Peru, South America
The aji amarillo is a member of capsicum baccatum, one of the five domesticated pepper species, and is grown all over Peru. The aji amarillo—aji means chili pepper and amarillo means yellow in Spanish—is considered part of the Peruvian "holy trinity" when it comes to their cuisine, along with garlic and red onion.
Although this pepper is literally named "yellow chili pepper," its color changes to a bright orange as it matures. The chili pods have a thick skin, are 4 to 5 inches long, and are considered hot. But the aji amarillo balances that heat with a bit of fruity flavor. Smelling a bit like a raisin, this chili's taste is somewhat subtle with hints of passion fruit and mango, imparting a unique flavor to any dish.
Heat - Hot 30,000 to 50,000
The bhut jolokia, also known as ghost chili and ghost jolokia, is an interspecific hybrid chili cultivated in the Northeast india states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. It is a hybrid Capsicum chinese and Capsicum frutescens and is closely related to the Naga Morich of Nagaland and Bangladesh.
In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world's hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.
Heat - Very Very Hot. 1 million SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
The habanero is a hot variety of chili pepper. Unripe habaneros are green, and they color as they mature. The most common color variants are orange and red, but the fruit may also be white, brown, yellow, green, or purple. The habanero's heat, flavor and floral aroma make it a popular ingredient in hot sauces and other spicy foods.
Heat - Very Hot 100,000–350,000 SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
New Mexico, U.S.
Chile grown in the Hatch Valley, in and around Hatch, New Mexico, is called Hatch chile, but no one cultivar of chile is specific to that area, which is smaller than the acreage used to produce chiles with the "Hatch" label. The peppers grown in the valley, and along the entire Rio Grande, from northern Taos Pueblo southern Islets Pueblo, are a signature crop to New Mexico's economy and culture.
The New Mexico green chile pepper flavor has been described as lightly pungent similar to an onion, or like garlic with a subtly sweet, spicy, crisp, and smoky taste. The ripened red retains the flavor, but adds an earthiness and bite while aging mellows the front-heat and delivers more of a back-heat. The spiciness depends on the variety of New Mexico chile pepper.
Heat - Hot 0–70,000 SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
New Mexico, U.S.
The chimayo pepper is a pepper landrace of the species Capsicum annuum. It is named after the town of Chimayo, New Mexico, where roughly 500 acres of Chimayo peppers are harvested annually. It is considered one of the two best chilis in the state, the other being those grown in Hatch.
Heat - Very 30,000 to 50,000 SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
New Mexico, U.S.
The serrano pepper is a type of chili pepper that originated in the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. The name of the pepper is a reference to the mountains (sierras) of these regions.
Mature Serranno pepper plants reach a height of 0.5 to 1.5 m (1.5 to 5.0 ft) tall. Each plant can hold up to 50 pepper pods. The fruit can be harvested while they are green or ripe. Unripe serrano peppers are green, but the color varies at maturity; common colors for the ripe fruit are green, red, brown, orange, and yellow.
They are typically eaten raw and have a bright and biting flavor that is notably hotter than the jalapeño pepper. Serrano peppers are also commonly used in making pico de gallo and salsa, as the chili is particularly fleshy compared to others, making it ideal for such dishes.
It is the second most used chili pepper in Mexican cuisine. The Mexican states of Veracruz, Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas produce about 180,000 tons of serranos
Heat - Hot 10,000 to 23,000 SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
Bird's eye, piri piri or Thai chili is a chili pepper, a variety from the species apsicum annuum, commonly found in Ethiopia and across Southeast Asia. It is often confused with a similar-looking chili derived from the species Capsicum frutescens, the cultivar "siling labuyo." Capsicum frutescens fruits are generally smaller and characteristically point to the sky. It is used extensively in Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisines.
Heat - 50,000-100,000 SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
Urfa biber (also known as isot pepper) is a dried Turkish chili pepper, cultivated in the Urfa region of Turkey. It is often described as having a smoky, raisin-like taste. Urfa biber is technically a red pepper, ripening to a dark maroon on the plant. The peppers go through a two-part process, where they are sun-dried during the day and wrapped tightly at night. The night process is called 'sweating', and works to infuse the dried flesh with the remaining moisture of the pepper. The result is an appearance ranging from deep purple to a dark, purplish black. Urfa biber is less spicy than many other chili peppers, but provides a more lasting build of heat. Traditionally used in Turkey in meat and savoury foods.
Heat - 30,000–50,000 SHU (Scoville heat unit scale)
Chili pepper health benefits includes improving cognitive function, contribute to red blood cell formation, reduce blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular disease, a natural pain reliever, clears nasal congestion, soothes intestinal disease and disorders, boost immunity and maintaining healthy eyes. Other benefits include preventing cancer, stomach ulcers, while promoting weight loss and improving longevity.
The chili pepper, also known as chile pepper in the southern U.S. or chlli in the UK, is a member of the nightshade family Solanaceae. Chili peppers are the fruits of the genus Capsicum plants. It is believed that chili peppers originated in Mexico; and from there journeyed to India, China, and Turkey until it was propagated across the entire world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers between the 16th and 17thcenturies. Now it has become among the most in-demand commercial crops.
According to the Food & Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database or FAOSTAT, China currently produces roughly 33.2 million tons of fresh green Bird’s Eye chilies each year. Meanwhile, Peru us considered as the country with the most diverse cultivation of Capsicum plants. Varieties of chili peppers include Habanero, Jalapeno, Cayenne, Piri Piri, Fresno, etc.
Since its introduction, Chili peppers have become a staple in various cuisines. The chili pepper can be beaten raw, cooked, dried, or added as the main ingredient in powders and sauces. It heavily features its strong, spicy flavor. The chilies’ potency is due to an active alkaloid called capsaicin. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter the chili. However, the spicy heat of a chili pepper may still vary depending on its type and growing conditions. So, what do chili peppers offer aside from spicing up mouth-watering dishes?
Nutrition Info of Chili Pepper (per 100g serving)
Total Carbohydrates 8.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Omega 3 -0.01
Pantothenic acid 0.201mg
Riboflavin 0.086 mg
Vitamin A 952 UI
Vitamin C 143.7mg
Vitamin E 0.69mg
Vitamin K 14 mcg
12 Amazing Health Benefits
Improves Cognitive Functioning
You need proper amounts of oxygen and iron for you to achieve and maintain good cognitive performance. Spicing up your meals with chili peppers everyday can decrease your chances of getting cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Contributes to Red Blood Cell Formation
Anemia and fatigue are caused by iron deficiency. Chili pepper is also rich in folic acid. Folic acid aids in the production of red blood cells and fights anemia. It also plays a vital role in rapid cell division and growth in pregnancy. Pregnant women must never undergo folic acid deficiency; otherwise it could lead to certain birth defects in newborns.
Reduce Blood Pressure and Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Chilies contain potassium. Potassium is a mineral that plays different functions in the body. An adequate intake of potassium combined with folate can greatly reduce the risk of heart diseases. Potassium relaxes blood vessels; thus, creating ideal blood flow.
Chili peppers are also an excellent source of riboflavin and niacin. Niacin increases a person’s good cholesterol levels, also reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Niacin deficiency can only lead to a disease called Pellagra. Pellagra is characterized by insomnia, dementia, and diarrhea.
Spicing up your meals with hot peppers is the first step you can take in preventing atherosclerosis.
Acts as Natural Pain Relief
Topical capsaicin is used to alleviate pain caused by osteoarthritis and diabetic neuropathy. It works by desensitizing sensory receptors, and also possesses anti-inflammatory effects.
Spicing up your means with hot peppers is an excellent first step in preventing atherosclerosis.
Clears Nasal Congestion
Capsaicin not only alleviates pain but also relieves congestion. Its fiery heat stimulates secretions that aid in clearing mucus from stuffy nose. Capsaicin has antibacterial properties that combat against chronic sinus infections, thanks to its ability to induce vasoconstriction in the blood vessels of the nasal cavity.
Soothes Intestinal Diseases and Disorders
Chili peppers are often used as food preservatives because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Capsaicin can kill bacteria such as H. pylori and cure inflammatory bowel diseases.
The bright red color of chili peppers indicates in high pro-Vitamin A or beta-carotene content. You can achieve about 6% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C with just a meager 2 teaspoons of red chili peppers. Vitamin A is vital in keeping a healthy respiratory tract, intestinal tract, and urinary tract. Vitamin A is also known as the anti-infection vitamin and serves as the first line of defense against infections.
Maintain Healthy Eyes
We need vitamin A to keep our eyes healthy at all times. Including chili peppers in our regular diet, approximately one tablespoon each day, can definitely improve your eyesight. It also prevents night blindness as well as macular degeneration.
American Association for Cancer Research has stated that capsaicin has the power to kill leukemia and cancer cells. Just like turmeric, a spice used in making curry, chilies can inhibit tumor growth and cancer. Medical News Today has cited that Capsaicin might actually have the ability to stop breast cancer.
However, further studies are still required and is not yet declared as a means to fully treat cancer.
Chili Pepper Can Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Chilies can actually prevent stomach ulcers. Red hot chile peppers kill bacteria that you may have ingested and stimulates the cells lining the stomach to release buffering juices. This is in direct contrast to the belief that peppers worsen the development or outcome of these ulcers.
Promotes Weight Loss
Obesity is a serious health condition and must not be taken lightly. You can lose weight by eating chilies regularly with the inclusion of exercise, of course. Capsaicin is thermogenic. It reduces your cravings and increases your metabolism. The heat you feel after consuming chile pepper already takes energy and burns calories. Even cosmetic manufacturers have incorporated chile peppers in slimming lotions.
According to Jong Won Yun, a biotechnologist in Daegu University, people who have regular consumption of capsaicin have reported lower calorie intake and fat levels in the body.
Moreover, preventing obesity can lead to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Several researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Services have been observing the eating habits of roughly half a million Chinese people from age 30. They noticed that in a span of seven years, those that include chili peppers in their diet six or seven times a week had a lower risk of mortality than those who do not consume these peppers on a regular basis. This could be due to the little-known fact that chili peppers increase levels of IGF -1 in blood, an anti-aging hormone.
The next time you prepare a meal, add an extra spark with chile peppers. Getting a teary eye or a slight burn in your tongue can be all worth getting used to. Especially when you can stay to benefit from such a long list of health benefits. Chile peppers are in demand in many parts of the world for two reasons; its fiery flavor and its positive effects to the body. It can effectively reduce blood cholesterol, platelet aggregation, and triglyceride levels among many others. Whether you like spicy food or not, chile peppers will always provide you an abundance of vitamins and minerals. In fact, a chile pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange.
A few concerns may also tag along such as skin irritation and hypersensitivity in some individuals; but just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and be cautious enough not to irritate your eyes. If you cannot handle the heat, drink a glass of milk. However, this varies on a case to case basis. Anything taken in excess will always bring more harm than good. So, it is better to always use everything in moderation.