Whether you buy hot jalapenos and use them sparingly to add kick to a dish, or use whole sweet serranos or anaheims to make chili relleno, green chilies add novelty and taste to a number of dishes. While the hotness of the green chilies varies enormously, the nutrition provided by green chilies varies only slightly. Adding chili peppers to your diet boosts your nutrient intake, and, as a result, can benefit your health.
Fat and Calories
One cup of chopped serrano chiles provides 34 calories and 0.46 grams fat. With zero cholesterol and less than 0.07 grams of saturated fat, this vegetable won't harm your cardiovascular system. Values for other types of green peppers are comparable, with 26 calories in a cup of chopped jalapeno, and 15 calories in an anaheim chili.
A serving of green chillis offers 3 grams of fiber. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that adults and children consume 14 g of fiber for every 1,000 calories they consume, so if you follow a 1,500-calorie diet, you need 21 grams of fiber each day. Your body can use this fiber to promote digestive health, as well as to combat cardiovascular disease.
Vitamins and Minerals
With 47.1 milligrams of vitamin C and 984 international units of vitamin A, a 1-cup serving of chopped serrano chilies provides 52 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 42 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A. One serving of this food also provides 0.90 mg iron, which is 11 percent of the amount of daily iron needed by post-menopausal women and 5 percent of the amount needed by pre-menopausal women. Jalapenos and anaheim chilies have approximately comparable amounts of vitamins and minerals.
A 1-cup serving of chopped serrano chilies has 1.83 g protein. The USDA recommends that adults consume 0.8 g of protein for every kg of body weight. This means that a 130 pound women requires 47.37 g of protein every day. One serving of serrano pepper satisfies almost 4 percent of this requirement.
Patients with advanced kidney disease who need to restrict their potassium should exercise caution when eating green chilies. One cup of chopped serrano pepper has 320 milligrams of potassium, which is unacceptably high for most people whose kidneys can no longer filter potassium from the blood. While adding small amounts of jalapeno to dishes is probably OK, eating an entire serrano could be dangerous.
- Chili image by photorich from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.