Explanation of why chillies are spicy and the benefits of eating them
The spicy taste of chillies comes from the substance capsaicin. The higher the capsaicin concentration in the chilli, the spicier the chilli will be.
Chilli is a plant that originates from South America, especially in countries around the Pacific Ocean, such as Peru, Mexico and Brazil. This plant has been known and cultivated by people in the region for centuries.
Chillies began to enter Indonesia in the 16th century when traders from Europe and East Asia brought chillies to this region as a cooking ingredient and spice. At first, chillies were only famous in several regions in Indonesia, such as Java and Bali, but then they began to spread to various other regions in Indonesia.
Most people know that chillies are hot, but not many people know the reason why chillies are hot.
Why are chillies spicy?
The substance responsible for the spicy taste in chillies is capsaicin. Capsaicin causes a spicy taste sensation when it enters the digestive system. This capsaicin will irritate the inside of the mouth, causing a hot and sharp sensation, or you could say 'spicy' as a response.
Actually, spicy does not fall into the category of tastes such as sweet or bitter but is a term for the burning sensation in the body's organs.
Capsaicin is the compound that causes chillies to be spicy. Capsaicin occurs naturally in chilli tissue. Capsaicin is similar to curcumin, a yellow pigment compound that helps determine the colour of chillies.
The higher the level of capsaicin in it, the spicier the chilli will be. This level is called the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU). The higher the SHU, the spicier the chilli. For example, jalapeno peppers range from 1,000 to 10,000 SHU, and habaneros range from 100,000 to 500,000 SHU. In fact, Carolina Reaper chillies range from 1.5 to 2.2 million SHU.
The concentration of capsaicin depends not only on the particular type of chilli but also on other things, such as how the chilli was grown and under what weather conditions. Chilli plants grown in tropical areas will produce hotter chillies than those grown in other parts of the world.
Benefits of Capsaicin for Health
Chili has various health benefits. Most of these benefits come from the antioxidant content of chillies, especially capsaicin. Capsaicin has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain from arthritis and pain. Chillies can also help cleanse blood vessels, slow down the ageing process, and prevent cancer.
The capsaicin contained in chillies can also increase blood circulation, especially in tissues and organs affected by infection. The anti-bacterial content of chillies can help prevent and treat bacterial infections. It can also help cleanse the small intestine of bad bacteria and improve the performance of the digestive tract.
Because of these various benefits, chillies have long been used as a food ingredient throughout the world. Currently, many communities around the world enjoy chillies as a traditional food spice to enrich taste and enjoyment.
The conclusion of this article is that the hot taste of chillies is caused by capsaicin, and the higher the concentration of capsaicin, the higher the spiciness. Chillies are also greatly influenced by the environment, so if we want hotter chillies, it is important to choose the right planting location, suitable weather conditions, and the right plant maintenance methods.