Aside from chili being a tasty meal to warm up with when the weather is cold, it’s also a perfect meal for busy individuals or families who want to eat healthily and delicious food. Let’s talk about 6 reasons why you should be eating more chili:
More time for you. Chili is a meal that can be made in one pot, and oftentimes you can combine all the ingredients and let it simmer until you're ready to eat it. This means less time spent cooking and washing dishes, and more time getting things that are important to you done.
More protein. Whether you like your chili with ground beef, sausage, bacon, or tofu, it’s a great way to get more protein. Side note: tofu takes on the flavor it’s cooked in so if you want a healthier way to get protein from this meal, try tofu chili!
Increased fiber. Beans are loaded with fiber, which has so many benefits, but if you’re not in the mood to hear about a main benefit of it (keeping you regular), you might be interested to know that fiber also helps slow sugar absorption into the body.
Raised metabolic rate. Research shows that chili peppers and other peppers with some kick to them make your body hotter, which can raise your metabolism by “up to five percent, and increase fat burning up to 16 percent”. AKA the peppers you use in your chili recipe can help you lose a little bit of weight.
Improved heart health. Research shows that hot peppers can lead to lower blood pressure, and turmeric has “anti-inflammatory elements and can help reverse damage to blood vessels”. If this wasn’t enough to convince you to eat more chili, turmeric can also help lower cholesterol!
Decreased risk of brain diseases. This one sounds too good to be true for a humble bowl of chili, however, it goes back to turmeric. Research has found that curcumin (an active ingredient in turmeric) can actually increase brain levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which is a growth hormone in the brain. Since many brain disorders can be linked to decreased levels of BDNF, why not add some turmeric to your chili and increase your BDNF?
Increased vitamins. Vitamins C, B6, and A are common in peppers, and some have vitamin K1 and potassium as well. Vitamin C is important for immune system health, and since its flu season, why not add some immune boosting foods into your diet?
These are just 6 reasons why you should be eating more chili, and if you Google this topic, you’ll find countless more reasons. If you’re already convinced that you need more chili in your life, stop by the Chili Cook-Off this Saturday from 2:30-7 pm at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds to try 20 chili recipes and reap all the above benefits while supporting a great cause (Hand-in-Hand’s programs and participants!). We’ll be there, improving our immune system, and heart and brain health, raising our metabolism, and eating delicious food. Hope to see you there, too!