The chilli is native to South America where it’s been cultivated for use in human cuisine for over 7500 years, although not discovered by the western world until Christopher Columbus made his first voyage in 1548. Although Columbus did document the chilli, it was actually the Portuguese who first brought the plant back to Europe. From this point it took just 50 years for chillies to circum navigate the globe and before long the humble chilli had become a staple food in most western cultures.
There is almost no end to the list of benefits to your health that adding chillies to your diet could provide. Some of the most prominent of which are
- Stabilising blood sugar levels – after eating a meal containing chillies diabetics need 60% less insulin to return there blood sugar levels to normal.
- Reducing inflammation – chillies contain a substance known as capsaicin , this Neuropeptide has a strong anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
- Heart health – Studies show that eating chilli regularly helps keep your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol, keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range, and allowing more blood to reach the heart.
- Maintain bone health – Researchers have found that chilli peppers contain high amounts of calcium, which is important in maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- Pain relief – Chillies stimulate the release of endorphins that are natural pain killers. It relieves pain caused due to shingles (Herpes Zoster), bursitis, diabetic neuropathy and muscle spasm in shoulders, and extremities. It also helps in relieving arthritic pains in the extremities.
- Clears congestion – Chilies gives relief from nasal congestion by increasing the metabolism. It also dilates airway of lungs which reduces asthma and wheezing. It relieves chronic congestion in people who are heavy drinkers.
- Lowers risk of some cancers – It has been noted that vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid found in chilli reduces the risk of colon cancer. Chillies such as red pepper have cartonoid lycopene, which prevents cancer disease.
Grow your own
Although chillies are relatively cheep to pick up from your local super market they also happen to be very easy to grow at home even a sunny windowsill can provide your chilli plant with enough light to bare a bumper crop. Once harvested the chillies can be easily dried out and stored away for use throughout the year.