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Red Chili Pepper Health Benefits

Red chili pepper, also called chili pepper or red chili is a true champion. pepperNot only in the kitchen, also in medicine and cosmetics, this small veggie plays a spicy role. In addition to the spicy flavor that the red chili peppers provide in a dish, they also contain a significant amount of vitamins (vitamin A and C), which are a powerful antioxidant and a real boost for your immune system.

Red chili pepper varieties

There are many types of peppers used in several dishes. All local varieties (e.g. from the American Southwest, Mexico, Asia and India) have several varieties to compliment their national cuisine. The hotness of chili peppers is measured according to an index (Scoville Heat Index, SHI). The mildest peppers are at the bottom of the Scoville scale, the spiciest on top.

Capsaicin is the substance that gives red chili peppers spicy their flavor. Find out below which chili pepper variety are most commonly used.

Sweet bell pepper
0 Scovilles. Green bell pepper (approximately the size of a large fist). Very mild taste.

Banana pepper
0-500 Scovilles. This pepper is also known as Yellow wax pepper and has a mild, sweet taste. The Banana pepper is very popular on many types of dishes.

Trinidad Perfume chili pepper
0-500 Scovilles. The Trinidad Perfume chili pepper also is a mild chili pepper. It has very little to no heat.

Cubanelle chili pepper
0 – 1,000 Scovilles. The Cubanelle chili pepper is considered a sweet pepper, but its heat can range (from mild to moderate). These peppers are usually picked before they ripen. They then have a yellowish-green color. When they are ripe, they turn bright red.

Pimento (or Pimiento) chili pepper
100 – 500 Scovilles. Pimiento, Spanish word for “pepper”, has a mild taste.

Cherry pepper
100 – 500 Scovilles. See “Pimento” chili pepper.

Pepperoncini chili pepper
100-500 Scovilles. Pepperoncini chili peppers are also known as Tuscan Peppers. These sweet, mild chili peppers are found in Italy and Greece

NewMex R Naky chili pepper
250-750 Scovilles. The NuMex R Naky chile is created by Dr. Nakayama of New Mexico State University in 1985.

Pasilla chili pepper
250 – 3,999 Scovilles. Pasilla means “little raisin”. When fresh, Pasilla chili peppers are also known as pasilla bajio, chile negro or “Mexican negro”.

Paprika chili pepper
250 – 1000 Scovilles. This is a large, cone-shaped chili pepper. It is used dried and ground.

Sonora chili pepper
300–600 Scovilles. The Sonora chili pepper is a variety with a very mild flavor.

Ají Panca
500 Scovilles. The Panca chili (or called Ají Panca in South America), is a deep red to burgundy pepper.

Santa Fe Grande chili pepper
500 – 700 Scovilles. Also known as yellow hot chile and guero chile.

Anaheim chili pepper
500 – 1,000 Scovilles. The Anaheim chili pepper is a mild, medium sized chili pepper, which is often used when green, though it can be used when red.

Coronado chili pepper
700 – 1,000 Scovilles. This chili pepper is originally from South America and has a thin, waxy skin.

Poblano chili pepper
1,000 – 2,000 Scovilles. The poblano is an extremely popular chili pepper.

Ancho chili pepper
1,000 – 2,000 Scovilles. Ancho chili peppers are a dried form of the poblano chili pepper.

1,000-2,500 Scovilles. The Chilaca chili pepper is a curved, long, thin pepper with a mild to medium flavor.

Hatch chili pepper
1,000 – 2,500 Scovilles. Hatch chili peppers are from New Mexico and have a mild to medium flavor. These peppers are perfect for stuffing.

Cascabel chili peppers
1,000-3,000 Scovilles. The Cascabel Chile is grown in Mexico.

Picuante / Peppadew chili pepper
1,177 Scovilles. The Peppadew is grown in South Africa, and is actually the brand name of sweet piquanté peppers.

Aji chili pepper
1,177 – 75,000 Scovilles. Also known generally as Peruvian hot pepper.

New Mex Big Jim chili pepper
2,500-3,000 Scovilles. This is a giant chili pepper, which was introduced by New Mexico State University in the 1970s as a cross between a some different types of local chili peppers and a Peruvian chili pepper.

Guajillo chili pepper
2,500-5,000 Scovilles. The Guajillo is one of the most common and popular chili pepper from Mexico. It is mild to moderately hot.

Jalapeno chili pepper
2,500 – 8,000 Scovilles. This is the world’s most popular chili pepper!

Chipotle chili pepper
2,500 – 8,000 Scovilles. The chipotle is a smoked jalapeno chili pepper. Its has a distinctive smoky flavor. Very delicious.

Fresno chili pepper
2,500-10,000 Scovilles. This pepper looks and tastes almost like a jalapeno, but they can be much hotter.

Baker’s Hot chili pepper
15,000-30,000 Scovilles. The Barker’s Hot is an extremely hot chili pepper and has great flavor.

Jwala Finger Hot chili pepper
20,000-30,000 Scovilles. The Jwala is from India and adds great flavor and spice to many Indian dishes.

Tabasco pepper
30,000 – 50,000 Scovilles. This is the chili pepper used in Tabasco sauce.

Cayenne pepper
30,000 – 50,000 Scovilles. The “cayenne pepper” spice you use is the dried, ground version of this pepper.

Rocoto chili pepper
30,000 – 100,000 Scovilles. Also known as the Manzano pepper, which is one of the oldest of domesticated chili peppers. This chili pepper was grown up to as much as 5000 years ago.

Santaka chili pepper
40,000-50,000 Scovilles. From Japan, the Santaka chili pepper is a hot and flavorful Asian variety, perfect for Asian cooking, especially stir-fries.

Tabiche chili pepper
85,000-115,000 Scovilles. Originally from India, the Tabiche chili pepper now grows worldwide and often year-round, but it does best in hot, dry climates.

African Bird’s Eye/ African Devil
175,000 Scovilles. Also known as Piri Piri.

Habanero chili pepper
100,000 – 350,000 Scovilles. This one is the granddaddy of all the hot peppers in terms of heat level.

125,000-325,000 Scovilles. The Fatalii chili pepper is one of the hottest peppers in the world.

Madame Jeanette
225,000 Scovilles. Named after a famous Brazilian prostitute, the Madame Jeanette has the shape of a bell pepper, but the intense heat of a habanero.

Caribbean Red Habanero
300,000 – 475,000 Scovilles. This is an extremely hot pepper.

Bhut Jolokia
1,001,304 Scovilles. Now, truly almost the hottest chili pepper around!

Carolina Reaper
With a Guinness-submitted 1,569,383 SHU (Scoville heat units) average and recently measured peak levels of over 2,200,000 SHU, SMOKIN’ ED’S CAROLINA REAPER® is the hottest chili pepper in the world.

Hottest pepper list

Well, now you know what is the hottest pepper list. Although the hottest chili (Carolina reaper) may be the winner of the ‘hottest pepper list’, the probability that you might use this chili pepper in your daily dish, seems to be quite small. The reason for that is that most of us are not used to such hot peppers as they overpower all the other flavors in a dish.

Red chili pepper health benefits

Besides the warm, burning sensation in your mouth, capsaicin also has several health benefits. For example, it stimulates the endorphin production in the brains. Endorphin is a natural pain killer and gives a euphoric feeling. Eating chili pepper can thus make you very cheerful!

Capsaicin is widely studied and some studies show that treatment with capsaicin can cure symptoms of various disorders, such as pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy. More research is needed to draw hard conclusions about the possible therapeutic effects of capsaicin from red chili pepper. But there is evidence that red chili pepper may help against several diseases and perhaps could be used as ‘natural medicine’ in the future.

In 2003, Italian researchers have already demonstrated that capsaicin from red chili pepper has an analgesic effect in migraine-related headaches. (Note: these effects were obtained by the administration of a nasal spray containing capsaicin and not by consuming a spicy meal).

Capsaicin from red chili pepper also stimulates the mucous membranes, which helps to produce more mucous in order to ‘flush’ your nasal area. The antibacterial properties of capsaicin could help in the prevention of chronic sinus infections. Next to that, the relatively high content of vitamins A, C and bioflavonoids in red chili pepper may help to strengthen blood vessels so that your body is better able to cope with changes in blood pressure.

Red chili pepper can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent, as capsaicin releases a substance that is associated with natural body processes that take place in the reduction of various pains. Results from a study (Duke University, US) show furthermore that capsaicin might help in the treatment and cure of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In line with these results, the researchers concluded that capsaicin also kills bacteria such as H. Pylori, which may help against or prevent stomach.

Red chili recipes

The results of the various studies on the therapeutic effects of red chili pepper look promising. Still, future studies are needed to determine which role red chili pepper could play as a medicine. Also on the way of administration – oral (by consuming a pill or peppers with capsaicin) or nasally (by administering a nasal spray containing capsaicin) – researchers have not reached a consensus. Nevertheless, regular consumption of red chili peppers is a healthy and delicious choice. The spicy flavor gives both savory and sweet dishes more character. So use more often red chili pepper in your food!

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