Hot spices are really amazing. I still wonder to date on how they do their magic. With hot burning sensation and yet great tastes to our meals.
Am not a fan of sour foods, and I can’t define spicy meals as sour, this is a different taste I can’t explain. First time I tried a spicy meal it didn’t go as bad as I expected but it was a great experience. Upon reaching home, the only thing I had on my mind was stocking as many hot spices as I can. I made some research.
What are the hot spices?
Historically, spicy additions were to prevent food from going bad. But all changed now we got refrigerators and food processing. We now concentrate on the aroma, taste and health benefits.
Talking of hot spices consider Chilli pepper, cayenne pepper, jalapeno, black pepper, ginger and garlic. They are used in different forms i.e. Raw or ground. They can be put in various kinds of meals from morning tea to family dinners.
Careful on their use due to their hot, burning sensation if used in large quantities.
Hot spices are not known for their flavour alone but also plenty of health benefits. For instance, aiding in weight loss and limiting our calorie intake among others.
Hot spices and their health benefits.
1. Chilli pepper
My personal favourite, chilli pepper has a lot of great benefits and gives off a great taste. A brief origin of chilli was in Mexico some 6,000 years ago but currently, India is the leading producer.
Chilli is used widely to add that hot feeling in many cuisines. The compound capsicum gives chilli that hot intensity and that bright red colour when it’s fully mature. It is one of the most commonly used hot spices.
Health benefits of chilli pepper;
- Chilli pepper has got vitamin c which is a powerful antioxidant important for healing wounds and boosting the immune system.
- Chilli enhances weight loss by reducing appetite, calorie intake and burning of body fat.
- It is a natural pain relief.
- The presence of vitamin C in chilli makes it a great spice for collagen synthesis. Collagen is the main structural protein required for maintaining the bond between blood vessels, bones, organs and skin. Regular consumption of chilli will ensure an improved immune system free from diseases of the joints, skin, bones and vital organs.
- The presence of vitamin A in capsicum is responsible for heart, lungs and vital organs formation and maintenance.
- Capsicum present in chilli lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol thus a good remedy for heart attacks.
- Heat due to consuming chilli clears the nasal passage for a congested nose and battles sinuses too.
2. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper belongs to the chilli family. Originally, they were grown in the Central and South America and were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century.
They have a pungent and hot taste. Most of the health benefits of cayenne are because of the capsaicin compound. It contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E and manganese.
Cayenne health benefits;
- Increases body temperature which in turn burns calories. it’s hot nature also makes one take lots of water during meals thus taking little food. In turn, this helps to lose weight.
- Cayenne can be used as a home remedy for cough, flu and congestion.
3. Black pepper
If you are thinking of stocking your spice rank with hot spices, don’t forget black pepper. With many health benefits, black pepper is more than just an aromatic spice.
Health benefits of black pepper;
- Black pepper is a great digestion aid. Including it in meals will ensure quick and eased digestion. It secretes hydraulic acid which is used to break down food by black pepper. So if you have digestion problems, black pepper is an answer.
- Black pepper is an anti-inflammatory. The presence of piperine gives black pepper power over conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
- With cancer-fighting properties, it is wise to include black pepper in your diet. The active compound piperine in black pepper has a great effect against cancer-causing cells. Suppressing their power and limiting their growth.
- Black pepper accelerates the absorption of essential nutrients such as calcium in the body. For foods such as turmeric that take longer to be absorbed, black pepper speeds up the process. It is also known for boosting metabolism in the body.
- Being high in antioxidants, black pepper has a great effect against free radicals. These are unstable molecules that can damage your body cells. Excessive free radicals cause health problems like inflammation, heart disease and certain cancers.
- Black pepper makes people sneeze when it is smelled. This is advantageous when you have a blocked nose with flu. It will unblock the nose and give you relief. It is simply a natural home remedy to try out in case of flu.
- Piperine in black pepper prevents fat accumulation and the formation of new fat cells. If you want to lose weight naturally, consider adding black pepper in your diet. Piperine slows down and suppresses new fat cell formation so that you don’t put on extra fat.
To learn more about black pepper for weight loss, check out this article: Black pepper benefits for weight loss
- Black pepper is rich in magnesium and zinc, these paly an important role in male sex hormones formation. These minerals in black pepper are responsible for testosterone build-up, increasing sperm count and fertility in men.
- It has the power to fight early ageing due to the presence of antioxidants. Fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots can be dealt with by adding black pepper in your diet.
Jalapeno is a medium-sized pepper pod type of about 5-10cms when mature. In most cases, they are picked and consumed while green.
However, on some occasions, they are let to ripe forming a yellow, red or orange colour. Japaleno pungency depends on growing conditions.
Health benefits of jalapeno;
- Japaleno helps in weight loss. It burns fat, curbs your appetite and boosts metabolism.
- Japalenos have a low-calorie counting which means you won’t put on weight while consuming them. They produce a satisfying feeling when eaten
- Capsaicin in jalapenos is known for having cancer cell fighting powers. This comes in handy with the ever-increasing numbers of cancer. So including jalapenos in diets will decrease your chances of getting cancer. Capsaicin prevents the growth of new cancer cells and prevents cancer from spreading to other healthy body parts.
- Japaleno can act as pain relief. This doesn’t mean you apply it directly onto your skin. Of course, it burns, it’s better used in a cream. When applied externally, it blocks the pain receptors, a burning sensation may occur then numbness and pain is gone.
- Japaleno clears a congested nasal passage. The heat in jalapeno clears the nasal passage and treats sinus.
- Japaleno kills ulcer-causing bacteria in the stomach and intestines. A common belief about hot spices making ulcers worse, this is not true. Japaleno actually reduces stomach inflammation and occurrence of ulcers.
The consumption of ginge varies with the type of food and culture. For most people, ginger is used in tea. And in many recipes like baking, some cuisines, ginger is added because of its amazing flavour.
Ginger is an underground rhizome, it can be consumed while fresh, dried or ground. Besides its aroma and taste, ginger has plenty of health benefits
health benefits of ginger;
- Ginger deals away with nausea, motion, and morning sickness. For pregnant ladies that suffer from regular nausea sessions, ginger is safe and can help. Cancer patients too that are undergoing chemotherapy can also use ginger to curb nausea.
- Ginger is a good remedy for colds and flu. During cold weather, taking a cup of hot ginger can make you better. It has the ability to make one sweat and this in turn, deals away with colds and clears the blocked nasal passage in case of flu.
- May reduce pain and soreness though its not immediate but a gradual process. For people suffering from body soreness and pain from exercises, ginger can reduce the pain and calm the muscles.
- It has been found to have powers of reducing menstrual pain in women. Taking ginger will have the same effect as painkillers in curbing menstrual pain.
- Ginger is also known for reducing cholesterol, maintaining healthy blood sugars and overall blood vessel health. This promotes a good flow of blood and deals away with heart disease, diabetes and abnormal blood pressure.
- Cancer-fighting properties can be found in ginger. The anti-cancer properties are linked to 6-gingerol a compound found in ginger. This prevents the growth of abnormal growth and cancer-causing cells.
Although it’s not that pungent when eaten raw garlic is hot. A compound allicin found in garlic gives it that zing. Garlic is more effective when it’s crushed.
Health benefits of garlic.
- Garlic is highly nutritious yet has a very low-calorie count. This means you can eat it as much as you want without worrying about exceeding your calorie limit.
- Garlic is known to boost the immune system in the body.
- It can reduce cholesterol levels thus lowering the risk of getting heart disease.
- Garlic has shown to be effective when added to athletes’ supplements. It boosts energy, adrenaline and increases performance in the body.
- Men who take garlic at least daily have a 50% less chance of getting prostate cancer. This is due to the compound allicin that has prostate cancer-killing abilities.
For a detailed look at the health benefits of garlic, check out the article here.
Side effects of hot spices.
Hot spices add an incredibly great taste to our meals however, they have got side effects too. To certain groups of people, the side effects may be mild and fatal to others.
- Hot spices can cause serious burning sensation and make your meal a nightmare. Be sure of adding just the right amount you can handle. Children may also get a hard time dealing with hot spices, try making them a separate meal without much of hot spices.
- In some people, hot spices can cause a condition known as geographical tongue. This is when irritations and strange partners form on the tongue. It is believed to be brought about by certain allergic responses from hot spices.
- Acid refluxes are triggered in some people by taking spicy food. This is a condition where a person experiences a burning pain in the lower chest known as heartburn.
- Bad breaths are associated with hot spices like garlic. It is the worst a man can get, imagine the discomfort of your partner may be on the first date.so be cautious with taking garlic while going to meet someone.
- One can fail to sleep after taking hot spices. In order to sleep, the body needs to slow down and cool yet after eating hot spices the body temperature just rises.
The bottom line
Ever wondered how you got used to eating spicy foods with ease than before? It’s because of the damage hot spices cause to your taste buds making them less functional.
This, in the long run, leads to complete damage to taste buds and a reduction in their functionality. Taking spices might seem healthy or a show of bravery but the effect they cause on us is not worth the risk. An example of reduced functionality in your taste buds, to me, it’s really troubling. I can’t imagine tasting sugar twice yet earlier a single cube was just enough of a taste.
With all the health benefits, one can’t just let them pass. Therefore, take hot spices at a moderate state, not that red-eye lighting type that makes tears roll. Eating spices should be enjoyed and not a punishment. Good luck with reasonable eating of spices.
Other spices too have got many health benefits. You can check them out below,
The health benefits and side effects of oregano.
Health benefits of rosemary, forms and side effects.
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