Spicy and flavourful, these are the two words that come to mind, when you hear of the word chill. Whether it’s hari or lal mirch, both these chillies are not just a pantry favourite for their taste, but also for their bounty of benefits. Surprised to hear this? Don’t be, because you might stock up on an entire bunch of green and red chillies after reading this piece.

But what is it that makes them so special? Popular nutritionist Kavita Devgan tells HealthShots, “Both varieties deliver capsaicin, the compound that gives the mouth-watering punch to chilies. It helps to lower inflammation, which is usually responsible for most gen-now disorders, including cancer. One tip: The spicier the pepper is, the more capsaicin it contains.”

green and red chiliesAdd green chilies to your diet to lose some kilos also. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

That’s not all — capsaicin helps keep cholesterol numbers tamed and oxidative stress in check too; both are big cardiac disease risk factors. It also keeps gut bacteria positive, adds Devgan.

What makes these chilies special?

The red varieties are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which is why they are believed to enhance immunity and promote healthy mucus membranes. This can also help to reduce congestion of the lungs, nasal passages, urinary and intestinal tracts.

On the other hand, green chillies have high water content and contain zero calories, which makes them perfect for those looking to lose weight. They have generous amounts of beta-carotene and antioxidants. They help to regulate blood sugar levels, promote digestion, and help to improve skin health due to the presence of vitamins E and C. Moreover, it also keeps the heart-healthy, and improves immunity.

green and red chiliesSpicy food can add to your lifespan. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to the American Association for Cancer Research, the capsaicin and antioxidants in chili peppers can kill cancer cells in leukemia and prostate cancer. This is largely due to the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of chilies.

What is the best way to consume chillies?

The best way to consume both red and green chillies is to eat them raw. This will help you get rid of any problems associated with the adulteration and mixing of synthetic colours in the powder.