All red chillies are mature. Immature chillies are green and, depending on the variety, may change to red, yellow or brown upon ripening. Red chillies are always sweeter than the green ones and often hotter. It is important to wash hands after use and steer clear of eyes and face in order to avoid a chilli sting.
The hottest parts of a chilli are its seeds and white pith (The soft, spongelike, central cylinder of the chilli), and should be removed if you want a dish that is not too hot.
Chillies contain a substance called Capsaicin. This substance has a peppery heat that stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from a stuffed up nose or congested lungs. Capsacin also is a known topical pain relief for osteoarthritic pain.
The chilli's bright red color signals its high content of beta-carotene which coverts to vitamin A in the body. Chilies carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and is important for heart health and blood pressure. The human body use manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Chilies are also good in the B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
Chili peppers have a mistaken reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers. Not only do they not cause ulcers, they can help prevent them by killing bacteria that may have been ingested, while stimulating the cells lining the stomach to secrete protective buffering juices.
Bird’s Eye Chilli is a small and very hot member of the chilli pepper family, but if used cautiously (1-2 finely chopped peppers per recipe) can provide an aromatic heat to a meal. It also combines well with most spices, Bay Leaves and Coriander Seed. It can be purchased from Aussie Health Products.
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