Chilli

The hidden benefits of chilli peppers.

This week’s tip is about chilli peppers and their impressive hidden health benefits.

Chilli contains a constituent called capsaicin, which is responsible for most of its medicinal actions. It is very pungent and has an irritant effect, which is also what makes chilli peppers hot.

Chilli is very rich in carotenoids which are known to have antioxidant effects, and so can help fight disease. It is also beneficial for:

Circulation-Capsicum has a stimulatory and dilatory effect, making it a valuable remedy in winter for helping to treat cold hands and feet, chilblains and other related conditions.

Heart health-Studies in china have shown that capsicum may help reduce blood pressure, and an Indian study has shown that it may help reduce cholesterol levels in blood.

Colds-If you’re bunged up, capsicum can help treat the respiratory problems caused by excessive mucus and blocked sinuses.

Weight loss-Recent studies have indicated that capsicum is thermogenic, so it produces heat by increasing the metabolic rate. If your rate is raised, then you will burn calories and lose weight at a faster rate.

Arthritis and muscle pain-Creams containing capsaicin may relieve arthritis and other aches and pains.

Lastly, it is also beneficial for Digestion. Traditionally, people suffering from sluggish digestion have used capsicum, as it has been shown to have a gentle stimulant effect on digestive function.

Emma Driskel-Fitness professional @Bexley

25/03/2011