By Taylor & Shelly Gibbons
When you think of spicy food do you cringe? Does it make you scared that you might end up with a burning mouth and stomach ache? Well, eating spicy food might be something you want to start getting used to. There’s a lot of research that now suggests that it’s not only good for our stomachs but eating peppers can even help our bodies fight off disease.
Everything we eat is either building up our bodies or slowly dragging them down. So when we find food that’s fighting for us, instead of against us, we like to share the good news. (Be sure to read all 3 pages of this article. They include our Smoky Spicy Chicken Chili recipe and Spicy Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe.)
Eating spicy food can cause anxiety for some who don’t “agree” with the hot stuff. It can also be the catalyst for an ego driven dare, to prove strength between friends. The bottom line, is that eating something spicy is an experience, and then some.
For years, experts have suggested that eating spicy foods made stomach problems and ulcers worse. But actually, the new studies have shown that when eaten in moderation, spicy foods actually protect the stomach lining and help your stomach produce less gastric acid. You might be sensitive to spicy foods, but the more gradual you increase your tolerance the more your body gets used to the intensity.
This article is featured in the Intense, Intents! issue of Faith & Fitness Magazine.
Chili Peppers go by the Latin name, Capsicum and they contain a substance called Capsaicin. This natural substance is where the “kick” comes from. And the benefits that even a small amount of Capsaicin may have in store for you and your loved ones, may make you all sweat.
Now, just like the myth of lotions, potions and pills go’s, there is no one secret to health, just lots of good ideas. And typically the more simple we get with our solutions the better off we are.
Spicy food can help with weight loss. It helps you burn energy faster and more effectively and that red pepper can even increase your metabolism. It also can ease hunger pains, so it could be good to eat if you’re trying to lose weight.
Rebecca Wood, author of “The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia” reports that Capsaicin has amazing health benefits. It can be a natural vasodilator, which means it keeps veins open for better blood flow.
Inflammation is becoming one of the biggest contributors to modern day health concerns. Wood says that Capsaicin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for our bodies.
Also, a study in the journal “Cell Study” concludes that Capsaicin is a promising treatment for cancer because it can turn off NF-kb which is a protein that promotes tumor growth.
There are a number of ways hot and spicy foods might help you. The heat from the spice releases the feel-good endorphins and when this is done it can help your mood, and relationships. Eating spicy food helps ease sinus congestion and also can help with respiratory problems as it is an expectorant.
So, if you can reduce your risk of heart attack, fight inflammation, help your moods, burn energy faster and get a jump on reducing tumor growth in your body while enjoying a spicy meal with your loved ones, pick up the peppers!
My wife and I have included two of our favorite spicy recipes for you to try with your friends and family. So keep it simple, and share all the Good News you can about God’s great and mighty spice rack.
Taylor & Shelly Gibbons
(Continue to PAGE 2 for our Smoky Spicy Chicken Chili recipe.)
Smoky Spicy Chicken Chili
This chili recipe was birthed out of craving for deep flavor. The smoked paprika pairs well with the intense heat of the chipotle peppers. Chipotle peppers are jalapeños that have been left on the vine to mature and turn red, basically to over-ripen, then they are smoke dried. A process that eliminates all the water in the pepper therefore leaving a flavor packed smoky pepper taste. This is one of our staples for all our large gatherings and just plain ole rainy days. We serve it alongside cornbread and a green salad with a tangy lime dressing. The flavor in this chili will not disappoint!
WHAT YOU NEED
1 red onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
3-5 dried chipotle chiles depending on how spicy you want it.
Salt and pepper to taste
3 15 oz cans black beans
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 28 oz can roasted diced tomatoes
1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs diced
HOW YOU PREPARE IT
Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over dried chipotle chiles. Leave until softened. About 30 mins. Then pour chiles and water into high powered blender. Blend until smooth. Add more warm water if necessary to make a smooth paste.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the spices and stir to coat.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour the puréed chiles into pot and stir. Simmer the chili, covered, for 35-40 mins. Taste and adjust salt and spices if necessary.
(Continue to PAGE 3 for our Spicy Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe.)
Spicy Mexican Quinoa Salad
This spicy quinoa salad is a great addition to a bed of romaine or great by itself. The protein packed quinoa paired with beans leaves you feeling full and satisfied. We love the sweetness of the corn mixed with the crunch of the red bell peppers and toasted pumpkin seeds. The kick and tang of the jalapeño lime dressing bring all kinds of flavor to a plain salad. This is a great side dish to bring to a potluck. It's unique and full of a kick that's usually loved by all.
WHAT YOU NEED
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can black beans drained
1 cup frozen corn or cut from two ears of corn
1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion diced
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1 handful cilantro chopped
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 avocado pitted and chopped
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 jalapeño cut in half
1 garlic clove
1 tsp chili powder and 1/4 tsp salt
1 small handful cilantro
HOW YOU PREPARE IT
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the dressing ingredients into your high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour over salad and mix until coated. Eat as is or over a bed of romaine.