Good Food

Document Sample
Good Food Powered By Docstoc
					Good Food, Good Health - Chilli - The Healthy Super Food With Natural
Painkilling Properties
Did you know that the humble chilli pepper, long been known as a good
food is now being hailed a 'super food'.
Most people either love or hate chillies with their distinctive burning
sensation because even just the slightest taste can make the roof of your
mouth feel like it is on fire.
First cultivated in South and Central America 5000 years ago, chillies
are the small hot pungent variety of capsicum peppers.
The culprit for triggering the volcanic sensations of heat is the
chemical capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide), but this is a
small price to pay for the excellent health properties you can get from
eating them regularly.
We always say that 'good food good health' should be everybody's goal and
that 'we are what we eat', so by adding them into your diet can only
benefit you and your wellbeing.
Chillies have often been used to clear the head, and when eaten in a
curry can make the nose run like a decongestant.
Fresh ones are best, and are high in both the important immune system
boosters - vitamin A and C, some B vitamins and vitamin E, a fat soluble
vitamin being an antioxidant.
The hottest chillies obviously contain the most capsaicin and have the
highest therapeutic effects. Everybody's pallet is different, therefore
what is ok for one person may be far too hot for another, so make sure
you know your families tolerance levels as well as your own.
Capsaicin - part of the vanillyl family- is produced in glands at the
stem end of the pepper.
The hottest parts of the chilli are the seeds and the white pith, so
remove these if you do not want your dish to be too hot.
Studies have found that capsaicin that creates the incredible heat can
also numb pain, reduce inflammation and kill harmful micro-organisms.
Research is being carried out on the painkilling properties of chillies
at Kings College London, and studying how capsaicin can eliminate the
effect of TNF alpha - an inflammatory substance found in the body - with
hopes a treatment for arthritis will be developed from this.
They say the chilli works to kill pain by raising levels of painkilling
Scientists also say that probably the reason many countries that have no
means of refrigeration eat very hot and spicy food is because capsaicin
can kill bacterial and fungi.
Recent studies in Taiwan found that the level of capsaicin in a typical
Thai or Indian diet can increase speed of metabolism, helping to prevent
fat cells from forming.
The heat of a chilli is measured on the Scoville heat scale - shu -
indicating how much capsaicin is contained. 0 indicates no heat and the
highest rating is about 970,000 plus, but expert's rate 100,000 generally
to be far too hot for most palates.
Growers are still trying to cultivate even stronger more potent
chillies!, but at the moment the Dorset Naga is thought to be the world's
hottest, and to give your curry a scorching hot bite only one quarter of
the small peppers is needed.
Jalapeno peppers - 2,500 - 8,000 shu, have a warm bite but no burn and
are ideal in salads.
Cayenne peppers - 30,000 - 50,000 shu, a good winter warmer added to
stews and casseroles.
Thai peppers - 50,000 - 100,000 shu, give a good kick.
Jamaican Hot peppers - 100,000 - 200,000 shu, have a real bite and a
third of a pepper added to a curry will make it hot but not enough to
make your 'nose run'.
Red Savina - 350,000 - 577,000 shu, extremely strong and a third of a
pepper will make a powerful curry.
Dorset Naga 876,000 - 970,000 shu, a quarter of this pepper will give a
scorching volcanic bite and is the world's hottest chilli.
Be careful when preparing chillies as they are known to be a skin
irritant and if splashed in the eye can be extremely nasty.
So go on, next time you make a curry spice it up with a chilli pepper. It
is best to gradually 'increase the heat without blowing your mind'.
Remember good food is good health.
Sandra & Ted
This article was composed by Sandra & Ted Wosko. We have always been
interested in health issues especially having children, and as with most
people, we all suffer with some type of ailment. We are always
researching on more and more topics in the endless task of gaining more
knowledge to increase our expertise, benefiting ourselves and other
people alike.

Shared By: