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Ten Healthy Reasons to Eat Chili

Chili has long been thought of as a greasy, fat filled meal that no health conscious person would be caught eating.  Not so anymore.  Chili has become a wonderful dish full of healthy nutrients for your body, and it definitely fits into today's healthy diets.  The top 10 healthy reasons for eating a bowl of chili today are listed below.

1.  Chili contains lots of protein.

The meat used in cooking chili is a great source of protein for anyone.  If you happen to use beans in your chili, then they do provide a second source of protein.  Even if you're a vegetarian and make vegetarian chili, it can provide a good portion of your daily protein needs.

2.  Chili has a lot of fiber.

The chiles and the beans in your chili are excellent sources of fiber.  In addition to keeping you regular, fiber also slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream.  This keeps your blood glucose levels from rising and falling too quickly.

3.  Chili contains Vitamin C.

The chiles you use to flavor your chili, even the mild red peppers, provide a tremendous amount of Vitamin C.  If you use a tomato base, it too can provide extra Vitamin C for you.

4.  Chili is high in iron, even the veggie versions.

Chili is a great source of iron, especially the red meat versions.  Don't worry though is you prefer turkey or even meat free chili.  The beans used to make chili are also an excellent source of iron.

5.  Chili can help you lose weight.

The capsaicin found in the chiles used to season you dish can increase your metabolic rate simply by raising your bodily heat production.  Even sweet red peppers can increase heat production for up to 20 minutes are eating them.

6.  Chili can make you happy!

Chiles promote endorphin and serotonin release, both of which inflate your mood.  The capsaicin is the trigger for increasing the serotonin and endorphins.  These two raise your mood levels so you can actually feel happier just by trying a new chili recipe!  What an added bonus!

7. Chili can curb your cravings for fatty foods and sweets.

Some recent research has given some proof that the capsaicin in chiles actually curb your cravings for fatty foods and sweets.  So go ahead and make chili tonight.  Season it well with lots of freshly prepared chiles, and you have a good chance of no wanting dessert afterwards.  Who knew chili could help you control your appetite?

8. Chili can help boost your immune system.

Chiles are high in Vitamin A, which can naturally boost your immune system.  The more chiles you use in flavoring your chili dish, the more Vitamin A you are putting into your body.  The boost to your immune system from the Vitamin A is a welcome plus during the winter cold and flu season.

9.  Chili may help regulate blood sugar after eating.

Apparently the capsaicin in chili peppers also can help regulate your blood sugar.  A July 2006 study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the amount of insulin that was needed to lower patients' blood sugar after a meal is lower if the meal contains chile peppers.  It's true that your fiery chili is good for you!

10. Chili can help clear congestion.

The capsaicin in chiles stimulate mucous secretions to help clear mucous from your stuffy nose.  The next time you feel a cold coming on, prepare a big batch of chili to help you breathe easier.  It will help keep you warm too!

I hope these healthy reasons to eat chili give you a new perspective on an old favorite meal!  Why not try making a pot of chili tonight for dinner?  You will be giving your family a boost in vitamins and minerals as well as other healthy benefits just from a single bowl of chili.

Written By Danna Vach

Sources

1.  www.whfoods.com.

2. The Chili Pepper Diet by Heidi Allison.  Health Communications, Inc.  2002.

3.  Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006.