October 02, 2007

Foods that Heal - Chillies

Chillies or chili pepper, or more simply just "chili", is the fruit of the plants from the Genus Capsicum and family Solanaceae. The name, which is spelled differently in many regions (chili, chile or chilli), comes from the Spanish word chile. These are also called bell peppers, peppers, and paprika in many countries. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Indian food uses a lot of chillies. There are the red and the green varieties. Nothing like a red hot spicy chicken tandoori on a cold winter or a rainy day. Chillies belong to the foods that heal and have formed a part of nature cure in the Indian households for centuries. Contrary to the popular belief, there is no evidence that chillies cause ulcers or digestive disorders. Chillies are good for you. Here’s why.

An excellent source of beta carotene and vitamin C. The spicier the chili, the greater the content of vitamin C. Chillies are supposed to contain the largest amount of this important vitamin, only after Amla or the Indian Gooseberry. One raw pepper contains about 65 mg (100% of RDA)

Helps prevent nasal congestion.

Chillies are good sources of antioxidants.

Chillies contain bioflavonoids that prevent cancer

Capsaicin – the stuff that gives chillies their spice - is known to act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood clots.

Spice up your life – Bon Appetit.

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