Chilli plantAfter a super curry last night I had chillies on the brain! Not overly Christmassy I know, but perfect at this time of year for warming up. Warming foods such as cayenne pepper, cinnamon and black pepper help to ease the symptoms of a cold and warm up the body.

A chilli’s heat comes from a compound called capsaicin, which can relieve the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis

Chillies are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and carotenes (especially the red ones) to boost the immune system and help to protect the body from free radical damage.

Generally, they are just a pretty good way to add flavour to dishes without the need for lots of salt, and this goes for all herbs and spices. The benefits are likely to only come in highly concentrated doses, which not many people would actually consume, but adding a little dried chilli to your avocado is never a bad habit to get into!

Here’s where I tend to add a little sprinkling of dried chilli:

  • crushed avocado
  • bolognese
  • pasta sauce
  • houmous
  • marinades for chicken
  • homemade meatballs

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