Green chili is a staple of Indian and South American diets. The chili is the fruit of the flowering plants Capsicum annuum and C. frutescens. Green chili is mainly used as a spice in food, although it is included in some medicines. It yields an oil that is viscous, sharp and pungent, and can also serve as a seasoning. The chili can also be ground into a powder to use for similar purposes.
Let’s look at some healing benefits this humble spice offers:
- We should begin with the ultimate benefit – i.e. green chillies come with zero calories. In fact, they speed up one’s metabolism as much as 50% for up to three hours after eating.
- Protection against cancer: Green chillies are loaded with antioxidants, that protect the body against free radicals by acting as natural scavengers. Green chillies can also keep prostate problems at bay.
- Green chillies also exert a number of beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Specifically, it reduces the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation, as well as increasing fibrinolytic activity. Fibrinolytic activity refers to the ability to prevent formation of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Interestingly enough capsaicin, found in green chillies although hot to taste, has been shown to lower body temperature by stimulating the cooling center of the hypothalamus in the brain. This explains why, even in very hot places like India, green chillies are consumed.
- Capsaicin in green chillies has a stimulating effect on the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses. Capsaicin stimulates blood flow through the membranes and causes mucus secretion to become thinner. This action makes it beneficial in combating the common cold or sinus infections.
- The heat produced by the chillies, act as an effective pain reliever, as a digestive and anti-ulcer aid. Although, people with active peptic ulcer may be bothered by “spicy foods”.
- Loaded with Vitamin C and beta-carotene, green chillies are great for healthy eyes, skin and immune system. Make sure to store the green chillies at a dark cool area because chillies lose their Vitamin C, when they are exposed to heat, light and air.
- When eaten, green chillies release endorphins that boosts the mood, and reduces pain.
- Green chillies are proven to balance blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, this may be your answer to healthy diet.
- Green chillies have a lot of antibacterial properties and can help treat skin infections
- Green chillies are a natural source of iron, and a rich source for iron deficient people.
- Green chillies are rich in Vitamin K that help decrease your risk of osteoporosis and of bleeding dangerously when you are cut out or injured.