When we talk about chili and health, we usually refer to capsicum or bell peppers. Here we talk about our ordinary green Indian chili. An average Indian is an ardent fan of green chili.
There is the whole green chilies of North Karnataka meals served with roti, green chilies dipped in gram flour mixture and deep fried, green chilies soaked in buttermilk, sun dried and then deep fried, and onions and green chili with roti which are very popular in India.
The health benefits of chilies are well documented but little known, despite the many numerous and profound ways in which they are known to aid, relieve and prevent many conditions. The main component in chilies is a chemical called Capsaicin, which is responsible for the intense heat felt. This chemical is most significant ingredient in chilies which has many health benefits. Let’s look at some of the health wonders Capsaicin can provide.
Blood Sugar Control
Eating chilies can have a very positive impact on people that are overweight or suffer from diabetes, say a team of researchers at The University of Tasmania. The study carried out yielded that the normal eating of chilies can help significantly control insulin levels after eating a meal. The actual data they collected was able to show that after eating chilies, the amount of insulin needed to lower the body's blood sugar level following a meal was reduced by a staggering 60%.
Often overlooked as circulation boosters, chilies can have a dramatic impact on your health by helping to boost circulation and also act as a thinner to help protect against strokes. Eating food with chilies every day is all you need to do.
Pain & Inflammation Relief
Capsaicin is well known to contain a neuropeptide associated with the inflammatory process. Chili related alterations in plasma proteins have been reported in patients with auto-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid and arthritis.
Many studies now reveal that chilies can have a therapeutic effect on the body, allowing one to relax more easily. Capsaicin blocks a natural chemical called substance which is involved in the transmission and perception of pain. As a result chilies can be useful in relieving and preventing common problems such as headaches, migraines and discomfort caused by sinus problems, allowing a person to relax more easily.
Controls Prostate Cancer
Cancer research published a study in March 2006 which concluded that Capsaicin helped stop the spread of prostate cancer. The Capsaicin found in chilies triggered suicide in both primary types of prostate cancer cell lines. It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models. Scientists have also found that Capsaicin inhibits cancer cell growth.
Capsaicin is also a thermogenic compound and increases the metabolic rate which aids in the fat burning process. Studies reveal that eating chilies can raise your metabolic rate by up to 23% for about 3 hours.
Recipe for Buttermilk Dried Chili
Green chilies are rich sources of antioxidants and this makes them act like janitors of our body. A great tasty way of chili intake is to have the buttermilk dried chili. Given below is how to prepare it.
The ingredients are 1 kg green chilies, 1 liter buttermilk, 4-5 teaspoons salt or as necessary.
Wash the chilies. Trim the stem into half. Make a vertical cut into chilies taking care not to slit them completely. Take 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds powder, 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1/4 teaspoon asafetida. Add this powder and salt to the buttermilk. Immerse the chilies in this buttermilk overnight and next day, take out the chilies and dry them under hot sun. Do not discard the buttermilk.
In the evening, put them back in the same buttermilk. Next day, dry them again. Repeat this procedure for about 4-5 days. By this time, all the buttermilk is soaked by the chilies and the spices give a special aroma to it. Once all buttermilk has been done, dry the chilies for 3-4 days more till they are completely dried and become crispy. Store in airtight container.
While serving, deep fry them in hot oil or shallow fry in ghee/oil and serve. These fried chilies remain good for 5-6 days in air tight containers.