My Love Of All Things Spicy
I’ve previously mentioned I didn’t like any fruit and vegetables as a child and I’ll be honest I was a pretty fussy eater right up until I was in my late teens. Now, in my mid thirties there’s very little that I don’t like which has been absolutely great when trying to embrace healthy eating. Whether you are counting calories, weight watcher points or just trying to freestyle with a balanced diet, fruit and vegetables are your friend. Certainly on the WW plan other than peas and sweet corn, all fruit and veg are zero points. This gives you a great chance to ‘bulk up’ any meal with loads of veg. Pasta dishes and stir fry’s are a great opportunity to do this and a brilliant way to get your 5-a-day.
The absolute best thing about vegetables being zero points is that it includes chilli peppers! Yay to that. I am a chilli fiend. The spicier the better and the older I get the worse I’m getting. It’s like I’m not happy unless I’ve got a cold sweaty neck and a burning mouth. WHAT is wrong with me?! Or.. am I actually increasing lots of health benefits? Do you know how good chillies are for you? Well, let me tell you! The main compound of a chilli is a chemical called Capsaicin which apparently is what gives chillies the heat factor. I’m a fan already! Capsaicin is known to lower blood sugar levels, help clear congestion, lower the risk of stomach cancer, and improve the health of your heart. The list goes on with benefits such as a boost in circulation, thinning of the blood to help prevent strokes and also thought to lower cholesterol. Here’s another benefit I like the sound of ….. Chillies help to burn fat! Eating chillies is thought to increase your metabolic rate by up to 23% over a three hour period. Result!
I have chillies in pasta dishes, home made pizzas, curry, stir fry and soups. I buy fresh mixed chillies, scotch bonnets, dried chillies (which are very handy for cooking with) and also love Santa Maria Jalapenos bought in a jar. I’m fond of a splash of Franks Original Hot Sauce made from Cayenne peppers too. I’ve heard that hot water and cayenne pepper make for a fantastic start to your day by kick starting your metabolism. I haven’t tried it yet and have been searching online for a good guide to the correct measures to use so that I can give it a go. This recipe for Cayenne Pepper Tea looks good, I’m definitely going to give it a try. Can I convince the hubby to give it a go too?
My conclusion. Chillies are the best ingredient ever and I LOVE them so go ahead, embrace those little fiery friends and see if you can enjoy the health benefits too.