By Naseerah Nanabhai
While chilli peppers are a distinctive feature of Indian dishes, it is surprisingly proven to also improve health. According to the American Heart Association, individuals who consume chilli pepper may live longer and may have a significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer.
4,729 studies from five global health databases were screened. Researchers, also They studied the health and dietary records of 570,000 participants spread across the United States, Italy, China and Iran. Amazingly, they found that those who consumed chilli peppers had better health outcomes than people who rarely or never ate any chilli peppers.
In the groups of people who regularly consumed chilli, researchers observed:
26% reduction in cardiovascular mortality;
23% reduction in cancer mortality;
25% reduction in all-cause mortality.
“We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chilli pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality,” said senior author Bo Xu, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart
Nutritionally, chilli peppers are filled with vitamins A, B6, C and K1, and minerals like potassium and copper. These spicy fruits are a rich source of powerful phytochemicals like capsaicin, capsanthin, lutein and ferulic acid. All types of chilli peppers contain different levels of capsaicin. This compound gives them their kick and may give a palate-singeing burn to people who are not used to spicy foods.
Chilli peppers also contain a good amount of antioxidant carotenoids that can protect you from disease and enhance your immune system. Mature (red) chilli peppers have higher antioxidant content than that of immature (green) peppers.