Sunday, June 29, 2014

Health Benefits of Green Chili Peppers


It’s good that people are getting health conscious; thanks to electronic and print media. It is the same media that is putting them in a dilemma by advertising various products that promises health. Instead of advertising the products and hospitals etc to promote health, media must concentrate on bringing awareness among the people to promote health. I think people need awareness, information and knowledge but not the products to promote health. This blog is one such attempt to educate and promote healthy ways of living to promote good health and happy living.

Prevention is better than any cure. According to Yogacharya Sri B.K.S. Iyenger, ‘health never comes easy. You need to pay price for health’. He dedicated all his life to the practice of yoga to gain health. Even at the age of 95 he practices yoga for 3 hours a day without a miss. Over 75 years of his illustrious career Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar treated millions of people all over the world through his knowledge and expertise in yoga. He inspired millions around the world to take up yoga for better health and happiness.

On the other hand Dr. Mantena Satyanarayana Raju dedicated all his life in educating people the natural ways of living. Through his writings, lectures and programs on TV, he is teaching how one can remain healthy by sacrificing certain tastes that are harmful to our health. He is not only teaching but following 100% personally what he teaches inspiring thousands of people Andhra, Telangana and other southern states of India.

Salt, Sugar, Oil, Ghee, Tamarind, Red chili powder and masalas are the seven tastes that Dr. Mantena considers to be the villains of a man’s health. These are the main sources of different lifestyle disorders and diseases of today. If you keep these enemies of health away from your life, you can lead a healthy and peaceful life. Many doctors advise to consume less quantity of these harmful tastes. Dr. Raju is the only person I know who advises to boycott them completely to remain healthy, as he feels even smaller quantity will harm. You don’t need a big blade to kill someone; a smaller one will do. Then why not keep it away forever?

Many people wonder why Dr. Raju is making unnecessary taboo about these tastes. In my previous update in the blog “Natural Ways of Living” I explained how salt creates all sorts of problems to your health and also explained the means and benefits of quitting salt. In today’s update I would like to throw some light on why Dr. Raju recommends keeping the red chili powder away from life. In contrast, he recommends using green chilies to substitute red chilies for spice in your food. 

Green Chili is one of the very popular pepper forms used by people in their daily cuisine. We can hardly imagine a cuisine especially in India without chili. It has a tangy taste that enhances the flavor of food. Green chilies are immature chili peppers that have been harvested before fully ripening.  Miss chili the tongue teaser is low in calories, virtually fat free and rich in nutrients that can enhance your health including Vitamin A, C and K and the phytonutrient capsaicin.

There are certain fears and misconceptions about the consumption of green pepper in the minds of many. People treat it as a villain carried away by its color and taste. It looks frightening but is very lovable. It teases the tongue and has some fun with it but does no harm to the body. People think it causes ulcers in the stomach and blame it unnecessarily. But the fact is that you get ulcers by drinking coffee, tea etc and eating junk, oil fried, fatty and other spicy foods and tensions you undergo. It might though create some inconvenience when you have ulcers but certainly it is not the cause of ulcer. 

Miss Chili might be spicy and hot, however it has amazing health benefits:

1. Vitamin C:

Green chili peppers provide 181.9 milligrams of vitamin C in every 1/2-cup serving, or well over 100 percent of the required daily intake of vitamin C for adults. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is required by the body to help synthesize collagen, promote the healing of skin wounds and aid in the development of strong bones. It also acts as an antioxidant by preventing free radical damage to DNA. A diet rich in vitamin C may lower your risk of hypertension, cancer, heart disease and osteoarthritis. The concentration of vitamin C in a green chili pepper decreases with exposure to heat, light and air. When you purchase fresh chilies, store them in a cool, dark location and use them within three to four days.

2. Vitamin K:

The body needs vitamin K in order to produce proteins crucial for blood coagulation and to support the development and maintenance of bones. Each 1/2-cup serving of green chilies contains 10.7 micrograms of vitamin K. For a man, this fulfills 8.9 percent of his RDA of vitamin K. For a woman, a green chili serving is almost 12 percent of her daily vitamin K requirement. Regularly eating foods high in vitamin K like green chili peppers may help decrease your risk of osteoporosis and of bleeding dangerously large amounts when you are cut or injured.

3. Capsaicin:

All chili peppers, including green chilies, contain capsaicin, the compound that is responsible for the spicy sensation associated with eating a hot pepper. The spicier the pepper is, the more capsaicin it contains. The Scoville Heat Unit scale, which measures capsaicin content from 0 to 15,000,000 Scoville Heat Units, or SHUs, of pure capsaicin, places green chilies between 500 and 2,500 SHUs. The American Institute for Cancer Research reports that eating rich capsaicin sources like green chili peppers may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells, though more research is needed.

4. Digestion:

Foods that release saliva while chewing help in proper digestion of the food. Eating green chili helps in releasing saliva and it is thus mixed well while chewing the food. This helps in good digestion process. Most people believe that eating green chilies create inflammation in the stomach and causes gas trouble and indigestion. But the fact is totally contrary to this. Though it creates little inflammation to your tongue, it does no harm to your stomach or intestines, rather helps in digestion and proper bowel movement.

5. Substitutes Salt:
The green chili tricks and teases the tongue with its spice and as a result, the little tongue does not ask for the taste of salt. Green chili comes really handy to people following salt free diet.

6. Immunity:
Green chilies help in producing anti-body agents in the body thereby providing a strong immunity system to prevent and fight the foreign body intrusions better.

Why no to red chilies?


Tough red chilies contain similar benefits; in fact, ripe chilies contain more vitamin A and vitamin C but have certain side effects. The green chilies tease the tongue but the red chilies tease the stomach and intestines. When the green chili ripens and turns red, the concentration of Capsaicin the spicing agent in chilies multiplies by three times more. People consuming high volumes of red chili peppers complain reflux of gases, heart burn, indigestion and inconvenience in the stomach which we popularly call them as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. These symptoms don’t appear early. The sticky layer in the stomach and intestines protect you for few years. Over a period of time this layer damages and fails to protect you from the spice and creates trouble.

The Indian Cuisine is known for its spices and masalas and the very masala and spices are creating trouble to their health. From a very small age, they are developing a habit of eating spicy food, red in color, stuffed with red chili powder and other masalas. The situation now is such that if the children are served food without the red color of the chili, they don’t even touch that food. In addition to that they are used to eat food with pickles stuffed with large quantities of red chili powder and other spicy masalas. As a result of this, majority of Indians are suffering from IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastritis, Ulceritis etc. at a very young age.

     

Many people believe that Dr. Raju is unnecessarily making taboo about using red chili pepper. Let me present a few facts. India is one of the largest producers of chili peppers and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh produces 30% of all chilies produced in India and Andhra Pradesh as a whole contributes 75% of India’s chili exports. With this you can easily make out what would be the volume of chili consumption in Andhra Pradesh and why Dr. Raju is emphasizing on abolishing chili consumption. Most of the South Indians consume dry red chili powders which is not at all good for health. 

I hope you will find this information helpful. Keep watching the space for more updates.

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