Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hot but Healthy!

I have about 6 jalapeño pepper plants in pots on my patio.  I use them to make salsa, but not only are they a spicy additive to your foods, they are also good for you!  On the internet I found this information:

Chili peppers are extremely healthy for you, and should be included in your regular diet. Here's why.
Chili Peppers Fight Migraine Headaches and Sinus Headaches
Studies show that chili peppers can provide pain relief for migraine and sinus headaches. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is known to inhibit a key neuropeptide, Substance P, that is the key brain pain transmitter. Go capsaicin!
Chili Peppers Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion
Capsaicin once again! The pepper heat helps to stimulate secretions that aid in clearing mucus from your nose, combatting nasal congestion. It also contains antibacterial properties that help fight chronic sinus infections.
Chili Peppers Fight Cancer
Capsaicin not only causes the tongue to burn, it also drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, according to studies published in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research.
According to the research, capsaicin induced approximately 80 percent of prostate cancer cells growing in mice to follow the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis. Prostate cancer tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in non-treated mice.

"Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture," said Dr. Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D. "It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models."

Chili Peppers Have Loads of Vitamin C
A typical chili pepper packs more vitamin C than an orange, so if you need your extra C, grab a chili pepper!
Chili Peppers Can Warm Your Feet!
Do your feet get cold in the winter? Try this -- sprinkle powdered cayenne in your shoes. It will keep you feet nice and warm during those cold winter nights

Chili Peppers Help Lower High Blood Pressure
Eating chili peppers are naturally high in vitamins A and C, and also bioflavinoids. They help strengthen our blood vessels, which makes them more elastic and better able to adjust to blood pressure fluctuations. Chili peppers also can make us sweat, which causes fluid loss, temporarily reducing overall blood volume.
Chili Peppers Fight Inflammation
Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits Substance P, which is associated with inflammatory processes, much like it relieves headaches and migraines, listed earlier. Capsaicin may also one day be a treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.
Chili Peppers Help Soothe Intestinal Diseases
A Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers.
Chili Pepper Can Help You Burn Fat and Lose Weight
Did you know that capsaicin is a thermogenic? Thermogenics stimulate the body's burning of fat byincrease the metabolism of the body's adipose tissue, generating heat.
Chili Peppers Help Protect Your Heart
Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

Here is a recipe that I thought sounded good:

  Tomato Jalapeno Salad
  Category: Salads
  Author: LarryC
  Date: 8/26/2009 9:18:07 AM
  Hits: 604
Rating:rating: (5)(5)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 jalepeno chile
1 clove garlic
1 scallion
1/4 cup vinegar (any kind)
Salad oil (any kind)
Salt and pepper
1. Bring at least 1 quart water to a boil. Make a cross slit in the bottom of each tomato. Dump them all at once into the boiling water for 15 seconds, then immediately drain and dump them into a bowl of iced water and set aside.

2. Remove the seeds and stem from the jalepeno and finely chop. Heat the vinegar to boiling and drop in the jalepeno. Set aside to cool.

3. Chop scallion finely and place in a bowl big enough to hold the tomatoes. Peel garlic and mash with enough salt to make a paste, add to bowl and mix well with the scallions. Peels should fall off of tomatoes at this point. Remove peels and stems from tomatoes, add them to the bowl. Add jalepeno and enough of the vinegar to coat the tomatoes. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper to taste, stir.

4. Either chill at least an hour, or serve at room temperature, stirring before serving. Use leftover vinegar on fish, spinach or in vinagrette.
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