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Chili pepper: properties, benefits and contraindications

chili pepper

In some regions, such as Calabria, it is considered red gold, in the East it is seen as the natural aphrodisiac par excellence: we are of course talking about chilli pepper, widely used in various cuisines to give a touch of spiciness to dishes and also of flavor more.

If you exaggerate with the doses, however, you risk irritating the gastrointestinal walls, so much so that sometimes chili peppers are among the possible causes of heartburn together with fried, spicy and too fatty foods. If consumed in moderation, however, chilli pepper is good for you, as it has various properties and benefits .

chili pepper

Properties and benefits of chilli

As anticipated, chilli pepper is good for you: it is cholesterol-free , rich in vitamin C and ascorbic acid , as well as vitamins A and PP . The intake of mineral salts, calcium and phosphorus is also moderate. In terms of benefits , it can undoubtedly be remembered that chilli pepper is an excellent antioxidant , expectorant , antibacterial and antihistamine and can contribute to:

  • Improving blood circulation;
  • Reduce cholesterol;
  • Prevent infections;
  • Promote intestinal motility;
  • Stimulate tissue vitality;
  • Activate the metabolism;
  • Fight water retention and hypertension;
  • Relieve bone and muscle pain when used in the form of a cream.

When should you avoid eating chili peppers?

But if on the one hand chilli pepper is good for you, on the other it could create some problems in some people. In particular, those suffering from cystitis, gastroesophageal reflux, ulcers, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, gastroenteritis must be careful about eating spicy foods . But pregnant or bedridden women and children under 12 must also pay attention to chili peppers as they have an easily irritable digestive system. If you exaggerate with spiciness, the mucous membranes of the intestine, stomach and sometimes even the urinary tract become irritated.

The 7 hottest and most famous types of chili peppers in the world

Among the types of chilli best known for their level of spiciness there are undoubtedly:

  1. The Carolina Reaper , originally from South Carolina (from which it takes its name);
  2. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion , usually used to prepare hot sauces;
  3. Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper from India , mostly used to prepare oils, sauces and flavorings for dark chocolate as it has a sweet and fruity aftertaste;
  4. The Indian Naga Morich, with fruity and aromatic notes;
  5. The red habanero and the chocolate habanero ;
  6. Jalapeno pepper , widely used in Mexican and American cuisine;
  7. Cayenne pepper (or hot pepper) , mainly consumed in powder form both for first and second courses.

How to tone down the spiciness of chili peppers

Those who want to eat a pinch of chilli pepper but fear the level of spiciness can take small precautions , such as drinking a glass of milk or wine or eating a slice of cheese or a teaspoon of yogurt or yogurt sauce. Furthermore, to avoid the classic burning on the fingers or tearing, effects caused by too spicy types of chili peppers, it is sufficient to wash your hands after cutting them or use latex gloves while handling them.

The uses of chili peppers, from cooking to cosmetics

Chili pepper is not only a spice to be used to spice up various dishes, but it is also the main ingredient in preserves , sauces , food creams , oils, tinctures, balms, anti-inflammatory creams , lip sticks, face masks , packs and much more.

In short, when it comes to chili peppers, we must not limit ourselves to treating their use in various culinary recipes , but remember how much it is actually also used in cosmetics and in the medical field for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant actions.

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