4 Ways Chili Oil Can Seriously Upgrade All Your Summer Recipes

Ever heard of chili oil?

Maybe you love relying on a little of the spicy excitement to make your recipes sing or as a companion to the meals you serve.

This condiment and cooking ingredient sounds like some essential oil made from the juice of squeezing hot chilies. But in reality, it’s an infusion of dried chili pepper in oil that’s easy to make at home.

And while the concentrated punch of heat from your chili oil might just seem fun and frivolous, you’re gaining powerful health benefits every time you indulge.

chili oil
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

1. Spice up your life.

Maybe there really is something to putting a little more spice in your life. Enjoy more of those hot, spicy foods and you may live longer, says a study in The BMJ.

You know what’s spicy? Hot chili oil!

The 2015 study looked at people in different parts of China. The researchers found continually eating spicy foods cut down on amounts of total and certain cause-specific mortality, with the risk of death going down as the number of days of eating spicy food went up.

So, there you have it: Go nuts on your spicy chili oil because it could save your life.


2. Boost your nutrient intake.

The dried chili peppers found in chili oil come with a wealth of vitamins and minerals that can help the various organs and systems of your body function as they should. They can also improve your body’s immunity.

From the tiny flakes or powder, you gain a powerful boost from vitamins E, A, K, B2, B3 and B6. You also get a healthy dose of the minerals iron, copper, manganese and potassium.

Dried chili peppers even give you some digestive-system-regulating fiber.

You can add all of the healthy fats, vitamins and minerals you’ll obtain from the oil into whatever you’re cooking.


3. Beat pain and inflammation.

The hotter the chili pepper, the more benefits of capsaicin you’ll gain. Capsaicin is a healing substance that counteracts pain and inflammation, among other benefits.

A 2011 study in the British Journal of Anesthesia found that a patch with a high concentration of capsaicin was effective for providing pain relief in patients who had neuropathic pain. The study also noted many other studies have shown low concentrations of topical capsaicin effective.

Capsaicin is also associated with reducing inflammation, improving congestion and counteracting prostate cancer cells.

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4. Improve your heart health.

It’s easy to have a fire burning in your heart for the taste and sensations of chili peppers, but these delicacies also benefit the health of your heart. It’s the capsaicin and other capsaicinoids in chili peppers that can benefit your heart health.

An American Chemical Society report noted that these substances support cardiovascular health. They do so by reducing cholesterol levels and helping blood flow properly through your blood vessels when a gene is contracting arteries and cutting down on normal blood flow.

When you add chili oil to your diet, you gain all these health-enhancing benefits of chili peppers. And these are only some of the positive health effects of enjoying your favorite condiment.

Chili peppers are also associated with weight loss, preventing the start of stomach ulcers and reducing your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Indulge all you want in the spicy goodness of this oil because it’s improving your body at the same time.

Article is contributed by Sharon Chen for www.elitedaily.com

 

Artificial Sweeteners Increase Flies’ Appetites

Flies given the artificial sweetener sucralose get hooked on the taste, eating more sugar and negating any calorie reduction they might experience from using the artificial sweetener in the first place. The researchers of the paper in Cell Metabolism are wary of extrapolating to humans, but advocate at least knowing how much artificial sweeteners are in one’s diet.

Artificial Sweeteners Increase Flies' Appetites
Photo Credit: iamharin/Shutterstock When fruit flies get a taste of sucralose, it makes them chase more high-calorie foods.

Artificial sweeteners have become a huge industry. However, according to senior author Dr Greg Neely of the University of Sydney, there is conflicting evidence as to whether they replace sugar consumption, or stimulate more demand. That’s not all that surprising. Nutritional studies on humans are notoriously hard, because so many people don’t stick to the diet and don’t admit it to researchers when they stray. Tightly controlled nutritional research tends to be on very small groups, for short periods of time, or both.

Animal diets are much easier to control. Neely told IFLScience that fruit flies are particularly good to work with because it is possible to test a lot of diets quickly.

“We then applied one component to mice,” Neely said. “We couldn’t do the whole thing in mice because it would take years.” Confirming that, at sufficient doses, sucralose triggers a similar craving in mammals gave Neely’s team more confidence of its wider application.

“After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more,” said Neely in a statement. “Through systematic investigation of this effect, we found that inside the brain’s reward centers, sweet sensation is integrated with energy content. When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed.”

He added: “Using this response to artificially sweetened diets, we were able to functionally map a new neuronal network that balances food’s palatability with energy content. The pathway we discovered is part of a conserved starvation response that actually makes nutritious food taste better when you are starving,”

Neely cautioned that the work may not be applicable to all artificial sweeteners. “Fruit flies don’t like saccharine,” he told IFLScience, while aspartame proved difficult to administer. Nevertheless, the same mechanism could easily apply to anything that tastes sweet.

When the fruit flies were given sucralose for more than five days, their energy intake increased by up to 30 percent, with Neely telling IFLScience that the more sweetener they were given, the more they ate.

The implications for our own diets are less clear. Neely told IFLScience that to a human, sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sucrose, gram for gram, while flies only find it four times as sweet. So the flies were consuming quantities, relative to body weight, no human would touch. Rather than suggesting dieters should cut artificial sweeteners out entirely, Neely suggested clearer labeling might be beneficial so that people know how much they are consuming.

Article is written by Stephen Luntz from www.iflscience.com