TURN UP THE HEAT

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

The hot health ben­e­fits of eat­ing chill­ies

Did you know that hu­mans are the only species that seeks out the spicy flavour of chilli?

it’s cu­ri­ous that a food which trig­gers our pain re­cep­tors into ac­tion can be so pop­u­lar. While it’s of­ten be­lieved that hot chilli causes a rush of en­dor­phins, re­sult­ing in a mild ‘high’, there’s lit­tle sci­en­tific ev­i­dence to prove it. What we do know is:

Chilli ac­ti­vates heat re­cep­tors that live all through our bod­ies, not just on our tongues. We all have a dif­fer­ent num­ber of heat re­cep­tors, which ex­plains why some of us find chill­ies are too hot to han­dle.

For those who love the fiery taste, chilli has got some hot health ben­e­fits: vi­brant red chill­ies are packed with pow­er­ful can­cer-fight­ing an­tiox­i­dants, es­pe­cially vi­ta­min C.

The other ad­van­tage of chilli is that it adds a hefty punch of flavour to your food, re­duc­ing the need to add high-kilo­joule sug­ary or salty sauces. For more ideas on how to add big flavour for min­i­mal kilo­joules, turn to p26.

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