Chili Peppers

By EAT-SMARTER
Updated on 14. May. 2020

Hot, hotter, hottest! Chili Peppers come in a variety of colors and spiciness. The hotness makes the pods super healthy, but be sure to ease into intensities!

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Chili peppers

Chili peppers...

  • ...relieve pain. Headaches, sore muscles and nerve pain — chillies can help treat all of these ailments. But, you should never apply chili to open wounds or injuries!
  • ...stimulate the senses. When the intense flavor subsides, the body reacts by releasing endorphins. The pungency also boosts blood circulation, especially in the abdomen.
  • ...act as a gentle fat burner. The spicy capsaicin in chili peppers not only boosts the entire metabolism, but it can also temporarily boost fat burning in the body. The sharper the pepper, the greater the effect.
  • ...can cool the body. When the weather is hot, the spiciness of chili peppers can make us sweat — and then the body cools down while sweat on the surface of the skin slowly evaporates.
  • ...stimulates digestion. Those who eat chili peppers often rarely have digestion problems. That's because the capsaicin, among other properties, helps revive a sluggish intestine.
  • ...can be too spicy. If you have a sensitive stomach, chili peppers are best eaten with caution. The smaller the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains, so stick to the larger ones if this is a concern. The spiciest part of the pepper is the seeds, so it may be best to leave them out altogether.
  • ...can burn in your mouth. If a meal seasoned with chili peppers is too hot, do not drink water! Milk and dairy products, such as yogurt, are a good antidote.

chili powder

 

Chili Powder...

  • ...increases fat burning. The capsaicin in chili powder not only boosts the entire metabolism, but in large quantities it can also temporarily boost fat burning in the body.
  • ...cools in the heat. Because of its pungency, chili powder can make you sweat. Insiders know that the sweat evaporates on the skin, creating a pleasant cooling effect.
  • ...has a euphoric effect. Chili powder can help you feel less tired or stressed. Its pungency triggers a pain, which the body soothes by releasing endorphins, which create feelings of happiness.
  • ...can help you lose weight. Seasoning with chili powder is a great idea for those who are figure-conscious because the capsaicin it contains can boost the metabolism.
  • ...stimulates digestion. Those who season with chili powder rarely have digestion problems. The capsaicin in chili powder helps revive a sluggish intestine.
  • ...kills germs. The pungency can slow down pathogenic germs and thus protect against food poisoning.
  • ...doesn't suit everybody. Chili powder is not good for children, and even adults with a sensitive stomach should slowly increase their dose when seasoning with chili powder.

What You Should Know About Chili Peppers

If you think chili peppers are just hot, you're wrong. Depending on the dosage, the red, yellow, orange or green relatives of the pepper can elicit even the finest nuances of taste. The Aztecs are even said to have seasoned their chocolate with chili.

The degree of a chili pepper's pungency depends on the capsaicin content. The capsaicin content has been measured in so-called Scoville units for about 100 years and chili peppers are classified on a scale:

  • Level 0 - 2 = This corresponds to 100 to 1,500 Scoville units and is considered mild, which is relative: many people even find 20 Scoville units to be hot.
  • Level 3 - 5 = 1,500 to 15,000 Scoville units are considered sharp. Most chili sauces, for example, are at this stage.
  • Level 6 - 8 = 15,000 to 100,000 Scoville units are considered very hot, even for experienced chili eaters.
  • Level 9 - 10 = 100,000 to 200,000 Scoville units run extremely hot and bring tears to the eyes of even experienced chili fans.

Unfortunately, despite units and scale, it is not so easy to get the right chili, because the content of the spice capsaicin can vary greatly depending on growing conditions. However, a rule of thumb has proven to be practical: The smaller the chili, the hotter it is in most cases!

Origin

In South and Central America, chili peppers have been cultivated for 5,000 years.

Season

Fresh chili peppers are available all year round from imports. Dried chili, in flakes or ground, is also available at any time.

Taste

Depending on the variety and size, chili peppers taste hearty and fiery.

Our Favorite Chili Pepper Recipes

Here you can find all chili recipes.

How Healthy Are Chili Peppers?

Those who like and tolerate chili peppers can benefit greatly. Above all, chili peppers promote blood circulation and stimulate circulation. That is why pharmaceutical manufacturers produce pain plasters and blood circulation-promoting ointments with capsaicin. Chili peppers acts like the body's own air conditioning system. The hotter the peppers, the more you start to sweat. This is exactly what leads to a pleasant cooling effect when the capsaicin causes the skin to sweat and cool as it evaporates.

This is one of the reasons why chili peppers are so popular in tropical countries. In addition, the peppers have an antibacterial effect and thus aid against diarrhoea, colds and other complaints that are caused by bacteria. Chili peppers are also used as a household remedy for a blocked nose and a persistent cough.

Those who overdo it with chili peppers or who generally cannot tolerate the pungency can experience unpleasant side effects. People with a sensitive stomach or irritable bowel syndrome are better off leaving chili peppers alone because capsaicin can irritate mucous membranes and even damage them.

Sensitive people may react to a mildly spiced meal with tears and a running nose. Almost everyone gets skin irritations if they peel more than one of the hot chili peppers with their bare hands and chop them into small pieces. If consumed in excess, chili peppers can damage the mucous membranes, and in an extreme case, cause real burns. Children should not touch chili peppers that have already been cut open.

Nutritional values of chilli (dried) per 100 grams  
Calories 377
Protein 12 grams
Fat 17 grams
Carbohydrates 32 grams
Fibers 25 grams

Shopping and Cooking Tips for Chili Peppers

Purchase

If you don't like spicy, you should choose large chili peppers. Conversely, if you welcome hotness, opt for small chili peppers.

Storage

Fresh chili peppers keep in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for a week or longer. Dried chili peppers, as well as chili flakes and ground chili, retain their flavor and pungency for many months if they are kept well sealed and protected from heat.

Preparation

When cleaning and chopping fresh chili peppers, you should wear gloves so that the capsaicin does not burn the skin. The spiciest part is the seeds, so it is best not to use them if you like it a meal to be more mold.

Preparation Tips For Chili Peppers

If you are not among the most experienced chili pepper eaters, take it slow and use them sparingly at first. To find out how hot fresh a chili pepper is, you can carefully lick a piece. Be especially careful with dried chili: both flakes and powder are extremely hot because the seeds are also processed.

If you have made a mistake and the chili pepper is hotter than you thought, don't drink water to extinguish the fire, as this will intensify the burning mouth. Better suited are milk, beer or wine, because fat and alcohol can dissolve the capsaicin.

Knowledge To Go

Depending on the variety, chili peppers can be used to give dishes a mild to burning hot note. At the same time, chili peppers enhance the taste of other ingredients and gives the whole thing a piquant spice. Chili peppers are also good for health as a circulation stimulant and a remedy for colds because the pungency promotes the mucous membranes blood circulation.

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