Just the thought of that fiery dry red chilli is enough for most of us to go running for a glass of water. Yet, we all crave for that heat and spice every now and then. There is nothing like a spicy Indian cuisine that can entice your taste buds better. However, contrary to popular perception, dry red chillies is not harmful to your health. In fact, it is a powerhouse of nutrition and experts recommend including them regularly in your diet. It is rich in Vitamin C and Carotene. It also has high levels of antioxidants which help in preventing cancer.
The Indian Red Chilli
Red chili, actually, is a fruit pod from the plant belonging to the nightshade family (Solanaceae), within the genus, capsicum. It is grown all across the world, but the Indian Red chilli, due to its high vitamin content and variety has become the most preferred one. There are an estimated 120 varieties of red chilli in India and it is a crop for all seasons. The medicinal properties of red chilli varies with the species, however, they all do contain certain recommended vitamins or antioxidants. Dried red chilli is an inevitable ingredient in almost all Indian cuisines, thereby giving them its distinct thick red complexion.
Indian dried red chill has amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance):
- 240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
- 39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
- 32% of vitamin A,
- 13% of iron,
- 14% of copper,
- 7% of potassium,
And to top it all, there are no traces of harmful cholesterol in it.
Antioxidants fights inflammation: As mentioned above, red chill is rich in antioxidants which in turn can effectively fight inflammation thereby making it a natural remedy against arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. It is the anti-inflammatory substance, Capsaicin, found in red chili that gives it this property.
No congestion: There is a unique advantage to the fiery hot red chilli cuisine because it can clear away any congestion in the nasal or pulmonary pathway.
Better immunity: It is common knowledge that Vitamin C is vital for boosting your immune system. Dried red chillies, which are rich in Vitamin C, can be your perfect partner for shoring up your body’s defenses by ensuring a Vitamin C rich diet.
Other vitamins and minerals: Dry red chilli carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Weight Loss: The heat produced as a result of consuming dried red chillies can burn more fat and calories thus aiding directly in weight loss. However, care must be taken to ensure that you do not consume too much spicy food.
Fights cancer: Red chilli rich in Capsaicin is known to fight prostate cancer cells by preventing the expression of PSA (prostate specific antigen)
Please click on the below to know more about Health benefits of Red Chilli
Therefore, the next time you are unsure about using dry red chilli in your cuisine, you know what to do!
– Written by Jaga Salai, a food technologist, working as Production Manager in Alobha Exim