The health benefits of chillies

The thought of a chilli makes many go hot under the collar. However, it might not only make you sweat, but also help you lose weight, as well as some other health benefits that might just make you order the “Extra Hot Peri-Peri” at Nando’s without regret.

Burn off the fat

So, what is so special about chillies? Well, simply put, they have capsaicin. This makes up a large part of the chilli’s compound and is a natural irritant. Now, the idea of an irritant being a benefit can seem a bit ridiculous, but in this case it is beneficial. Basically, the capsaicin creates a burning sensation in your mouth. Because of this adrenaline runs through your bloodstream and breaks down fat at a quicker rate. Research and studies has been done on capsaicin, with The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggesting that they are connected to the improvements in obesity.

A chilli mind trick

I think often we wish we could trick our minds into thinking we have eaten more than we have, thereby stopping us from eating too much. Now, none of us have a Jedi on hand, but a chilli just might do. Once again, it is due to the capsaicin. A study was done testing the theory and proved that eating capsaicin increases fullness and prevents overeating . So if you are having issues with portion control, try and add a dash of chilli or chilli powder into the mix to spice things up.

Reduces insulin levels

Another health benefit to eating chillies is how it affects blood sugar levels. Not only does it promote a healthy heart, but it is also known to reduce insulin levels. Chillies could be a nutritious food for people who have diabetes (type 1 and type 2). If you want to add chillies into your diet, try looking at Korean-based foods like kimchi, which are rich in chilli sauce and powder.

High in vitamin C

Aside from being rich in capsaicin, they are also rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is crucial to our bodies’ development and helps promote healing: it can also boost collagen production. This is a powerful antioxidant which can fight free radicals in the body and reduce signs of ageing. Try out this grilled squid and chilli recipe for a low-fat dinner option.