Hola! I just got back from my vacation in Mexico and it inspired me to write about hot pepper health benefits and the hot pepper scale.
First here are some fun facts about hot peppers:
- There are more than 140 varieties of chiles grown in Mexico alone.
- Chili peppers can be part of a topical pain relieving cream. The heat from the capsaicin can help your aches and pains, but use gloves to rub it in. Capsaicin can stay in the skin and burn for hours.
- According to Archaeologists, spices have been used for over 6,00o years now.
- January 16th is the National Hot and Spicy Food Day
- Christopher Columbus introduced chili peppers to America in 1493 (source: http://www.chilly.in/origin_of_chili.htm)
- The world’s hottest chili is “Naga Jolokia” a.k.a the “Ghost Pepper”
What’s the hottest pepper you can handle?
(I stop at Habanero! But could eat pepperoncinis by the handful… mmm)
Health Benefits of Capsaicin
- Arthritis relief
- Headache help
- Clears Sinuses
Peppers are cholesterol free, low in sodium and calories, rich in Vitamins A and C, and are a good source of folic acid, potassium and Vitamin E.
Hot peppers are beneficial for one’s health, but it can also really bother people with ulcers and people that have irritable bowel syndrome. Capsaicin can really cleanse the intestines and push a bowel movement… it’s natures ex-lax (meaning it can create “fire in the hole” as I like to call it).
Some people are even allergic to capsaicin, so be careful not to consume hot peppers if you have trouble with them. This spice is an important one to remember that everything in moderation is one of the keys to a healthy diet. Don’t overdo it just because it is healthy.