The Hot, Healthful Chili

Apart from a vegetable and spice, the hot chili has also been used to treat certain illnesses

Chili, or ot in Vietnamese, is widely grown throughout the country for fruits, which are often consumed as a fresh vegetable or a spice (in the forms of powder and sauce). The hot taste of the chili comes from capsaicin, an alkaloid. The fruit, especially when it is red, contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.

The capsaicin in ripe chilies causes heat, which can be used as a pain reliever for muscle and joints. Red chilies are often soaked in rice wine and many people rub this wine externally to ease blood vessels, increase blood circulation locally and relieve joint pain. Capsaicin solution is also recommended as a pain reliever of choice for those with diabetes.

Intake of a moderate amount of hot chilies can help boost the appetite, facilitate digestion and prevent flatulence. Many think that chilies are not good for those with stomach ulcer. However, studies show that chilies are good for these patients, as the capsaicin can kill the bacteria that cause stomach ulcer.

The rich concentration of vitamin C in chilies can help lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol level in the blood, prevent heart attacks and arteriosclerosis. Intake of hot chilies can also help prevent cold, flu and upper respiratory illnesses.

Studies have proven that intake of chilies can delay the development of cancerous cells. The capsaicin plays the role of a catalyst that makes cancerous cells kill themselves without any harmful effect to normal cells. Capsaicin also stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, which reduce the sensation of pain, particularly for those with chronic arthritis.

Eating chilies is good for those who want to lose unexpected weight. Capsaicin helps burn many fats and calories after a meal, increase the metabolism process and give a feeling that one is full. The chili can thus help lose extra weight efficiently.

The heat of chilies can keep the body warm in cold weather. It can also help detoxify the body through perspiration. The chili has a positive impact on the brain, which helps you fall asleep rapidly and soundly.
To relieve the intolerable heat of the chili, the simplest way is to drink a glass of hot, sweetened milk. The casein in the milk can help quickly dilute the capsaicin of the chili. You can also hold in your mouth a little sugar and swallow it slowly. The sugar can help neutralize the capsaicin, thus relieving the hot taste. In case you can find neither milk nor sugar, drink a glass of warm water to mitigate the effect of capsaicin.

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