They are also good source of flvonoids like beta-carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthins.
Presence of these flavonoids not only act as antioxidants but promote various health benefits. These compounds make pepper, chillies or paprika an excellent anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic. Along with all these they are rich in dietary fiber too.
But, up to 42-81 % of these flavonoids get destroyed during the processing process which include milling and drying chili pepper.
Aid in weight loss: Chili pepper helps to lose weight by increasing metabolic rate. This increase of metabolic rate happen due to ATP energy conversion into heat energy. Also, it stimulates carbohydrate oxidation at rest and during exercise. All these factor contribute to weight loss.
Relieves pain and Anti-arthritic: External use of a capsaicin cream act as analgesic agent that has been proven useful in preventing chronoic pain associate with post-herpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, and other pain syndromes.
Antimicrobial: Chili pepper contain pungent compounds called capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin which are exhibits anti-microbial effect. That is why chile pepper often used in herbal remedies for a variety of ailments of probable microbial origin.
Anti inflammatory: There are variety of diseases that happen due to inflammation such as atherosclerosis and tumour progression. Including capsaicin act as anti-inflammatory and inhibit the process of pro-inflammatory cytokine production at the inflammatory site.
Decongestant: Studies has shown that chili pepper reduces sinus symptoms, such as nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, coughing, and mucous production. So, next time when you have cold and cough try some spicy food which contains chili pepper.
Anti cancer: Cancer cells can not withstand the heat produced by chilli pepper. Studies has shown that hot chilli pepper can supress the pancreatic cancer and stop spreading of prostate cancer cells. Consumption of hot pepper helps the lower risks of lung, colon and liver cancers.
Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke : Capsaicin may inhibit the absorption of lipid in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies has found that including capsaicin can reduce overall cholesterol levels, but also reduce the bad cholesterol known as LDL cholesterol concentrations. The good cholesterol called HDL cholesterol value was not affected by capsaicin. Along with lowering cholesterol level, it also allows body to break down and discharge more waste out of the body.
Including chili pepper in diet can help to prevent thromboembolisim. It helps to increases fibrinolytic activity by increasing antithrombin III and decreasing plasma fibrinogen thus causing hypocoagulability of blood.
In addition, it had found that capsaicin inhibits motility genes that control arterial vasoconstriction genes and helps to let more blood flow through the blood vessels, which is a big advantage in protection of heart health.
Releases endorphins: Eating hot chili pepper releases the feel good hormone known as endorphins.
The hottest parts of a chili pepper are its seeds and white pith, which can be removed in order to avoid making food extra spicy.
Words of Caution:
Pepper spray made out of chili pepper can act as irritant.
Avoid using spoiled chilies as it contain certain compounds like aflatoxin which is kind of fungal mold and known to be bad for stomach, liver and colon.