Myths about spicy food
In this article, we’ll dismantle the myths about spicy food and tell you the benefits it can bring to your every-day diet.
TRIED AND TESTED
Discover the different types of spicy foods and their health benefits
When we hear people talking about spicy food, we straight away think of other cultures, like Mexican, Indian or oriental cuisine, for example. However, in our own gastronomy, we have foods that add that spicy touch to our dishes and which are also very healthy. Make a note of them!
Spicy foods we can find in our gastronomy
1. Hot peppers: nowadays we can find different varieties of peppers throughout the length and breadth of Spain.
- Padron peppers: some are hot, some aren’t. Watch out! If you don’t like spicy foods, it can be an unpleasant surprise.
- Chilli peppers, such as long yellow chilli pepper, Piparra chilli peppers or Ibarra chilli peppers and Alegría Riojana chillies, among other varieties. On the other hand, we also have dried chilli, which is used to season all types of dishes.
- Pimentón de la Vera hot paprika: is consumed ground and in the form of a spice.
Health benefits of hot peppers or chillies: they are a source of vitamins and help to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
2. Pepper: the best-known and most popular is black pepper, but we can also find other types that have different degrees of ripeness and flavour.
- Green pepper: harvested before it is ripe.
- Black pepper: harvested before it is fully ripe.
- White pepper: is the completely ripe grain and has no outer shell.
Health benefits of pepper: it contains iron, calcium, fibre, potassium and piperine. In addition, it has antioxidant and vasodilatory properties, helps to absorb nutrients and is a good replacement for salt.
3. Garlic: garlic is an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, with its flavour, aroma and versatility in the kitchen. Nowadays we can find different types of garlic, but the most common in our country are garlic shoots, white or dried garlic and black garlic.
Health benefits of garlic: It is rich in vitamin B 6, which helps the normal formation of red blood cells and is a source of vitamin C, which helps to reduce tiredness and improve the absorption of iron. It is recommended to be eaten raw to enhance its benefits.
Health benefits of onion: It provides fibre, which helps to improve bowel transit. In addition, it has a very low calorie content since its main component is water.
Spicy foods we have adopted in our gastronomy
Health benefits of ginger: the spicy sensation caused by ginger is due to a compound called gingerol and also due to the piperidine. It helps to combat conditions like colds and to alleviate nausea or vomiting. We recommend you try the ginger with lemon infusion, it never fails!
2. Curry: originally from India, in Europe, we understand curry as a mixture of spices like turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, chillies, cardamom, saffron, among others. Each curry is different, depending on the mixture of spices used.
Health benefits of curry: all of the healthy spices they contain make curry a food with enormous health benefits. The most remarkable is turmeric, which, thanks to the curcumin, makes it a good remedy for inflammation and an excellent antioxidant. In addition, like most spicy foods, curry is an excellent vasodilator.
3. Wasabi: Originating from Japan, the wasabi we know today is extracted from a plant of the same name, which has that characteristic spicy taste, and that we can use to make a cream or paste. Nowadays, this food is a basic ingredient in Japanese cuisine to serve as an accompaniment and is usually diluted in sauce, since wasabi is only suitable for the most daring among us!
Health benefits of wasabi: Vitamin C stands out among its components and it is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it boasts anti-inflammatory properties in small doses.