Green chillies are a common ingredient in many cuisines, especially in India. They add a spicy flavor and a vibrant color to dishes, as well as provide various health benefits. But what about the seeds of green chillies? Are they good or bad for our health? Here is an article that explores the pros and cons of eating green chilli seeds.
What are green chilli seeds?
Green chilli seeds are the small, round, white or yellow seeds that are found inside the green chillies. They are attached to the placenta, which is the white membrane that holds the seeds in place. Green chilli seeds are responsible for most of the heat and pungency of green chillies, as they contain a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is a chemical that stimulates the pain receptors in the mouth and throat, causing a burning sensation and triggering the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers.
Green chilli seed benefits: Can you eat green chilli seeds?
Green chilli seeds are a good source of fiber and nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium, and iron. They also contain capsaicin, a compound that gives chillies their heat. Green chilli seeds have some advantages over the flesh of the chillies, such as:
While the seeds themselves are small, they can provide certain vitamins and minerals. Green chilli seeds can contain vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Additionally, they may contribute small amounts of minerals such as potassium and iron.
Green chilli seeds boost metabolism:
Green chilli seeds can help speed up metabolism and help the body burn calories faster. This is because capsaicin increases body temperature and heart rate, as well as stimulates the digestive system. Eating green chilli seeds can also make you feel fuller for longer and help you control your appetite and weight.
Green chilli seeds help lower cholesterol levels:
Green chilli seeds can help lower cholesterol levels, as they contain a substance called phytosterol, which acts as a good fat for our body. Phytosterols remove plaque in the blood vessels, prevent the absorption of blood cholesterol in the intestine, and also lower cholesterol formation, so that negligible cholesterol can build up. This way, green chilli seeds can protect the heart from diseases.
Green Chilli seeds have antioxidants:
Green chilli seeds are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C, E, and K, phytosterol, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants can help protect the cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage, which can cause aging, inflammation, and chronic diseases. Antioxidants can also boost the immune system and fight infections.
Green chilli seeds protect against cancer:
Green chilli seeds contain capsaicin, which has anti-cancer properties. Capsaicin can induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells and inhibit their growth and spread. Capsaicin can also prevent angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) that feeds tumors. Studies have shown that capsaicin can suppress the development of various types of cancer, such as prostate, breast, colon, lung, skin, and stomach cancer.
Green hilli seeds stimulate digestion:
Green chilli seeds can help improve digestion, as they produce saliva that is important for the human digestive system. Eating them raw along with other foods can also stimulate the secretion of gastric juices and enzymes that aid in breaking down food. Green chilli seeds can also prevent constipation by increasing bowel movements.
Green chilli seeds help Flu:
There is some evidence to suggest that green chilli seeds may help to treat the flu. The seeds contain capsaicin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Capsaicin can help to loosen mucus and clear airways, which can help to relieve congestion and cough. It may also help to kill bacteria and viruses that cause the flu.
Green chilli seeds are antibacterial and antifungal:
Green chilli seeds have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They contain a compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for their heat. Capsaicin can kill bacteria and fungi by disrupting their cell membranes.
In a study published in the journal “Food Science and Biotechnology,” researchers found that green chilli seeds were effective against a variety of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Salmonella typhi. The seeds were also effective against fungi, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.
Another study, published in the journal “Phytochemistry,” found that green chilli seeds were effective against a variety of bacteria, including S. aureus, E. coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The seeds were also effective against fungi, such as C. albicans and Trichophyton rubrum.
What are side effects of eating green chilli seeds?
Green chilli seeds also have some drawbacks that may outweigh their benefits for some people, such as:
Intense Spice and Discomfort:
Green chilli seeds are notably spicy due to their capsaicin content. The spiciness can vary depending on the type and variety of chilli. For individuals with a low tolerance for spice or those with sensitive taste buds, consuming the seeds can lead to discomfort, such as burning sensations in the mouth, throat, or stomach. It’s important to be aware of your personal spice tolerance and moderate your intake accordingly.
Capsaicin can stimulate the digestive system and may lead to potential gastrointestinal distress in some individuals. Common symptoms may include heartburn, acid reflux, abdominal pain, or an upset stomach. If you have a history of digestive issues or a sensitive stomach, it’s advisable to exercise caution and listen to your body’s response when consuming chilli seeds.
Allergies and Sensitivities:
Some individuals may have specific allergies or sensitivities to chilli peppers, including the seeds. Allergic reactions can manifest as skin irritation, hives, itching, respiratory difficulties, or in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If you have a known allergy to chilli peppers or suspect sensitivity, it is crucial to avoid consuming the seeds and consult with a healthcare professional.
They may be contaminated:
Green chilli seeds can be contaminated with bacteria, fungi, pesticides, or heavy metals. These contaminants can cause food poisoning or toxicity if ingested. Therefore, it is important to wash the green chillies thoroughly before eating them or cooking them. It is also advisable to buy organic green chillies or grow them at home to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.
The impact of green chilli seeds can vary from person to person based on factors such as overall health, spice tolerance, and individual sensitivities. It’s essential to pay attention to your body’s reactions and adjust your consumption accordingly.
How to eat green chilli seeds safely?
To enjoy the benefits of green chilli seeds without risking their drawbacks, here are some tips to follow:
Choose fresh and organic green chillies:
Fresh and organic green chillies are more likely to have higher levels of nutrients and lower levels of contaminants than old or non-organic ones. Look for firm, bright green chillies with no spots or bruises.
Wash them well:
Wash the green chillies under running water before cutting or cooking them. This will remove any dirt, dust, or pesticides that may be on the surface. You can also soak them in a solution of water and vinegar for a few minutes to disinfect them further.
Remove the seeds if you are sensitive:
If you are sensitive to spicy foods or have a medical condition that affects your digestive system, you may want to remove the seeds from the green chillies before eating them. You can do this by cutting the chillies lengthwise and scraping out the seeds and the placenta with a knife or a spoon. You can also wear gloves to avoid contact with the capsaicin, which can irritate your skin and eyes.
Eat them in moderation:
Eating too many green chilli seeds can cause adverse effects, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, or heartburn. Therefore, it is advisable to eat them in moderation and balance them with other foods that are mild and soothing, such as yogurt, milk, or bread.
Consult your doctor:
If you have any health issues or allergies that may be affected by eating green chilli seeds, you should consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet. Your doctor can advise you on the appropriate amount and frequency of eating green chilli seeds, as well as monitor your health condition and medication.
Green chilli seeds are a nutritious food that can provide capsaicin, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. They can help boost metabolism, lower cholesterol levels, protect against cancer, and improve digestion. However, green chilli seeds also have some health risks, such as irritation, allergy, and contamination. The pros and cons of eating green chilli seeds may vary depending on individual factors and dietary patterns.
However, it’s crucial to consider the intense spiciness and potential digestive distress they may cause, especially for individuals with low spice tolerance or sensitive stomachs. Allergies and sensitivities should also be taken into account. As with any dietary choice, it’s important to listen to your body and make informed decisions based on your individual needs and health circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor or a nutritionist before making any changes to your green chilli seed intake.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.