Chilies. They contain up to seven times the vitamin C level of an orange. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, E, beta-carotene, folic acid, and potassium. They’re in a lot of our cooking, and we just can’t get enough of them.
Over the years people have made them hotter than they originally were. And their intensity is measured by what we call the Scoville scale. With the Bell Pepper coming in at 0 on the scale and the Komodo Dragon Chili Pepper with a whopping 2,200,000. For reference, the Chili Padi (Bird’s Eye Chili) goes up to about 225,000 on the scale. We even have competitions on who can down the most number of chilies without dying.
Well, that last bit was an exaggeration, but people have died from consuming super hot chilies. The main compound in chilies is a chemical called capsaicin, which is responsible for the intense heat sensation you get when you pop one in your mouth.
So what makes chilies so irresistible?
What capsaicin does, is it stimulates the brain to excrete endorphins and gives a sense of pleasure when ingested. That is the reason you get addicted to chili.
Capsaicin also helps in reducing blood sugar levels. For those who are overweight or suffer from diabetes, consuming chilies help reduce insulin levels. And has a thermogenic compound that increases the metabolic rate, this aids in the fat burning process. It improves heart health, boosts blood circulation, heals intestinal problems, and protects against strokes. Capsaicin has also been found to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which assist in the relief of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and neuropathy caused by the onset of diabetes and psoriasis. Several studies have found it may also play a role in treating lung, prostate cancer, and leukemia.
The regular intake of chilies can assist in minimizing the effects of inflammatory diseases. Consuming chilies also promotes widening of the arteries, and it stimulates nerve endings to produce a warming sensation.
Capsaicin also provides effective pain relief if applied on the skin and also has antibacterial properties. Chilies can be useful in relieving and preventing common problems such as headaches, migraines, and the discomfort caused by sinus problems, thus helping a person to relax more easily. It does this is by blocking a natural chemical called Substance P, which is involved in the transmission and perception of pain.
So what are you waiting for? We recommend making some chili poppers by slicing some green chilies open. Stuffing them with cheese, minced meat, onions, salt, and pepper. Then wrap them up in some popiah skins and deep frying them.