Bird's eye chilli is a chilli pepper commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisines. It is often added to bring a touch of vibrant colour to the dish, to heighten the aromatic scent and most importantly, to inject that exciting spark of spiciness in taste.
In fact, the bird’s eye chilli is recognised for producing some of the spiciest dishes in the region. Used in an array of culinary methods, you can find them as a paste, in stir-fries, in salads and even sliced and used as condiments.
This chilli pepper reigns supreme over the other chilli peppers available, apart from being one of the top five hottest chillies in the world based on its reading of 50,000–100,000 Scoville heat units by the Scoville scale — a measurement of the pungency (spiciness or heat) of chilli peppers and other spicy foods.
So, be sure not to rub your eyes, should you have touched the chilli. After all, they are well known to pleasure your nose and taste buds, so let’s just keep it as is and enjoy the health benefits that they bring along.
1. Burns Calories & Boosts Metabolism
Like all chilli peppers do, bird’s eye chilli contains capsaicin—an extract with analgesic properties found usually in chilli peppers. Capsaicin is thermogenic. This means that the warm feeling you get after eating chilli pepper is actually your body burning calories. This reason is why many slimming lotions and products have incorporated chilli peppers as one of their ingredients.
Also, the alkaloidal presence in capsaicin aids in speeding up the movement in the intestinal tracts, thereby improving digestion. Hence, eating chillies regularly, with the inclusion of regular exercise, would reduce your cravings and increases your metabolism.
2. Controls Cholesterol levels
Chilli peppers are also an excellent source of niacin. It increases good cholesterol levels in the body. Including it in your diet will reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the long run.
3. Boosts Immunity
Bump up your vitamin C intake by seven times that of an orange with the bird's eye chilli. As a rich source of vitamin C, regular enjoyment of that spark of heat with your food would help you in achieving fairer skin and lightening dark spots on the skin.
The high pro-vitamin A or beta-carotene content of chilli peppers is exhibited by their vibrant red colour. If you are concerned about keeping a healthy respiratory, intestinal and urinary tract, vitamin A is key in your diet plan.
4. Improves Eye Health
Approximately one tablespoon a day of chilli can improve your eyesight. It also prevents a type of damage to the retina, known as macular degeneration. A great reason to have that jar of chilli paste in your refrigerator as a condiment with any meals, for sure!
5. Maintains a Healthy Heart
Potassium is a mineral that is needed for an array of body functions. It is crucial to help manage high blood pressure and soothe any strains in the body caused by sodium. Thus, the equation is a proportional one, whereby the larger the amount of potassium you consume in your diet, the larger the amount of sodium would be rid by your body, in the form of urine.
Tension in your blood vessel walls can be eased by consuming potassium too. This is one of the easiest methods to help reduce the risk of heart disease greatly.
6. Contributes to Red Blood Cell Formation
Bird’s eye chilli peppers also contains copper and iron. These minerals are vital for new blood cell formation, increasing your number of red blood cell count in your body. This, in turn, helps combat anaemia and fatigue, which are issues usually caused by iron deficiency.
With great health benefits tagged to the source of spicy afternotes, which thrills your taste buds with a beautiful hum, it is definitely a joy to add them moderately into your meals.
Embark on this journey of indulgence to great health with this aromatic pasta dish tonight — a twist to the classic pasta aglio e olio with the bird’s eye chilli, accompanied by succulent prawns. Yums!
What You’ll Need:
- 100 g of pasta
- 15 ml of olive oil
- 100 g of medium-sized prawns
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, de-seeded, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of butter
Bring about 4 litres of water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Cook the spaghetti by following the instructions on the pasta packet. Drain the pasta, while saving some of the cooking liquid. Set the drained pasta aside.
Heat the oil in a pan large enough to hold the cooked pasta and prawns over medium-low heat. Sauté garlic, chilli and and chopped prawns. Stir continuously ensuring that the garlic does not burn.
Once the prawns turn semi-opaque, add the cooked pasta to the pan. Toss the pasta with the prawn and garlic mixture, ensuring that the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.
Remove from heat and add the butter. Mix the butter through the pasta as it melts from the residual heat of the saucepan and pasta. Season the pasta with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!