ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

6 Great Benefits of Eating Chilli (or Chili)

Updated on March 15, 2017

Let’s begin by taking note of the spelling. I was unaware that chili spelt with one ‘l’ is for American English while chilli spelt with two ‘l’s is correct for the rest of the English-speaking world. As I am British, I will use chilli for the rest of this article. If like me, you didn’t know this before today, I take only the tiniest piece of pleasure for bringing this to attention.

Today I found the answer to the question that I have been contemplating the past week or so: Are chillies addictive? The simple answer is yes. Chillies (unsurprisingly given my never ending yearning) are mildly addictive. The reason lies with a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is the culprit of the beloved burning sensation experienced when eating chillies. Interestingly, the body defends itself from the pain sensation by producing more endorphins (also produced by eating chocolate, having sex etc.). These endorphins cause a (natural) high, keeping us coming back for more.

Chillies, like dark chocolate and sex, cause endorphins (happy chemicals) to be released in the brain making the gloss-red jewels mildly addictive.

And keep coming back for more I do. The past week I have relished in a wonderfully spicy addition to my work dinners, a condiment of sorts, prepared by my colleague’s mother. The heat is inexplicable, driving many to tears on the first try but the resulting feeling is so satisfying. I shan’t bore you with too many details but in short this sauce (although not really a sauce because it's dry) provides a fitting supplement to any dish, meat or vegetables. The Chinese name skips my mind but it is made from millet, fermented beans, salt and, of course, chilli. One must leave the mixture in a cool, dark place for about a month before its ready to eat. As time passes, the assortment becomes increasingly fiery until its ready to be fried with accompanying ingredients, spooned atop rice or even (if you dare) spooned between slices of bread (wow).

Leaving the scorching millet concoction aside leads to the main cause for writing today. The six key benefits of eating chillies. Chillies are a superb source of vitamin A, B, C and E alongside being a warehouse of minerals like manganese, folate, potassium and copper. What’s incredible (at least to me) is that chillies contain some seven times more vitamin C than oranges.

6 Benefits of Eating Chillies

1. Antioxidant content. Vitamin A and C are powerful antioxidants known for seeking out and destroying free radicals. If left unattended, these free radicals could cause irreparable damage to cells in the body. Furthermore, the high vitamin content can help to boost the bodies immunity. Vitamin A, for example, is vital for healthy mucous membranes in the nose and lungs, areas of the body that provide our first defence against infecting pathogens.


2. Natural pain relief. The aforementioned capsaicin is a natural means for relieving pain thanks to the endorphins created in the brain from consumption. In order to get the highest amount of endorphins as possible, however, you must eat the hottest chilli you can manage. Indeed, the hotter the chillies the higher the capsaicin, the higher the capsaicin the more endorphins emitted from the brain.

3. Cardiovascular benefits. You’re probably unsurprised that a higher consumption of chillies is associated with a lower rate of heart attack and stroke. The reason lies with the role chilli peppers can have in the preventing of cholesterol formation. Simply adding a few chillies to each meal could help ensure a healthy heart.

4. Prevent prostate cancer. For men out there, this has to be the number one reason for consuming as many chillies as you can bare. According to the science, the aforementioned capsaicin clings to cancer cell membranes, effectively pulling the cell apart thus making it redundant. As I consume chilli, I like to imagine the evil cancer cell being chased, and eventually caught and destroyed, by the capsaicin hero. Childlike, I know, but entertaining.

5. Detoxification and congestion. When we eat chilli our bodies sweat, this not only helps us to feel cooler in hotter climates (and warmer in cooler climates) but also to remove toxins. In addition, the tantalising heat favours the bodies natural decongestants, helping you to be free from a stuffed nose or clogged lungs.

6. Lose weight. This point is somewhat frivolous. We all know (even if we don’t admit it to ourselves) there is only one effective way for losing weight. That said, it goes almost without saying that the intense sweat we have after eating chillies requires energy, the energy comes from calories. Chillies are a sure method for growing one’s calorie burn but not a technique for losing weight alone.

I’m grateful to those intrepid explorers who found chillies in Central and South America some hundreds of years ago. When considering individuals before us, I often wonder what their first experience of these new foods must have been like. I remember when I was younger it was playful to dare friends to eat an irregular foodstuff. Did the people of the past do this too when they first encountered chillies? Perhaps this kind of personal history we’ll never know but I take joy in imagining such playful behaviour, however ridiculous.

With all this splendid information in mind, then, I’m off to prepare dinner. I will be sure to include as many chillies as I can stomach. I hope after considering this article, you’ll do the same. What could be the harm? Be brave!

See you.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)