When I think of jalapenos I think…Mexican Food! Did you know that it is actually named after Xapala (pronounced ha-lah-pah) where they were originally grown? These chili peppers were cultivated in Mexico and Central America for several thousand years, so it is no wonder you can find this pepper in lots of Latin cuisines. The great thing about Jalapenos is not only do they bring a kick of flavor to food, they also have medicinal purposes too!
Jalapenos are usually green in color and contain capsaicin which is the chemical that makes jalapenos taste hot. This chemical is well known to block a neuropeptide called Substance P (which is a main pain transmitter to the brain). What that means is that jalapenos can ease your pain! This is especially true for migraine headaches and joint pain like arthritis.
The capsaicin in jalapenos can also help you improve your metabolism and burn calories. Because the pepper is naturally spicy, it stimulates the digestive system to remain healthy and active which in turn increases metabolism and burns away the pounds! But like with every food out there, make sure you eat peppers in moderation. Too much spicy food can cause irritation to your digestive tract. Also be careful handling peppers when cooking as it can also irritate your skin and eyes!
At Skin MD and Beyond, a popular recipe that we provide to our patient who are on our HCG Diet is a delicious salsa that contains jalapeno peppers. Because of the strict calorie intake this diet requires, negative calorie foods, like the jalapeno pepper can be used to add flavor to foods. Hope you enjoy!
Negative Calorie Cucumber Chips and Salsa by Christi Silbaugh
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced diagonally
1/2 sweet onion, diced
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves minced
1 jalapeno, diced (can add or reduce according to your heat preference)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix together the onion, tomatoes, cilantro, minced garlic and jalapeno. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.