• Health Benefits of Chillies
Health Benefits of Chillies
25 January 2017

Heating Up January - Scotch Bonnets

Some of us love spice, some of us do not - but would more of us give it a try if we knew the health benefits? Find out on this week's blog about our Topping of the Month!

Healthy eating often has something of a reputation for being dull, punishing, and unimaginative. But this doesn’t have to be the case! This week, for our topping of the month, we are focussing on an ingredient with incredible health benefits that is also bursting with flavour!

Scotch Bonnets.

The world is split into two types of people – those who can handle their spice, and those who cannot. Our Diavola Infernale pizza is designed for the first group – featuring spicy nduja sausage, salami piccante, spianatta piccante, fresh Scotch Bonnets, and chilli flakes – plus an extra sachet, just in case that wasn’t enough. But our choice of Scotch Bonnet chillies has more behind it than the fact that we love their fiery flavour – they are also chock-full of health benefits.

Hot Caribbean Scotch Bonnets are a fantastic source of a range of vitamins and minerals – from Vitamins A, B, and C, to iron, riboflavin and magnesium – but the real source of their health power is capsaicin, the phytochemical which makes them spicy.

 

Pain Relief

As well as being the active ingredient in pepper spray, capsaicin is also used in a range of medications, including pain killers. One of the effects of capsaicin is the inhibition of Substance P, the neuropeptide responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain. This has made it an excellent treatment for pain from osteoarthritis and diabetic neuropathy. Substance P can also cause the swelling of nerve fibres, which can lead to cluster headaches, migraines and sinus problems – all of which can be alleviated, and even prevented, by capsaicin.

Congestion

And speaking of sinuses – capsaicin is also a fantastic resource when treating colds and flu. When suffering from a bad bout of the dreaded lurgy, you may well have had someone recommend that you try a dish with high levels of chilli. This is not just because strong chilli pepper may be the only thing you can taste when struggling with a blocked nose – it can actually help relieve the symptoms. Capsaicin has strong antibacterial properties which can help cure and prevent sinus infections, but also the heat helps to stimulate secretions which help clear your nasal passages, helping you breathe better.

Weight Loss

Capsaicin has long been an ingredient of choice in fat-burning supplements, due to its thermogenic properties, which increase metabolic activity. The substance can increase metabolic activity for over 20 minutes after it has been eaten helping you burn calories and fat – even after a pizza!

Cancer

Perhaps most excitingly of all – there is some evidence that capsaicin can help the body fight cancer. In a study led by Dr H Phillip Koeffler, Professor of Medicine at UCLA, capsaicin caused almost 80% of prostate cancer cells to die in mice, with those prostate tumours treated with capsaicin being about a fifth of the size of those in untreated mice. In a study carried out by Cancer Research, it was seen that capsaicin caused cancer cells to “commit suicide”, with researchers stating that, in the future, capsaicin pills may one day be used to prevent the return of prostate cancer.

Chilli-lover or no – surely this is a great reason to heat up your January?

 

Are you a spice fan? Ever tried our Diavola Infernale? Get in touch over Facebook or Twitter and let us know!

ingredients spotlight

Scotch Bonnet Chillies

Hot Caribbean Scotch Bonnets are a fantastic source of a range of vitamins and minerals – from Vitamins A, B, and C, to iron, riboflavin and magnesium – but the real source of their health power is capsaicin, the phytochemical which makes them spicy. Capsaicin gives chillies their pain relief factors, aids with congestion, helps burn fat, and can even help the body fight cancer.

used in: chilli vegetarian (ultra hot) | diavola | diavola infernale (ultra hot)
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