Did you know that capsaicinoids is the name given to a class of compounds found in the capsicum family of plants – the most common of which is capsaicin, find in the white ribs of hot chillies.
The burn of the chilli leads to your body releasing endorphins – your body’s natural painkiller. This creates a chemical reaction in your brain that releases a feeling of happiness and wellbeing. Endorphins are what your body releases when you exercise (known as the runner’s high). This release helps lower your blood pressure. Plus, fresh chillies are rich in vitamin C, while dried chillies are rich in vitamin A, and red chillies contain b-carotene. As chillies in general have anti-bacterial qualities, contain high levels of bioflavonoids and are rich in antioxidants they are a perfect way to help boost your immune system naturally. Cayenne pepper is made from the dried pods of chilli peppers.
This popular spice has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and is commonly referred to as chilli, which is the Aztec name for cayenne pepper.
Dr Richard Schulze, a medical herbalist, believes that chilli is the most important herb. “If you master only one herb in your life, master the chilli pepper. It is more powerful than any other.”
Dave De Witt, the founding director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico University (www.chilepepperinstitute.org) has been quoted as saying that: “Chillies are a remarkable food that has significant medical uses. The main one is as a painkiller when used as a cream, and they have been proved to help with illnesses such as arthritis, shingles and skin complaints.
Eating chillies is also a preventative measure for stopping stomach ulcers developing. They are crammed with vitamin C when green and vitamin A when red.” All good reasons to add some chilli to your meals this weekend.