Those who can’t stand the heat may want to keep chili peppers out of the kitchen. However, if you can tolerate the spiciness, you may just find that they can add plenty of fire to weight loss regimens thanks to an alkaloid compound called capsaicin, which gives the peppers their intensity and helps to boost metabolism. While the peppers themselves won’t cause fat to melt, the brain’s reaction to the hot sensation in the mouth and throat triggers rising heart rates, increased perspiration and release of endorphins, which (in turn) causes the body to expend more thermal energy and burn up more calories.
Capsacin is also found in cayenne pepper, a crucial ingredient in the Master Cleanse detox diet, along with fresh lemon or lime juice, water and maple syrup, invented by Stanley Burroughs over 50 years ago, as a way of ridding the body of toxins accumulated from food and the environment.
Studies have also shown that antioxidant substances such as vitamin A and flavonoids such as ß-carotene, α -carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin in capsicum are also known to help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions, as well as act as an analgesic and lower LDL cholesterol levels in obese people.
In the meantime, a study at Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease, not to mention serving to destroy H. pylori bacteria, thus helping prevent stomach ulcers. If that wasn’t enough, other research published by the British Medical Journal found evidence that people who consume fresh chili peppers (and other spicy foods) were “less likely to die of cancer or diabetes.”
In addition to capsaicin, fresh red and green chili peppers provide about 240% of the RDA for vitamin C set by federal guidelines. Not only is Vitamin-C a powerful water-soluble antioxidant, it is essential for the synthesis of collagen in our bodies, needed for keeping the integrity of organs, blood vessels, skin, and bones. They are also a good source of niacin, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and riboflavin as well as minerals such as iron, copper, potassium (helpful in controlling heart rate and blood pressure) magnesium and manganese.
Note: Although many people may tend to think of chili peppers as a vegetable, they are, in fact, a fruit, as are tomatoes, zucchini, okra, and eggplant. In fact, they are considered to be the “most important” fruit in Bhutan, while the majority of Indian households reportedly always keep a stack of fresh hot green chilies such as the brutally hot Bhut jolokia variety at hand for use in most curries and other dry dishes.
While chili peppers are eaten in every corner of the world, from Mexico to Miramar, and Niger to Nepal, etc., the 5 “hottest” varieties in the world are reported to be the Carolina Reaper grown in the US, Trinidad’s Scorpion Butch T and morgue scorpion varieties, as well as the Infinity chili and viper peppers from the UK, and the Bhut jolokia mentioned above.