So, I am “American” but being from New York, I have found out a lot more about being American living in China. Here is a for-instance: my kids are now signed up for Girl Scouts – wow! Something I never would have dreamed of doing in New York, because it just seems so, well, American, and not something we would have thought of. And now we are doing it in China. Crazy. A chili cook-off is another good example. I do know there are some BBQ joints in New York, but I had never really thought to eat at them. But, now, in China, we have BBQ a few times a month! Again, crazy.
Anyway, speaking of BBQ, this weekend is Bubba’s Chili Cook-Off. Why am I talking about this on Eat Well Shanghai? Chili actually has some valuable health benefits, especially when prepared with low-fat meat and not topped with too much sour cream and cheese. Plus the cook-off sounds like its going to be a lot of fun.
Chili peppers, which contain a substance called capsaicin, offer a myriad of health benefits. Research has shown capsaicin can help reduce inflammation and promote pain management, as well as reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiac episodes (heart attacks,stroke and pulmonary embolism). It also boosts immunity, promotes weight management and helps manage blood sugar levels. Some people can’t take a lot of heat, but take heart, milder chilies also contain the same health benefits. Here are some tasty chilies from the wholesale food market on Lianhua Lu (see previous post from May).
Aside from the peppers, chili also has some tasty and healthy components such as cooked tomatoes, which contain the phytochemical lycopene, shown to promote prostate health (good for all those guys at Bubba’s, right?), and onions which contain fiber and chromium, a trace mineral that helps manage blood sugar control. Beans would add a boatload of nutrients, including fiber, protein, b-vitamins and iron, but from Bubba’s rules, I gather that beans are not allowed. Too bad, because veggie chili is tasty too!
So, check out the chili cook-off or try making some at home, especially once the weather gets “chillier”. Ha, ha! The Cookoff is taking place at Bubba’s at 2262 Hongqiao Lu on Saturday from 12pm-6pm. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.bubbasasia.com/cookoff.