Written by Louise Comerford
Louise Comerford, MSc Nutrition, is keen to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with in an accessible way to every day people. With her passion for food, science and the health of body and mind, she hopes to inspire others to make small changes with huge benefits to their lives
Chilli peppers are a flavoursome spice, a great creator of many competitions, and one of most widely used medicinal foods. As a huge lover of chillis it was my absolute delight to attend Brighton and Hove’s Chilli festival on Sunday 22nd September. I got to sample over 100 chilli pepper products and enjoyed every second of it.
Six amazing health benefits of chilli peppers
Chillis are great for fighting colds
Chillis can boost your immune function with its high levels of in vitamin C (at least twice as high as any citrus fruit!). They are also effective at reducing congestion by opening up your nasal passages.
Chillis make you feel happy
Endorphins are released in our bodies after exercise, love, excitement, orgasms and pain, and produce a feeling of pleasure. Capsaicin is an oil found within chillis, and is responsible for the burning sensation that is experienced. The pain from the burning sensation releases endorphins .
Chillis help stabilise blood sugar levels
Research has shown that eating chillis reduced the amount of insulin needed to lower blood sugar after a meal by 60%. This is particularly great news for diabetes sufferers. Stabilising sugar levels can also help with reducing appetite.
Chillis are great for your heart
Chillis boost blood circulation, thin blood and reduce artery clogging triglycerides. These combined can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and reduce the risk of complications in those already diagnosed.
Chillis increase your metabolism
Capsaicin is a ‘thermogenic’ compound, which means that it generates heat and increases metabolic rate. Increased metabolism can aid in the burning of fat! Research has shown that chillis can increase metabolic rate by up to 23% for 3 hours after a meal.
Chilli can relief pain
The endorphins released due to the capsaicin have a pain relieving effect. It has also been shown to reduce inflammatory proteins in those with auto-immune disorders.