Chilies come in all shapes, sizes and colors ranging from tiny pointed extremely hot, birds’ eye chili to the large mild fleshy peppers like the Anaheim. Indigenous to Central and South America and the West Indies, they have been cultivated there for thousands of years before the Spanish conquest, which eventually introduced them to the rest of the world. Mexican cooking is one of the worlds oldest cuisines, the explorers of the New World brought back the tomatoes and peppers, red hot chilies, avocados, various beans, vanilla and chocolate, these flavors were to change the flavor of Europe.
Several cultivars of chilies grow all around the world. The chili plant is native to Central American region where it was used as spicy ingredient in Mexican cuisines for several thousand years. It was introduced to the rest of the world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers during 16th and 17th centuries and now grown widely in many parts of the world as an important commercial crop.
Chilies are loaded with vitamin A, a potent antioxidant and boost to the immune system. As the pods mature and darken high quantities of vitamin C are gradually replaced with beta carotene and the capsaicin levels are at their highest. Due to these capsaicin levels, some believe that eating chilies may have an extra thermal affect, temporarily speeding up the metabolic rate, hence burning off calories at a faster rate. Whatever, you certainly
do sweat and actually cool down in hot climates as sweat evaporates. Your nose runs, your head clear ... you can breathe! And with that extra flow of saliva, the gastric juices also flow. The alkaloids from the capsaicin
stimulate the action of stomach and intestine improving the whole digestion process!