Fun Chile Facts:
Around the world today Chile peppers are eaten as a fresh vegetable or in their dehydrated form as a spice, and their uses have become as diverse as their colors and shapes. Chiles have been used as currency, spice, vegetables, ornaments and many other things including medicine. There are many interesting facts about Chile peppers, here are just a few.
- A teaspoon of red Chile powder meets the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin-A. Vitamin-A plays an important role in vision and bone growth
- Green Chile pod has as much Vitamin-C as 6 oranges. As the Chile matures and turns red the Vitamin-C count drops and the amount of Vitamin-A dramatically increases. This is due to an increase in carotene, the chemical that creates the red and orange colors of ripe chiles. Chiles also contain calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, thiamine (b1), riboflavin (b2), niacin (b3) and a host of antioxidant agents.
- Chile peppers increase the enzymes responsible for fat metabolism in the liver and are used in the treatment of blood clots; the capsaicin helps to thin the blood. They also may help prevent the growth of certain cancers and aid in many skin conditions including psoriasis, itching and bruising.
- Some cultures put Chile powder in their shoes to keep their feet warm. It was rumored that certain Denver Broncos players had sprinkled Cayenne Chile powder in their socks before a football game against the San Diego chargers in 1987. The powder helped the players resist the numbing cold that came from the blizzard conditions at Denver stadium.
- The pueblo Indians of New Mexico use chiles to reduce the swelling and to draw out the poison of bee stings, while in India chiles are used to draw out the venom of poisonous snake bites.
- In Latin American countries, Chile powder is rubbed on children’s thumbs to prevent sucking, while the Caribe people of the Caribbean rubbed Chile juice on the wounds of youths during their ritual to becoming warriors, and also, the legend holds, the Caribes marinated the flesh of captured Arawak people in Chile before they barbequed and ate them.
- The Aztecs use Chile powder to reduce toothache pain, while on the Cuna Islands, off the coast of Panama, the locals tow Chile peppers behind their boats to ward off sharks.