Why We Love Chili Peppers (And You Should, Too!)

When we looked at the top 100 foods as ranked by scientists, several peppers and pepper-derived foods made the list. But chili powder and chili peppers ranked higher than the others. Why?

Peppers have a combination of nutrients like vitamin C, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Some extra benefits might come from a chemical called capsaicin, found in chili peppers.

Not only does capsaicin make chili peppers spicy, preclinical and clinical research has suggested that administering capsaicin can also help conditions like obesity, stroke and gastric ulceration, among others.

Here are a few recipes to get some more chili peppers into your diet—if you can take the heat!

Chicken Spanish Rice
Makes 4 servings
Green pepper, chili powder and black pepper make this dish the perfect way to get reacquainted with this versatile veggie family.

Summer Chili
Makes 8 servings
We know, chili is usually a winter dish. But this recipe adds summer squash to mix things up. Try it out!

Potato, Black Bean, & Kale Skillet
Makes 4 servings
Pair this side dish recipe with chicken for a complete meal. Just be careful with the amount of chili pepper and cayenne pepper you use if you’re not great with spicy foods.