Spice is the way to a healthier life!
Hot and spicy foods have been looked down upon since ages. spicy food may cause digestive discomfort in some people, the benefits of including the right amount of spices in our food preparation might just outweigh the cons. We think it’s time to debunk this myth and give spicy food its due credit. It may come as a surprise but the truth is that spicy food or spices such as chilli powder, garam masala, and hot peppers provide many health benefits that you may be unaware of. Before we get to the benefits, let’s find out what makes chillies so feisty!
The active compound in chilli peppers or the stuff which gives you the burning sensation in your mouth is called capsaicin. It is present in large quantities in the placental tissue or the white part where the seeds are attached, and in lesser quantity, in the outer flesh. Hence, the smaller the pepper the spicier it is and vice a versa.
So how can eating food with the right amount of spice be good ?
Many people complain of stomach ailments such as acidity, gastritis, acid reflux, ulcers and hearth burn after eating something spicy. But Research also shows hot chilli peppers (when eaten in moderation) actually protect the stomach lining and encourage healing of ulcers. The capsaicin when ingested inhibits acid secretion in the stomach and stimulates alkali (basic) and mucus secretion. Furthermore, it increases blood flow to the stomach lining hence preventing the occurrence of ulcers or any other stomach discomfort which people generally associate with eating spicy food.
Secondly, what most of us are unaware of is that spices do not trigger stomach ulcers. It is the presence of ulcer causing bacteria that is to blame. But what about the burning sensation you get from hot food you may ask? Although, it’s a bad feeling but remember it’s just a matter of building up a tolerance to spice level. Having said that, it’s important to not go overboard and enjoy spices in moderation.
In addition to the digestive system, capsaicin is also known to lower cholesterol absorption and allow excess cholesterol to be eliminated from the body. This suggests that hot peppers can improve heart and circulatory health. Lastly, it is seen that since spicy food increases body temperature, it may prove beneficial in recovering from fever and may help relieve congestion by easing the clogged nasal passage.
And as far as our taste buds our concerned, it’s important to remember that the cells that make up our taste buds do not die due to spice. Rather, they are temporarily numb due to capsaicin. And this loss of sensation is your body’s way of protecting itself from pain by releasing chemicals such as endorphins just as in the case of extreme heat or fire.
All in all, when eaten in moderation, spices such as chilli powder, garam masala, ginger powder or finely chopped chilli peppers can add a kick and great flavor to your favorite dish. So if you like spicy and flavorful food choose masala’s which are made from superior quality whole spices picked from the best farms and packaged hygienically to make everyday dishes into a culinary experience right from the comfort of your home.
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It can be used to prepare some delicious Dhokla, Kadhi, Fafda, Sev and other namkeens.