International Hot and Spicy Day

Today is International Hot and Spicy Food Day!

Did you know that many spicy foods don’t just add flavor, they have many positive health benefits too! Depending on the ingredient, hot and spicy additions can help support blood flow and cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, enhance the digestive system, and promote a healthy metabolism and fat-burning.

Here are some delicious spicy foods to consider incorporating into your cooking!
-Black pepper
-Paprika
-Turmeric
-Chili peppers
-Mustard
-Ginger
-Horseradish
-Wasabi
-Harissa

Chilies

If you like it spicy, then there is no way of avoiding chilies!

Worldwide there are hundreds of different varieties that vary in degrees of spiciness. Some are dried or processed into powder, while others are used fresh. Chilies contain capsaicin which is the chemical compound that makes them spicy and is usually found in the seeds and white piths. The higher the capsaicin content in the chili, the hotter it is. Most often the spiciness of a chili is measured on the Scoville scale which ranges from 0 to 16 million. A bell pepper has a value of 0 while a habanero ranges between 100,000-350,000.

While not only flavorful and delicious, chilies are also very healthy. Among other things, they strengthen the immune system, keep the circulation going, contain vitamins B1, B6 and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

Regardless of how spicy you like your food, a little bit of chili can go a long way!