Health Benefits of Chili Peppers
Many BBQ Rubs and Chili Seasoning contain Chili Peppers which most people use to add a little heat to their food. While Chili Peppers definitely add a little “spice” to your life did you know that they also offer several health benefits? This spicy little seasoning contains Capsaicin has been shown to help fight inflammation in our bodies, and the hotter the Chili the more Capsaicin that it contains. Some inflammatory issues that Capsaicin has been shown to help are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle sprains and strains among others. Doctors today often prescribe Capsaicin cream to help people with their inflammation and pain relief, but you can try to prevent or even eliminate flare-ups by adding chili powder to your diet.
Chili peppers have also been shown to offer cardiovascular benefits such as reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Along with added heart health Chili peppers have been shown to aid in weight loss through increase metabolism.
One if the biggest health issues that we face today besides obesity is Type 2 Diabetes and studies have shown that Chili peppers could help reduce your risk of hyperinsulinemia (high levels of blood insulin). In a study published in the July 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Australian researchers’ show that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower.
Plus, chili pepper’s beneficial effects on insulin needs get even better as body mass index (BMI, a measure of obesity) increases. In overweight people, not only do chili-containing meals significantly lower the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar levels after a meal, but chili-containing meals also result in a lower ratio of C-peptide/ insulin, an indication that the rate at which the liver is clearing insulin has increased. Besides capsaicin, chilies contain antioxidants, including vitamin C and carotenoids, which might also help improve insulin regulation.
Chili peppers are used in several of our rubs and seasonings that can be used on your meats, in your chili (obviously) or in your healthy homemade salad dressing. You can also use your favorite chili pepper powder (such as Habanero, Chipotle, Jalapeno and Cayenne) by itself to spice up your eggs, veggies, and soups and improve your health.