Heat for your Heat – Green Chilies
August to October marks the harvest season of a vegetable that could help balance hot flashes during menopause – the Green Chili. Roasted they are smoky and sweet, and come in a variety of heat levels. They also pack a punch when it comes to other health benefits.
Not into hot spicy things? That’s ok, because these chilies also come in a mild variety that has no heat to them at all. If that doesn’t entice you yet, know that the active component of capsaicin found in chili peppers like these are not only cancer fighters, but are an antioxidant that help atherosclerosis, asthma, pain disorders, diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, arthritis, psoriasis, inflammation, and can even give a boost to the metabolism and cardiovascular system. Have hot-flashes or a fever? Capsaicin lowers the body temperature by stimulating the cooling center of the hypothalamus in the brain. This can help people deal with high temperatures. These chilies also contain carotenoids, vitamins A and C, are rich in zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and rutin.
From Southern Colorado, all the way to New Mexico more green chilies are grown than any other part of the US. From August to October it is common to find vendors roasting and selling fresh “hatch” green chilies in the parking lots of supermarkets and strip-malls in this part of the United States. If you don’t live in the area or plan on a visit there, keep an eye out for them all the way into October at your local grocery store or health food store. Chili peppers are botanically considered fruits, but in the culinary world are viewed as vegetables.
You may not expect something hot to cool you down, but green chilies are one vegetable you may want to try to balance hot flashes.
Photo Credit: Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades