clotting and healthy bones and kidneys.
- Potassium. An essential dietary mineral that serves a variety of functions, potassium may reduce your risk of heart disease when consumed in adequate amounts.
- Copper. Often lacking in the Western diet, copper is an essential trace element, important for strong bones and healthy neurons.
- Vitamin A. Red chilli peppers are high in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
Health benefits of chilli
Chillies come with a minimal amount of calories. In fact, they speed up one’s metabolism as much as 50% for up to three hours after eating. Apart from that, they have a plethora of other beneficial effects on human. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Helps Treat Skin Infections: As green chillies are full of anti-bacterial properties, they help cure skin infections and acne. Moreover, it contains Vitamin c that gives healthy and glowing skin. Therefore, remember to store the chillies in a dark and cool place as the chillies might lose Vitamin C if kept in heat and light.
- Good For The Digestive Health: Green chillies are rich in dietary fibre, that help smoothen the bowel movement and improves the digestive health. However, eating green chillies may also prevent ulcers. It is advisable for people suffering from peptic ulcers to avoid consuming green chillies.
- Benefits in weight loss: Adding green chilli to your diet helps burn off the excess fat in your body due to its thermogenic properties. Also, it helps increase the metabolic rate. This is, therefore, one of the important benefits of eating green chilli.
- Good for heart: Consumption of green chillies brings down cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels thereby preventing atherosclerosis. It further, reduces the chances of platelet aggregation. Green chillies also help increase fibrinolytic activity which can prevent the formation of blood clots, a common cause of heart attacks.
- Good cure for cold: Green chillies contain capsaicin that has a stimulating effect on the mucous membranes of the nose. So, it helps makes it thinner and thus mucus drains from the nose quickly and cures common cold.
- Pain relief: Capsaicin, the main bioactive plant compound in chili peppers, has some unique properties. It binds with pain receptors, which are nerve endings that sense pain. This induces a burning sensation but does not cause any real burning injuries. Even so, high consumption of chili peppers (or capsaicin) may desensitize your pain receptors over time, reducing your ability to sense the burning flavor of chili. It also makes these pain receptors insensitive to other forms of pain, such as heartburn caused by acid reflux.
- May reduce risk of cancer: Chili peppers also present a potential natural remedy for fighting cancer. According to the American Association for Cancer Research, the capsaicin and antioxidants in chili peppers can kill cancer cells in leukemia and prostate cancer. This is largely due to the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of chili peppers.
Potential downsides of chilli
“Too much anything is bad” is always a good rule to remember, especially when it comes to food items that might be beneficial for us in some way. This is also the case with chillies. Even though there are many health benefits of chilli, too much can be bad. Mentioned below are some side effects of green chillies that you must be aware of:
- Eating too many green chillies may result in loose motions or diarrhoea as it has a good amount of dietary fibre.
- Overeating green chillies might cause rectal inflammation. Therefore, this can be especially painful if you suffer from piles.
- Green chillies may increase heat in your stomach which makes them harmful for pregnant women. Consuming too many chillies in your diet can irritate the stomach lining which further, can cause a burning sensation in your stomach.
- As chillies contain a high amount of capsaicin, therefore, eating too many of them may be toxic for your body.
- Consumption of too many chillies can cause your body temperature to shoot up. Also, body heat can cause mouth ulcers.