Chili Peppers, despite their fiery hotness, are one of very popular spices known for their medicinal and health benefiting properties.
Scientific name of Chili Pepper is Capsicum annum. Chili peppers are available throughout the year to add zest to flavorful dishes around the world and health to those brave enough to risk their fiery heat. This is the plant that puts fire on your tongue and maybe even a tear in your eye when you eat spicy meals.
Health Benefits of Chili Peppers
Chile peppers offer a lot of benefits. Some of them are:
- Fight Inflammation
- Natural Pain Relief
- Boost Immunity
- May Help Losing Weight
- May Help Stop the Spread of Prostate Cancer : Red chili peppers’ capsaicin, the compound responsible for their pungent heat, stops the spread of prostate cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms, indicates a study published in the March 15, 2006 issue of Cancer Research.
- Prevent Stomach Ulcers : Chili peppers have a bad—and mistaken—reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers. Not only do they not cause ulcers, they can help prevent them by killing bacteria you may have ingested, while stimulating the cells lining the stomach to secrete protective buffering juices.
- Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes : Making chili pepper a frequently enjoyed spice in your Healthiest Way of Eating could help reduce your risk of hyperinsulinemia (high blood levels of insulin) — a disorder associated with type 2 diabetes. In a study published in the July 2006, Australian researchers show that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Vitamins A and C strengthen the heart muscle walls, and the heat of the pepper increases blood flow throughout your body. All of this equals a stronger cardiovascular system.
Nutrition Fact of Chili Pepper
Chili peppers have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily) :
240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
25% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
19% of vitamin A,
6% of iron,
6% of copper,
9% of potassium,
Types of Chili Peppers and Heat Index
There are many, many varieties of chili peppers, and they often have different names depending on region. The “hotness of peppers is measured according to the Scoville Heat Index.
Scoville Heat Index
The scale has been described by heat level in 5 different levels :
- Sweet/Mild Chili Peppers: 0 – 2500 Scovilles
- Medium Chili Peppers: 2501 – 15,000 Scovilles
- Medium-Hot Chili Peppers: 15,001 – 100,000 Scovilles
- Hot Chili Peppers: 100,001 – 300,000 Scovilles
- Superhots: 300,001 + Scovilles
Here, most popular chili pepper types according to their Scoville level:
Information Source : Chili Pepper Madness