Chili pepper - not only beloved by many spicyseasoning. It is known for its medical properties and ability to maintain the body in a healthy state. Botanists attribute it to the Solanaceae family, the genus capsicum. The scientific name of the species is Capsicum annum. Its closest “relatives” in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family are tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. Chili pepper comes from Central America. It has been used for centuries as one of the main seasonings for Mexican dishes. The whole world was introduced to him by the Spaniards and the Portuguese. It spread widely in the 16th and 17th centuries and to this day remains one of the most popular spices in various parts of the planet.
Nutrition And You Resourceinteresting about this healing seasoning. Several varieties of chili peppers are cultivated in the world. The bush of pepper is small, it remains green all year round and has a tree-like stem. The plant reaches a height of one meter. Chili pepper flowers are white. After flowering, fruits of various sizes, shapes and colors are formed on the bush. It depends on the cultivated variety of pepper - from the tiny and extremely sharp variety of Nag Jalokiya, which grows in the Indian subcontinent to the Mexican variety, which has a fairly mild flavor. The severity of chili peppers is measured in “Scoville heat units” (SHU). On this scale, the severity of sweet pepper is taken as 0.
Inside each pepper are numerous small round flat seeds of white or cream colors. They are attached to the white placenta located in the center of the fetus.
Harvest chili peppers when its fruits are stillgreen or when they become ripe and dried. In general, it is time to collect the peppers when they ripen and turn red. The sun dries them and they become smaller.
Chili pepper has a strong pungent taste, which is provided by its active alkaloid compounds - capsaicin, capsanthin and capsorubin.
Health Benefits of Chili Peppers
Incredible quantities of chili pepper contain plant-based chemical compounds known for their ability to prevent disease and keep the body healthy.
It contains a healthy alkaloidthe capsaicin compound, which makes it such a spicy seasoning. Studies in laboratory mammals have shown that capsaicin has antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, analgesic and antidiabetic properties. It was also discovered that it is able to lower LDL cholesterol in those who are prone to obesity.
Fresh green and red chili peppers are richvitamin C. 100 grams of this pepper contains 143.7 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 240% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble antioxidant. He takes part in the synthesis of collagen in the human body. Collagen is one of the main structural proteins necessary to maintain the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs and bones. The constant use of foods rich in vitamin C helps protect against scurvy and, by increasing immunity, develops resistance to infectious agents, and also cleanses harmful free oxygen radicals in the human body that cause pathogens.
Chili pepper also acts as a gooda source of antioxidants such as vitamin A, flavonoids beta and alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidant substances in pepper help the body protect itself from the harmful effects of free radicals produced under stress and illness.
Chili in sufficient quantities containsalso minerals, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese acts in the body as a factor contributing to an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase.
Chili pepper also contains in appreciable quantities.complex B vitamins, nicotinic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin and thiamine (vitamin B1). These vitamins play an important role in the human body and must be replenished from external sources.
Selection and storage of chili peppers
Chili pepper is presented on the market in fresh form, as well as dried and ground. It is desirable to give preference to fresh pepper rather than ground pepper, which may include impurities.
Prefer brightness preserving colorfruits. They can be green, yellow, orange or red. Peppers with a healthy peduncle should be selected, small in size, without damage and stains.
Chili peppers can be stored in the refrigerator inspecially designed for this plastic containers. It retains its freshness for a week. Whole dried chili peppers can also be found on sale. It is stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place. It can be stored for several months in an airtight container. It can be ground to powder using a special spice grinder.
The use of chili peppers in medicine
Chili pepper contains a chemical compoundcapsaicin. Capsaicin and similar compounds are used in the preparation of ointments and rubbing, as it has astringent, delaying and analgesic properties.
These drugs are used to treat joint pain, as well as pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia, and muscle pain.
Capsaicin contained in chili peppers spicy this popular condiment. Capsaicin is an irritant to the oral cavity, tongue and larynx.
Capsaicin causes local inflammation, enteringcontact with the delicate mucous membranes of the mouth, larynx and stomach. It causes a burning sensation, since its effect is perceived as a sensation of hotness by the nerve endings of the mucous membranes. If cold yogurt is served for dessert, then the painful burning sensation caused by capsaicin can be weakened, thus reducing the concentration of this substance and reducing its contact with the mucous membranes.
Do not touch your eyes with your hands, which may contain leftover chili peppers. In case of irritation, flush eyes with clean cold water.
Chili peppers can worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Some chemical compounds, such asaflatoxin (of fungal origin), which may be found in chili peppers, is known to cause cancer in the stomach, liver and colon.
The nutritional value of chili peppers
In parentheses is a percentage of the daily intake. The nutritional value is based on 100 grams of fresh red chili pepper according to information from the US Department of Agriculture.
energy value - 40 kilocalories (2%);
carbohydrates - 8.81 grams (7%);
protein - 1.87 grams (3%);
fats - 0.44 grams (2%);
cholesterol - 0 milligrams (0%);
fiber, which is part of the food - 1.5 grams (3%).
folates - 23 micrograms (6%);
nicotinic acid - 1.244 milligrams (8%);
pantothenic acid - 0.201 milligrams (4%);
pyridoxine (vitamin B6) - 0.506 milligrams (39%);
riboflavin (vitamin B2) - 0.086 milligrams (6.5%);
thiamine (vitamin B1) - 0.72 milligrams (6%);
Vitamin A - 952 international units (IU, IU) - 32%;
vitamin C - 143.7 milligrams (240%);
vitamin E - 0.69 milligrams (4.5%);
Vitamin K - 14 micrograms (11.5%).
sodium - 9 milligrams (0.5%);
potassium - 322 milligrams (7%).
calcium - 14 milligrams (1.5%);
copper - 0.129 milligrams (14%);
iron - 1.03 milligrams (13%);
magnesium - 23 milligrams (6%);
Manganese - 0.187 milligrams (8%);
phosphorus - 43 milligrams (6%);
selenium - 0.5 microgram (1%);
zinc - 0.26 milligrams (2%).
beta-carotene (ß-carotene), which is rich in carrots - 534 micrograms;
alpha-carotene (α-carotene) - 36 micrograms;
beta-cryptoxanthin (ß-cryptoxanthin) - 40 micrograms;
lutein-zeaxanthin - 709 micrograms.
What other useful or just interesting properties of chili pepper do you know?