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So what's so special about chillis. Are they everything they're cracked up to be?

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Hi everyone, hope your week has gone well and welcome back to HCM Central.

This is a question I often get from people looking for a gift for someone who is ‘just mad about chillis’, yet they just don’t get it.

Well the simply answer is ‘ABSOLUTELY’ they're all they’re cracked up to be.

I mean, how many other foods do you know of whereby people who love them have their own name - 'Chilli Heads'. I mean, have you ever heard of a ‘Brussell Sprout Head’ – NO – of course not! That vegetable was put on this earth for one reason and one reason alone, to torment kids and adults alike.

So what is it about chillis that will make people push themselves to the point of pain?

Quite simply it comes down to the physical sensations they create in your body and mind.

When you eat a chilli and your mouth starts to burn, your lips sting, your eyes water, you sweat, you start to hiccup and sneeze, that’s your pain receptors prompting your brain to tell your heart it needs pump faster. At the same time, your brain tells your body to release dopamine and endorphins into your system in order to help you cope with the pain. And we all know endorphins make you feel relaxed and happy.

Now if you have experienced that sensation, Congratulations, you have experienced what is called a ‘chilli rush’. People can become quite addicted to having a chilli rush and let’s face it, its legal, it doesn’t require you to wear sports gear or even get off the couch; and you don’t get a hangover. So much easier than going for a run! What could be better? And, what other food can give you such a tangible physical reaction, other than the aphrodisiac qualities of the oyster (we won’t go there) oh, and the damned brussell sprout which can make you gag. I’ll really need to come up with something for brussell sprouts, it’s that season again and Hot Chilli Husband loves them.

But not only do chillis they make you feel good, they’re seriously good for you too. Did you know that chillis have high levels of vitamin C, in fact twice that of citrus fruit and the redder they are the more they have. And red chillis are also high in beta carotene which help with eye sight and they are full of vitamin A. All things that are believed to help prevent diabetes, treat arthritis, ease congestion, as well as boost metablolism and prevent some cancers.

Now I’m not a doctor and I'm not giving medical advice, but any fruit that can do all that whilst at the same time making your food taste good, I believe deserves all of the hype it can get.

So do your body and soul a favour and get more chillis in your diet. And don’t worry if you’re not eating the superhot variety, you don’t have too. As long as you are eating the ones you like and they get your heart pumping, you’ll still get a chilli rush.

And who knows the more you try the more you might want to experiment with the hotter varieties.

The key is to not rush it, go your own pace and enjoy the journey.

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