Chile: The spicy healer

Have you ever bitten a chile by mistake? Well, guess what… The chemical compound that burns your mouth also has great benefits for your health.

There are over 3,000 varieties of chile, a spice that originally comes from the Americas. Chiles vary in shape, color and flavor intensity. The general rule is: the smaller and redder, the hotter the chile.

This spices owes its flavor to capsaicin, an alkaloid that concentrates in the seeds and inner membranes of the fruit. This compound is virtually indestructible, since it can withstand cold, heat and boiling water without loosing its potency. Though initially capsaicin stimulates (eaten or applied over the skin) the production of chemicals that increase pain sensation and transmission to the brain, continued use has the opposite effect, thus alleviating pain, reducing inflammation and stimulating tissue repair.

Chile’s capsaicin can help with pain associated with:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-herpetic and diabetic neuropathy
  • Headaches.

It also helps with weight loss, reducing appetite and insulin resistance, eliminates fatty cells, increases the calorie burn up to six hours after consumed in a meal and many studies report that it can help prevent certain types of cancer.

Beside caspsaicin, chile is also a good source of vitamins (A and C) and minerals like magnesium and potassium.

So what are you waiting for? Add chile ASAP to your diet, but please remember to avoid touching your eyes and mouth while cooking with it.

Learn more about the amazing health benefits of herbs and spices with the book “Condimenta tu Salud”, available for kindle in Amazon in the following link, or like Dr. Jay’s Facebook page. 

Photo credit @gastrobrand

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