Friday 9 November 2018
Good news, heat seekers: Scientists think chilli might be a superfood!
Another scientific paper reported that after surveying half a million Chinese adults, those who ate spicy foods three or more times a week had reduced their risk of premature death by 14%.
Popovich conducted his own experiments. Namely, he put capsaicin directly onto cancer cells.
The result? The cell growth was reduced.
But it’s not all about the capsaicin, or the fieriness of the pepper. It’s the combination of the capsaicin with the other compounds found in the pepper that makes it so good for you.
Jose de Jesus Ornelas-Paz, a researcher of vegetable bioactive compounds at the Research Center for Food and Development in Mexico, told Time:
“Pungent peppers are a cocktail of bioactive compounds.
“Capsaicin depends on them for its health benefits. Blending, cutting and cooking improve the release of [these compounds] from pepper tissue, increasing the amount available for absorption.”
Popovich confirms and expands upon this theory. Basically, capsaicin is also a fat-soluble molecule. This means if you pair it with oil, the body can absorb more of it.
So ‘hot sauce’ could indeed be a superfood as long as you make it from scratch, or read the labels to ensure there isn’t too much crap in it.
Popovich suggests the following hot sauce cocktail: red habanero peppers, vinegar, a little bit of salt, some garlic, and voila!
“The bottom line is that any kind of vegetable material you consume will improve your health. But hot peppers are really beneficial for you, if you can take the spice.”
The question is: can you?
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