Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives peppers their characteristic pungence, producing mild to intense spice when eaten.
Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.
Topical capsaicin is now a recognized treatment option for osteoarthritis pain.
Red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body’s ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots. Cultures where hot pepper is used liberally have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
Capsaicin not only reduces pain, but its peppery heat also stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs.
The bright color of red chili peppers signals its high content of beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Just two teaspoons of red chili peppers provide about 6% of the daily value for vitamin C coupled with more than 10% of the daily value for vitamin A.
FUN FACTS: Peppers are believed to be one of the first plants to have been domesticated, and chili pepper seeds from over 6000 years ago have been found in Peru and Mexico.
Here’s what you need…
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro, minced
- dash of salt and pepper
- 4 (6oz) ahi tuna steaks
- In a large re-sealable plastic bag combine the first six ingredients; mix well.
- Add tuna to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours, turning once. Drain and discard marinade. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the tuna in a glass pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the steaks and bake for another 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 312 calories, 10g fat, .6g carbohydrate, .2g fiber, and 50g protein.