Green chillies are the fruits of a shrub and they make an essential constituent in Indian foods. Though there are different kinds of chillies, roughly about 200 species. In this article, the discussion is about green chillies. As the name itself indicates, the fruits are green in colour. The scientific name of this fruit is Capsicum annuum L. Many people assume that this increases the heat of the body. In reality, though it seems to increase sweat but it cools the body afterwards. This is the main reason for using green chilli in food in hot and humid areas. The interesting thing is that in these areas, the usage of this spice increases with increase in environmental heat.
7 Proven Benefits of Green Chilli
Some of the proven benefits of green chilli are:
Respiratory Health Benefits of Green Chilli: Green chilli contains some phytonutrients which are helpful for the respiratory system1. It aids in relieving cold and cough. Asthma is also prevented to some extent by including green chilli in food. It reduces the risk of lung cancer. Green chilli facilitates the passage of respiratory gases through respiratory system.
Digestive Health Benefits of Green Chilli: Since green chilli contains dietary fibers, it prevents constipation by facilitating the easy bowel movements. It also cleanses the colon. The calories obtained from green chillies are negligible. Besides this, green chillies are found to enhance the rate of metabolism. These factors are accounted for weight loss of the person1. It protects the stomach by killing the bacteria that are ingested with food and by increasing the mucus secretion1.
Benefits of Green Chilli for the Cardiovascular System: Antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 are found in large quantity in green chilli. These antioxidants prevent the clotting of blood inside the blood vessels and thus support heart to carry out its function easily. They also decrease the risk of cardiac arrest and stroke.
Green Chilli Benefits for Healthy Hair: The natural silicones present in green chilli enhance the blood circulation and also supports hair growth2. Iron is required for supplying oxygen to the cells and also follicles. It is absorbed from the food and the absorption of iron increases if food contains Vitamin C. Since green chilli contains Vitamin C, it indirectly helps to maintain the health of hair by avoiding the splitting of hair ends.
Skin Health Benefits of Green Chilli: Every individual wants their skin to be radiant, glowing and to be without wrinkles. This can happen when there is sufficient collagen. Collagen involve in keeping the skin firm and healthy. Collagen production is increased by Vitamin C which is found in green chilli1. Apart from this green chillies also helps in curing rashes, blemishes, acne and pimples. It keeps the skin young by avoiding and curing wrinkles. Naturally the oils which contribute to the healthy skin are produced by Vitamin E found in green chillies.
Benefits of Green Chilli for Bone and Eye Health: Calcium is necessary for maintaining health of bones and teeth1. Green chilli which contains calcium keeps them in good condition. Vitamin A is abundantly found in green chillies improves vision. It is also minimizes the chances of formation of cataract. Generally macular degeneration is found in many people in their old age. Vitamin A found in green chillies prevents this degeneration.
Green Chilli Benefits for Increasing Insulin Sensitivity: Green chilli is found to increase insulin sensitivity and thus reduces the required amount of insulin to reduce the blood glucose level1. A regular consumption of green chilli can help to lower the insulin required by the body to a very low level.
Constituents Present in Green Chilli
Green chilli contains a pungent smell giving substance called capsaicin which is mostly present in capsicum families. It is a water soluble substance and found to speed up the blood circulation. It also contains the following nutrients. Nutrients present in 100 gm of green chilli are:
- Carbohydrate – 9g
- Fat – 0.2 g
- Protein – 2 g
- Potassium – 340 mg
- Sodium – 7 mg
- Calcium – 0.01 g
- Vitamin A – 2 g
Other than these, it also contains magnesium and Iron of about 6% each, Vitamin C 404% and 15% of Vitamin B6. Approximately 40 calories of energy is obtained from these above listed nutrients.
Apart from all the beneficial properties of green chillies, they also aid in repairing tissues and produce new cells in blood. Though green chillies have many advantages there are a few side effects too. Some of the side effects are because of excess consumption. They irritate the mouth, stomach and intestine. Continuous and over usage of green chillies is found to cause ulcers and that can be painful. Sometimes large quantity of capsaicin may be toxic. Hence, a regular consumption at a moderate level is beneficial to obtain its benefits.