Health Benefits Of Chillies – Image Courtesy: Go Dakshin
If you feel guilty every time you over-indulge on a curry – you needn’t! The health benefits of curries are very well-documented, and chillies in particular are known to have many healing properties. Some of us love the fiery feeling of biting into a really hot chilli, and others don’t. But when chillies set our mouths on fire, this makes our blood vessels dilate, which in turn increases our circulation.
Often, people report getting a bit of a high from eating chillies and this is because the body is sent into a little bit of harmless shock at the effect that the chillies are having on us. Interestingly, the fire we experience is not detected by our taste buds, but by our pain receptors. Below are some of the health properties that chillies give us, so read on and enjoy your next curry guilt-free!
Health Benefits Of Chillies
They Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Eating chillies has been linked with regulating your body’s insulin levels, so this is great news for people who have diabetes or that are overweight. Regular consumption of chillies can control blood sugar levels so well that quite shocking health improvements can be felt. (However, never ever forget to consult your doctor before making any drastic change to your diet)
They Are Naturally Anti-Inflammatory
The thing that gives chillies their pokiness is a substance called capsaicin. This has been proved to be a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, so it’s a great thing to take if you have a swelling or a bruise. People often up their chilli intake after an operation to aid the healing process. Rubbing chilli directly onto a bruise can be very effective too.
Ever wondered why, when you eat a hot curry, your nose starts running? It’s a little inconvenient for sure, but the good news is that the chillies are working their way around your sinuses, giving them a really good clear out! Your airways will be much clearer after eating a meal spiked with chillies.
Chillies have also been linked with curing and preventing certain cancers, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, and arthritis sufferers have reported that either eating chillies or applying them to the affected area really helps to relieve the symptoms. Chillies are being linked with curing or preventing many other illnesses – the surface has only been scratched!
How Do I Get The Most From Chillies?
The important factor in chillies, related of health benefits of chillies, is the capsaicin, and unfortunately we don’t absorb too much of it naturally when we eat chillies. Our liver gets on the case and clears it out pretty quickly before we can reap the benefits. So while eating chillies is definitely good for you, if you really want to maximize on the capsaicin’s healing powers, you can get it in a cream form. Scientists are experimenting with injecting it straight into veins so this may well be an option in the future.
Eating chillies is, without a doubt, really good for your health, but make sure you don’t overdo it, and include lots of vitamins and minerals in your diet too so that you are getting a balanced intake.
Neena James is a chef at an Indian restaurant in Brick Lane. In her free time, she likes to read and watch movies. Visit http://www.aladinbricklane.co.uk/ for the latest information.