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Spice up your health with the Power of Peppers


Published: 06/17/2015

by David Ferrer

To learn more about lunch and dinner ideas made with peppers, visit

In the last several years, Mexican food has gained tremendous popularity with burrito and taco restaurants opening across the country. While recipes may differ, the chili pepper is at the root of all Mexican fare.

“Chilies are extremely healthy and tasty. They are a very nutrient dense food, meaning they offer a huge amount of nutrients per calorie. Plus they add flavour without a lot of calories, so they are a great addition to any meal,” said Kathleen Trotter, a noted Canadian fitness and nutrition expert.

While Canadian consumers are increasingly demonstrating a more adventurous palate, many may be unaware the burrito they're enjoying is good for them in more ways than one. Research shows that hot chili peppers are high in nutrients such as calcium plus vitamins A and C. There's also some evidence that hot chilies can reduce cardiovascular disease risk, help prevent diabetes and boost metabolism.

“Spicy Chipotle Chicken is one of the hottest items on our menu and one the most popular,” said Steve Gill, founder of Quesada Burritos & Tacos.

On any given day, Gill can be found working with a variety of chilies such as ancho, pasilla or morita to create delicious sauces and marinades for his Mexican-inspired menu. While his restaurants are geared toward fresh, healthy-on-the-go eating, he says his customers come back for the flavour.

“We're a healthy choice but most of our customers come for a tasty meal,” he smiled.

Chili peppers have also been shown to fight inflammation as they contain capsaicin. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. In fact, the hotter the pepper the more capsaicin it contains.

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