What miracle food can both whet and curb your appetite, deliver mega vitamins, cheer you up, ease aches and pains, clear your sinuses, rev up your metabolism and lots more?
If you know the official New Mexico state vegetable and the answer to our official state question (“red or green?”) you can also identify our milagro cure-all: the chile pepper!
One red chile pepper a day provides all the vitamin A you need and one green chile pepper has more vitamin C than six oranges. The most surprising thing for me was realizing how many products use chile.
Capsaicin, the active component in chiles, is used in creams for arthritis, and in patches and creams to relive sore and aching muscles.
One of the most interesting studies, from UCLA Medical School, indicates that capsaicin kills prostrate cancer cells.
Research has established that chiles can help lower cholesterol and help burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic bum, which speeds up the metabolism.
A study showing that capsaicin leads blood vessels to relax, potentially helping to lower blood pressure in genetically hypertenisve rats.
Some health benefits of the hot stuff:
A teaspoon of red chile meets the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A.
One green chile pod has as much vitamin C as six oranges.
Chile peppers are rich in vitamins E and B complex and a good source of iron, potassium and dietary vitamins, as well as antioxidants.
Capsaicin creams made of chile can help in pain relief.
Anti-inflammatory effects benefit those with arthritis.
Used in patches for sore and aching muscles.
Chile decreases cholesterol absorption so more is expelled from the body.
Chile peppers increase the enzymes responsible for fat metabolism in the liver.
Chile burns calories by triggering a thermodynamic burn, which speeds up the metabolism.
Chiles help thin the blood, treat blood clots and increase blood circulation.
Chiles help treat hypothermia, frostbite and heartburn.
Chile preparations aid in many skin conditions, including psoriasis, itchiness and bruising.
Chile in teas and lozenges help treat sore throat.
Chile peppers may help prevent the growth of certain cancers.
Capsaicin leads blood vessels to relax, potentially helping to lower blood pressure.
— Source: Paul Bosland and Danise Coon of the Chile Pepper Institute at NMSU, “The Healing Power of Peppers” by Dave DeWitt, Melissa T. Stock, and Kellye Hunter