About Chili Peppers
Chili Peppers are fruits originating in the Americas and have been used as food and for medical purposes. Research shows that chili peppers were domesticated in Mexico over 6000 years ago. Actually, Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to see them! They were brought to Asia in the 1500s by Portuguese explorers. Today, India is the largest producer of Chili Peppers. Therefore, India is also the largest consumer and exporter of these peppers also.
Common Areas and Where to Find Chili Peppers in Food
Chili peppers are common in a variety of foods. Yet, they are integral parts of South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Also, they are also commonly featured in the foods found in the Goan region of India. Even more so, Chili peppers make the spice paprika, which is the national spice of Asia, Turkey, and Hungary.
These chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is the main ingredient in pepper spray. The capaicins bind with pain receptors and send a message to the brain that you consumed something hot. Then, your heart rate increases to release endorphins, which is the bodies response to the burning sensation. The hotness of the chili peppers was measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), where pure capsaicin is a colorless, odorless, and solid at room temperature measures 16,000,000 SHU. Here is the scale of a variety of peppers: Bell pepper = 0 SHU, New Mexico Green Chili = 0 – 70,000 SHU, Jalapeno = 2,500 – 8,000 SHU, Bird’s Eye Chili = 100,000 – 225,000 SHU, 100,000 – 350,000 SHU.
Chili Peppers May Be A Treatment Option for Obesity
It is common knowledge that obesity is a problem, as more than 78.6 million Americans are overweight. Research shows that there may be a new way to help stimulate metabolisms, without the need to cut calories. The research points to chili peppers due to the main ingredient—capsaicin. Scientists studied the effects of chili peppers in a mouse’s diet, which was high in fat, and the mouse did not gain any weight. In other words, this study showed that capsaicin helps to antagonize obesity. The reasoning behind it may be because the capsaicin turns the bad and unhealthy fat, the white fat, into brown fat, which is fat burning, through thermogenics—heat made from burning fat. This means that capsaicin, or chili peppers may be the key ingredient to stopping and treating obesity!
How to incorporate Chili Peppers into Your Diet.
There are so many ways to add Chili Peppers to your diet. For example, when making stuffed peppers, you can add chili peppers or chili powder to your stuffing. Or, if you are a salad eater, you can add the chili powder to lime juice to make a fiery salad dressing. Lastly, for seafood lovers, chili sauce is a common favorite, especially for those who love shrimp!