Some like it Hot…Chili Peppers

Is there anything hotter than chili peppers?  They contain a compound called capsaicin, which gives a pungent flavor. It is the plant that puts fire on your tongue and tears in your eyes whenever you eat spicy Mexican, Szechuan, Indian or Thai food. The hotter the chili peppers the more capsaicin present. The higher the capsaicin the more antioxidant is present. Why do so many of us crave hot spicy food even though it makes our eyes tear. From a holistic point of view, the craving for hot, spicy food can possibly mean the desire for more excitement and stimulation in our lives. Then again, it might be as simple as the body craving something it truly needs or pure culinary delight. Regardless, are chili peppers beneficial?  For so long they have been wrongly accused of contributing to stomach ulcers. This is a misconception in so far as they can help prevent ulcers by killing H. pylori bacteria and stimulating the stomach to secrete protective juices.  This may also help in killing unwanted bacteria in the small intestine a major cause of irritable bowel syndrome.  Capsaicin has now captured the interest of many researchers. It raises body temperature (burning calories) as well as curbing appetite, aiding in weight control. A strong connection has been made in its’ power to kill cancer cells especially prostate cancer. Capsaicin can relieve many types of headache pain by clearing sinuses of unwanted congestion. A strong anti-inflammatory agent, it is being studied as an aid in reducing arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy (loss of sensitivity to peripheral nerves) as well as controlling insulin resistance. Meals containing chili peppers are shown to require a lower amount of insulin after eaten as opposed to the amount required after a very bland meal. Among the many benefits, it may also contribute to heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglycerides.  In addition, chili peppers provide 6% of your daily Vitamin C and 10% of Vitamin A. Ready to add a little spice in your life? Perk up your meals by adding a pinch to an omelet, to black beans or potato soup, make it part of your salad dressing or simply add to your diet to keep your feet warm (another benefit).

Vinegar…

 

Vinegar…Instead of using store bought dressings which are usually loaded with unnecessary fats, sugar and salt, explore the different types of vinegars now on the market. Each has a very distinct flavor when combined with high quality olive oil. One of my favorites is “Pear Infused White Balsamic”. Vinegar is also a fermented food which strengthens and nourishes our small intestines

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #13

Be Patient: Losing unwanted weight should be as slow a process as gaining the weight was. By losing weight slowly while exercising, you will allow the body to retain its muscle and slowly lose unwanted fat. Strive for a pound a week while focusing on changing eating habits as opposed to looking for a quick fix.

Can You Top This…Dates & Mushrooms

Ingredients:

– 1 medium onion
– Box of Porcini Mushrooms
– 4 Medjool Dates
– Rosemary
– Pepper
– Palm full of sliced almond

 

Directions:

– Chop onion very fine and saute in olive oil until clear
– Chop dates into 1/4 inch pieces and add to onions for 1 minute while turning
– Add mushrooms, some rosemary, pepper and almonds, cover and cook down mushrooms to 1/2 the size. (about 4 min.)
Exciting topping for fish, poultry or as a vegetarian dish over pasta or grains.