March 22, 2005
Hot Chile Peppers
The very mention of chili peppers might have you reaching for a glass of water, but don’t be afraid, these hot peppers are actually good for you. Chili peppers are loaded with vitamin C (twice the amount found in citrus fruits) and the red ones are full of beta-carotene, even giving carrots a run for their money. As if that isn’t enough, they’re also packed with anti-bacterial properties and antioxidants.
But that’s not all. These veggies contain capsaicin, which is the compound that makes you feel like your tongue is burning and your head is about to explode. Really, that’s a good thing in the long run. That’s because capsaicin helps increase blood circulation and metabolism and lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol. The pain also leads to pleasure - the burning sensation leads to the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers and give you a sense of happiness. It’s the same feeling as a runner’s high. Chili peppers also have a history as a powerful weapon- the Mayans threw them at the enemy during battle.
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