Be it a bowl of warm soup or a serving of vegetable rice, people of all ages are certainly not fond of bland tastes and like a dash of spice in their meals. Well, Mother Nature has bestowed upon humankind a plethora of peppers belonging to the Capsicum family, with flavours ranging from sweet bell peppers and zesty jalapeno peppers to very hot habanero peppers. Indeed, you are familiar with the umpteen health benefits of bell peppers incorporated in grills, pastas and jalapenos prepared as cheese-filled poppers and spicy salsas, but did you know that the fiery habanero also confers excellent wellness incentives?
The habanero is a small bulbous chili, which is usually orange or red but at times presents in white, yellow or green variants. It has a very high score on the spice index with 150,000 – 300,000 Scoville heat units, compared to bell peppers, which being sweet-tasting have 0 Scoville heat units and jalapenos, which have a mere 3,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units. Nevertheless, this red-hot pepper variety, scientifically termed Capsicum chinense, having its origins in South America and named after the Cuban city of La Habana where it is used widely in trade, is rich in capsaicin antioxidants and aids in weight loss, cancer prevention, heart wellness and more.
In fact, habanero peppers are extensively used in preparing a piquant condiment - habanero sauce, that is popular in Mexican and South American Cuisines, for once the fiery hot flavours of the peppers subside, habanero possesses a citrusy fruity taste. Habanero sauce is a much-relished salsa or dip along with nachos, or added to tacos and burritos to infuse a spicy flavour.
Fantastic Health Benefits Of Habanero Peppers:
Lowers LDL Cholesterol
Habanero peppers, even when added in small amounts to dishes like soups, stews, sauces, provides vast reserves of capsaicin antioxidants, that effectively bring down bad LDL cholesterol. Moreover, these hot chili variants also reduce absorption of lipids and triglycerides in the intestines, thereby regulating blood cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular ailments like atherosclerosis.
Accelerates Weight Loss
Capsaicin, the magical phytonutrient present in habanero, is imbued with anti-obesity properties. It increases the phenomenon of thermogenesis in the body – wherein the internal cells and tissues generate heat, that speeds up lipid metabolism and burns body fat efficiently. Habanero peppers in tiny bits in the diet control untimely cravings, regulate the appetite and promote weight loss, assisting in managing overweight conditions and obesity.
Habanero peppers are laden with capsaicin compounds that contain anti-cancer qualities, which halt the proliferation of tumour and cancer cells in the vital internal organs of the system – such as the colon, prostate, cervix, kidney, liver, stomach and lungs. These compact oval chilis also possess phenolic antioxidants that thwart harmful free radicals from the body and safeguard organs, tissues from oxidative damage and cancer.
Helps Manages Diabetes
Habanero peppers are not only packed with capsaicin and capsaicinoid antioxidants, but also other useful plant-based elements such as flavonoids and carotenoids. These powerful phytonutrients work in synergy to decrease insulin resistance, improve pancreatic activity and prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Habanero in minute amounts as part of the regular diet is known to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and also alleviates diabetes symptoms.
Controls Blood Pressure
Habanero peppers comprise a treasure trove of potent antioxidants like capsaicin, flavonoids and carotenoids, which house cardioprotective traits. These components prevent the accumulation of plaque, fat deposits in the blood vessels of the heart, facilitate smooth cardiac muscle contraction and relaxation for optimal blood circulation in the body and thereby regulate blood pressure. Habanero is beneficial for managing hypertension, averting atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and augmenting heart functions.