HOT is Healthy: Benefits of Red Chili

Red chili pepper

“I’ve got this thing for spicy stuff. Now, if you give me hot chocolate with chili pepper, a book and a bubble bath, I’m a happy girl.”

Shiloh Walker

 

When it comes to health, there’s plenty of evidence that red chili is one of the world’s healthiest super foods.  Adding chili to a dish does a lot more than enliven taste buds, this one food is packed with Vitamin, A, B, C and E, and minerals like molybdenum, manganese, folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper.  Did you know that red chilies actually contain 7 times the Vitamin C than do oranges? That’s crazy, right!  But how do all those vitamins and minerals act in your body to protect against disease and promote longer life?

 

Red chili as a regular part of your clean diet helps:

  • weight loss
  • weight management
  • lower cholesterol
  • repair cell damage caused by free radicals
  • healthy metabolism
  • detoxification
  • clearing the lungs and sinuses
  • pain relief
  • improved mood
  • potential to reduce colon cancer
  • lower risk of heart attack and stroke
  • lower risk of asthma and wheezing
  • potential to lessen peripheral nerve damage in diabetics

Here’s how chili’s DNA works in your body:

1  Anti-Oxidant cell repair

  • Vitamins C and A as beta-carotenoids destroy free radicals and cholesterol that, left unchecked, cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves.
  • Folate, Viatmin B-6 and B-12 help control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, a key factor in keeping “bad” cholesterol levels low.
  • Destruction of free radicals guards against arteriosclerosis and damage to nerve endings.
  • Destruction of cholesterol – waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body – that clog blood vessels and lead to heart attack and stroke.
  • Improves heart health, and protects against diabetic nerve pain.
  • Vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid found in chili reduces the risk of colon cancer.

 

2  Detoxification and Digestive Aid

  • Molybdenum in chili act as a catalyst for enzymes that help breakdown amino acids
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • Assists in the breakdown of food
  • Folate in chili also plays an important role in digestion, and is often depleted in folk with celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

3  Weight Loss, Blood Sugar and Diabetes Control

  • Capsaicin in chilis increases your metabolism, can make you sweat, and ultimately assist in weight loss
  • Manganese found in chili plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
  • Increasing metabolism generally, and carbohydrate metabolism specifically, helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Blood sugar regulation is key in protecting against insulin resistance, the key factor in avoiding diabetes.

 

4  Brain Function, Mental and Emotional Balance

  • Folate (Vitamin B-9) plays a key role in DNA and RNA production, as well as cell division.  Folic acid is one of the key vitamins that is depleted with too much alcohol consumption or addiction.
  • Some studies show that 15 to 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies, and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed.  But it’s unclear whether adding folate as a supplement alone helps improve depression outright.
  • Capsaicin intake releases an endorphin which has an associated pleasurable sensation.

 

5  Pain Relief

  • Capsaisin in chili first stimulates, then numbs or decreases pain signals in nerves
  • A cascade of triggers are unleashed in the body that ultimately inactivate pain specific neurons

 

6  Pain Relief

  • Capsaicin in chili first stimulates, then numbs or decreases pain signals in nerves
  • A cascade of triggers are unleashed in the body that ultimately inactivate pain specific neurons

 

Bottom line: the health benefits of red chili are too many to ignore.  If you fear red chili is too hot to the tongue, why not try it in combinations that provide you with just the right “bite”, like in a cup of 100% dutch cocoa and plant-based sweetener.  You can always look for capsaicin as a supplement, but fresh and whole foods provide you with the freshest, most active form of these nutrients.

Get HOT and Get GOING!

Continue Reading

Roasted Lemon-Red Pepper Broccoli

 

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli florets
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin, Cold-Pressed olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest 1/4 lemon
  • lemon juice from lemon

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Break up broccoli into preferred size pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients, and add to the broccoli.
  4. Mix all in the bowl until broccoli is well coated.
  5. Spread broccoli evenly across a baking sheet.
  6. Place in oven on the center rack and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until broccoli is fork tender.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Egg Salad Your Way

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 eggs
  • Butter Lettuce
  • ¼ – ½ tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Clean mustard to taste
  • Any of the following herbs, spices, citrus or greens singly, or in combination:
    • Cilantro
    • Cumin
    • Tabasco
    • Dill
    • Lemon
    • Basil
    • Oregano
    • Garlic
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Cayenne
    • Jalapeno
    • Dill
    • Rosemary

 

Instructions

  1. Chop, or break up, eggs into chunks in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper, and any of your favorite spices in combination.
  3. Spoon onto large butter lettuce leaves and eat as egg wraps.  Or, break up the lettuce, and spoon all of the eggs over top.

 

 

Continue Reading

Holiday Stress: 7 Tips for Surviving Difficult Family Members for Happier Holidays

So Uncle Bob is coming for the Holidays. Only he gives you the creeps and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. What do you do?

One of the most common causes of stress during the holidays is….you guessed it….interaction with extended family members. You know, people you might be able to avoid the rest of the year, but now…..well, you don’t feel you can and keep up with family obligations.

Before I get into tips for dealing with difficult people, let’s deal with the bottom line; take stress seriously like it’s a toxin that can kill you.  Why? Because it can, and does, shorten your life.  Eating clean can lesson the blow of stress in the body, but not eliminate it.  There are different processes at play when it comes to dealing with stress.  But it’s just as important to pay attention to stress, how you deal with it, and how you diminish it, as it is to eat clean for health.

Now, here are some guidelines I recommend to my clients when the holidays roll around:

 

  1. Take your overall health into account first.

If your life has been overwhelming lately, and you are the kind of person who feels more balanced with less social stimuli, give yourself permission to take a break from tradition.  Don’t go.  Do something else altogether.  Go on a mini vacation. Head to Vegas or a Spa.  Binge watch Netflix.  Or spend the whole day on a hike with your dogs.  Why not? Tradition is important.  But sometimes the needs of the 1 outweigh the needs of the many.

Sometimes this is not possible, or would cause even more discomfort for you in the long run.  In that case, make sure you use the other techniques below to give your

On the other hand……if your extended family is a great source of strength for you, see if you can extend your time with them.

Continue Reading

Raw Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

Crust:
2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Dates
pinch of sea salt
cinnamon

Filling:
6-7 peaches, sliced
1/2 cup dates
1 tbsp. psylium husk
pinch nutmeg
pinch lemon zest
pinch cinnamon

 

Instructions

Crust: Put in Food Processor and pulse until crumbly. Take out 1/2 and put to the
side for topping. Process the rest until gummy. Lay this down on the bottom of a pie or glass
pan.

Filling: Put 1/2 of the sliced peaches into the food processor with all other ingredients.
Blend until smooth. Take blended mix and add back to sliced peaches. Pour on top of
crust and add crumble on top.

Continue Reading

Sauteed Spinach

 

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh organic spinach, rinsed and stems trimmed

1 tsp extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

 

Instructions

  1. Heat saute pan over medium heat with olive oil
  2. Add spinach and allow to wilt….about 2 minutes

 

In detox, this tastes great with some plain lemon and salt, or with Lemon Oregano Sauce

Continue Reading

Spicy, Crunchy Chicken Salad

Chicken Apple Cucumber and Jalapeno Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 4 – 6 oz. Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless – cooked and cubed (Grilled Chicken)
  • 1/2 Honeycrisp Apple, cubed (or your favorite)
  • 2 tsps to 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh Jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, cubed
  • Basic Salad Dressing
  • Mixed Leafy Greens or Spinach leaves

 

Instructions

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients well
  2. Serve over mixed greens

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Grapefruit

Grapefruit smoothie and ginger on the wooden cutting board

 

Ingredients

Ruby Red Grapefruit

Accompaniments: Grated fresh Ginger, Chopped Mint, or Kosher Salt

 

Instructions

  1. Cut the grapefruit in half across the “belly” so that the stem end and tip are left intact.
  2. Place both halves of grapefruit on a plate.
  3. Top with desired accompaniment.  Ginger will add a sharp spicy flavor, while fresh mint will be a little more subtle, and salt will actually bring out the sweetness of the king of citrus.

 

Note: You can easily turn the above combinations into a delicious smoothie.  To do that, peel the grapefruit, and add the sections with ice and a small amount of your desired accompaniment to start.  Gradually add more to taste.  You could also try a plant-based sweetener; my favorite is SweetyHi, which is a combination of Stevia, Lo Han Guo (Monk Fruit) and Inulin FOS (Chicory Root).

Continue Reading

Deconstructed Bison Burger

Ingredients

Bison – 2 to 6 oz

1/4 cup cilantro, hold about 1 Tbsp aside to trim the burger when done.

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

 

Instruction

  1. Heat a grill pan with a little additional olive or coconut oil over hot heat until searing hot.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, forming the bison into a “hamburger” patty.
  3. Lower the temp of the heat under the pan to medium, and put the patty in your grill pan for about 4 minutes.  Season with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Flip. Sear the second side adding a drop or two of olive oil and a little more salt and pepper.
  5. Remove and rest for about 2 minutes.

Serve over Red Cabbage slaw.

concept of healthy eating with red cabbage and parsley in bowl pouring with lemon juice, close up
Continue Reading

Lemon Oregano Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh Lemon juice

1 /2 cup extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

1 – 2 tsps fresh oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Instruction

  1. Whisk together lemon, oregano, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl.
  2. Drizzle and stir olive oil into lemon mixture until fully absorbed.
  3. Pour over your favorite vegetable and enjoy.  Try this sauce over Grilled Asparagus
Continue Reading