Benefits of Chili That Nobody Told You About

Chili peppers are widely used across many different cultures. This is especially true for Mexican cuisine, and we love chili peppers here at De La Calle

Chili is used as a primary flavor in savory dishes and as an accent to lighter, fruitier foods as well. Just look at our mango chili tepache to see how fruity and fiery flavors make the perfect pair. This chili-centered delight can brighten your world in more ways than one! 

You probably know about how chili can take a meal from blah to bravo flavor-wise, but guess what? Chili comes packed with tons of benefits. Not only is the classic chili good for your health, but it is also good for the soul! 

This fanciful spice is a fantastic way to dive out of your comfort zone and try something new. We are going to explore some of the benefits of chili that you may not have thought about. We would like to shed some powerfully flavored light onto them! 

Chilis Are Vitamin Packed 

Chilis are packed with different health benefits in terms of the nutritional value they carry. 

Firstly, chilis are a great source of vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant helps support your immune system.  In a single chili, there is more than 100% of the daily nutritional value for vitamin C—so great news for chili lovers!  

Chili peppers are also a fantastic source of copper, a nutrient that’s often lacking in Western diets. Copper is helpful for metabolism and digestion. 

These peppers are also a good source of other key nutrients. They are dense in fiber, potassium, and Vitamin A. 

Chili peppers can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or dried and ground into that well-loved spice we are always happy to see sprinkled across our plates. 

Chili and the Brain

Chili peppers actually have psychological benefits for human beings. Who would have thought? 

It is a pretty interesting phenomenon, referred to as “constrained risk.” You might be thinking, risk? Why is eating a chili a risk? 

Well, the beauty of the constrained risk is that it really does not pose a legitimate risk at all!! Herein lies the benefit of the phenomena. 

Human beings are funny little creatures who, at times, crave extreme feelings. This is a natural part of being alive. The theory of constrained risk compares something like eating spicy chili peppers to going on a rollercoaster. 

As people, we seek certain thrills. Eating chili pepper is a thrill in that it may cause a physical sensation out of the norm without posing a huge risk to our health. In the case of the chili, it gives us that kick we are looking for without the fear factor of buckling into a roller coaster seat. 

Chili and its intense flavors are a way to experience extreme sensations without being put into extreme scenarios. Who would have thought that this famously fiery plant could shake off some of the ennui of human life! 

Chili Is Very Versatile 

This ability to adapt is what makes chili such a beneficial ingredient to keep your kitchen stocked with. Or perhaps the chili will convince you to seek it out in stores and on menus.

Chili has a fantastic ability to pair with both rich and lighter flavors to create spicy food you’re sure to love. For example, taco seasoning would not be complete without the punch of spicy chili. It adds a signature smell, color, and flavor, to so many savory Mexican dishes. 

In addition, chili is used as a complement to many Mexican candies. There are lollipops, chocolates, and countless other Mexican treats that utilize the flavors of chili. 

Chili is also famously delicious when paired with sweet flavors. For example, mango chili is a knockout combo. Dried mangoes spiced with chili are a favorite among many, and mango slices seasoned with chili are commonly sold as street food. You could also get your hands on some of our Picante Mango Chili tepache and see what all the buzz is about. 

Other Benefits of Chili

Chilis have so many benefits that we really can’t get into all of them here, but we’re going to give you a list of some of the star benefits that we haven’t mentioned yet:

  • Thanks to the presence of capsaicin, a plant compound, chili peppers may help reduce appetite and promote weight loss. Fun fact: Capsaicin is also what causes the burning sensation from chilis, as it binds with your pain receptors. 
  • Spicy foods that include chili may decrease your chances of getting heart disease and diabetes
  • Chili peppers are rich in niacin, which may help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. 
  • Thanks to the kick of spice, peppers might help clear congestion and mucus. 
  • Chilis may lower your risk of blood clots. 
  • Chilis may help regulate blood sugar. 
  • Chili peppers can improve your mood because they can increase your endorphin and serotonin levels. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, red peppers are likely not a contributing factor to stomach ulcers

One word to the wise: some people may experience upset stomachs if they ingest too much chili pepper, and this can lead to cramps or diarrhea. Definitely test your tolerance before you dive straight into making really spicy recipes with jalapeños and cayenne peppers. 

Chili Chili Bang Bang 

Chili is not an obscure flavor by any stretch of the imagination. This ancient pepper has been floating around dishes and drinks for many moons, and for good reason. 

Chili has benefits regarding your health, mind, flavor preferences, and much more. Whether you are eating chili for the flavor or the health benefits, you’ve got a good reason to. 

Perhaps you are a chili expert, or perhaps you’re a little too nervous about committing to the charming chili. Whether you are a seasoned chili connoisseur or a new chili game, this potent pepper is worth trying out. 

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Sources: 

The nature and acquisition of a preference for chili pepper by humans | Motivation and Emotion

Chili Peppers | FoodData Central

Chili Peppers 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Effects | Healthline

Study: Reasonable quantities of red pepper may help curb appetite | Purdue 

Chili peppers: The spice of a longer life? | Harvard 

Capsaicin and gastric ulcers | NCBI 

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