Health - Nutrition Articles

Sep 25, 2009 1:29 PM by Bea Karnes

Chile peppers loaded with nutrition

Southern Coloradans eat bushels of greens chiles every year. Besides tasting great, they're nutrition powerhouses. New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute reports that chiles have the following vitamins and minerals:

Calcium
Importance: Builds and maintains bones and teeth; regulates heart rhythm; eases insomnia; helps regulate the passage of nutrients in & out of the cell walls; assists in normal blood clotting; helps maintain proper nerve and muscle function; lowers blood pressure; important to normal kidney function and in current medical research reduces the incidence of colon cancer, and reduces blood cholesterol levels.

Iron
Importance: Its major function is to combine with protein and copper in making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the tissues which need oxygen to maintain basic life functions. Iron builds up the quality of the blood and increases resistance to stress and disease. It is also necessary for the formation of myoglobin which is found only in muscle tissue. Myoglobin supplies oxygen to muscle cells for use in the chemical reaction that results in muscle contraction. Iron also prevent fatigue and promotes good skin tone.

Magnesium
Importance: Plays an important role in regulating the neuromuscular activity of the heart; maintains normal heart rhythm; necessary for proper calcium & Vitamin C metabolism; converts blood sugar into energy.

Phosphorous
Importance: Works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Helps in metabolism.

Potassium
Importance: Works with sodium to regulate the body's waste balance and normalize heart rhythms; aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain; preserves proper alkalinity of body fluids; stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes; assists in reducing high blood pressure; promotes healthy skin.

Vitamin C is essential in wound healing and in the formation of collagen, a protein important in the formation of healthy skin, tendons, bones, and supportive tissues. Deficiency results in defective collagen formation and is marked by joint pains, irritability, growth retardation, anemia, shortness of breath, and increased susceptibility to infection.

Vitamin A has a direct role in vision and is a component of a pigment present in the retina of the eye. It is essential for the proper functioning of most body organs and also affects the functioning of the immune system.

Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is required to complete several reactions in the energy cycle. Reddening of the lips with cracks at the corners of the mouth, inflammation of the tongue, and a greasy, scaly inflammation of the skin are common symptoms of deficiency.

Niacin or nicotinic acid helps the metabolism of carbohydrates. Prolonged deprivation leads to pellagra, a disease characterized by skin lesions, gastrointestinal disturbance, and nervous symptoms.

Vitamin B6 is a coenzyme for several enzyme systems involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. No human disease has been found to be caused by a deficiency of this vitamin. Chronic use of large doses of vitamin B6 can create dependency and cause complications in the peripheral nervous system.

Folate or folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids and the formation of red blood cells. Folic-acid deficiency most commonly causes folic-acid-deficiency anemia. Symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, such as sore tongue, cracks at the corners of the mouth, diarrhea, and ulceration of the stomach and intestines. Large doses of folic acid can cause convulsions and other nervous-system problems.

Tryptophan (Essential Amino Acid) a natural relaxant, helps alleviate insomnia by inducing normal sleep; reduces anxiety & depression; helps in the treatment of migraine headaches; helps the immune system; helps reduce the risk of artery & heart spasms; works with Lysine in reducing cholesterol levels.

Lysine (Essential Amino Acid) insures the adequate absorption of calcium; helps form collagen ( which makes up bone cartilage & connective tissues); aids in the production of antibodies, hormones & enzymes. Recent studies have shown that Lysine may be effective against herpes by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth. A deficiency may result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss, anemia & reproductive problems.

Phenylalaine (Essential Amino Acid) used by the brain to produce Norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain; keeps you awake & alert; reduces hunger pains; functions as an antidepressant and helps improve memory.

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