10 Recipes That Unlock The Health Benefits Of Chili Peppers


Good news for fans of spicy food: you may live longer than your more mild-mouthed friends. A 23-year study recently published in the scientific journal PLOS One found that people who ate chili peppers were 13 percent less likely to die early.

Perhaps this news is not surprising considering the numerous health benefits of chili peppers, which include reduced blood cholesterol, boosted immunity, lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, stomach ulcer prevention and even the ability to help stop the spread of prostate cancer.

Some of these benefits are due to the fact that chili peppers contain capsaicin, the substance that gives chili peppers that hot taste sensation. Capsaicin is also known to help treat pain, fight inflammation, prevent psoriasis and aid in weight loss.

With all these health benefits, here are 10 easy recipes to help you add chili peppers to your diet.

Chilaquiles Rojos with Ancho Chili Sauce

Chilaquiles are basically delicious breakfast nachos, and they’ll definitely improve the rest of your day. Whether you choose home-made tortilla chips or store-bought, they’re fried and tossed with a spicy ancho sauce, then topped with avocado and a fried egg.

Hunan Pork Stir Fry

We still haven’t met someone that doesn’t love Chinese takeout. But what if you could take out the middle man and recreate that zest at home? This moderately spicy Hunan pork stir fry will be way better than any greasy lo mein you’ve ever tried.

Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

We’ve heard of combining sweet and salty for years – trail mix, anyone? But sweet and spicy has also been around for years, namely chocolate and chili. It’s the ultimate marriage, and the kick it provides to its rich chocolate base looks sumptuous.

Honey-Roasted Eggplant with Chiles

The flavors in this dish are explosive and unexpectedly dynamic. This recipe utilizes Thai chilis roasted lusciously with honey alongside the eggplant to mute some of the spice – it’s an incredibly easy, tasty and nutritious side dish or appetizer.

Kung Pao Pastrami

You don’t typically think of things like Kung Pao and pastrami in the same meal, but in this recipe, traditional Chinese and Jewish cuisines collide for a new-age Chinese-American dish that’s hot and highly addictive.

Green Chile and Roasted Tomato Guacamole

Guacamole wouldn’t be anything without its jalapeño kick. But this guac recipe has the addition of green chilis, and it adds a complexity that we’re now obsessed with. The spiciness is balanced out by Cotija cheese in the most perfect way.

Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

If you’re sick of all these solid foods or feeling a little congested, this spicy chipotle sweet potato soup will hit the spot, no matter the season. With a silky texture and a piquant kick, you can customize the spice level from mild to flaming hot.

Sweet Chili Roasted Sweet Potato Spring Rolls

Forget the spring rolls you find at food courts in Panda Express, these are way better for you and even more appetizing. Made with a rice noodle outside, and a sweet potato-onion filling, the chilis present themselves gorgeously.

Vegan Tikka Masala Tacos with Chilifire Crema

Vegans and fans of Indian food are guaranteed to make this a staple in their kitchens. Crispy tofu tikka masala is grilled with veggies, herbs and a creamy, cashew-based chilifire crema topping. It contains all of the best elements of street food, and you don’t even have to leave the house.

Ancho Chicken Enchiladas

The sauce these enchiladas are marinated in is absolutely decadent and easy to recreate at home. Ancho chilis are the key to this dish, and the author suggests flash roasting them here. This dish is so sublimely seasoned, you’ll want to revisit this recipe again and again.