Chipotle chilies are another name for jalapeños. Specifically: they are ripe red jalapeños that have been dried and smoked.The peppers have become one of the more famous Mexican spices, but do they share similar nutritional profiles. Is chipotle pepper nutrition similar to the nutritional value of fresh jalapeños?
Even though they have been dried and smoked, chipotle chilies do retain some of the nutritional value of fresh jalapeño peppers. Here is a complete look at chipotle pepper nutrition to really see how healthy they are.
Like fresh jalapeños, chipotle peppers contain high levels of various vitamins. From a serving of chipotle peppers, you can get a significant amount of vitamins A and some B vitamins. Vitamin C is high in fresh jalapeños but may only be present in trace amounts in chipotles. It’s an area of chipotle nutrition that’s quite different than the fresh pepper alternative.
Vitamin A is important for eye health and reducing the risk of macular degeneration and other age-related eye conditions. The vitamin A in chipotles is in the form of carotenoids like lutein and beta-carotene, which are antioxidants. Your body converts carotenoids into vitamin A.
The antioxidants in chipotle peppers can help to lower blood pressure, thus reducing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The B vitamins have benefits like helping the body’s energy production and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that you need for a functioning immune system and the production of collagen.
Dried peppers do not usually lose their mineral content in the drying process. Fresh jalapeños are typically quite full of minerals, and so are chipotles. You can expect to get iron, potassium, and magnesium from chipotles. You need iron for your body to be able to produce hemoglobin, which is essential for transporting oxygen in the body.
Similarly, potassium is important for your body’s calcium absorption; you need calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Potassium also works as a vasodilator that can help to get your blood pressure under control.
Like all hot peppers, chipotles get their heat from the compound capsaicin. The presence of capsaicin is a big part of overall chipotle pepper nutrition. Capsaicin is good for health in several ways with its anti-cancer properties possibly being the most important. Studies have found that it can cause some cancer cells to kill themselves thus slowing cancer growth. It is particularly helpful for slowing prostate and breast cancer growth.
Capsaicin is also believed to reduce the risk from heart attacks and stroke by helping to dissolve a substance called fibrin that plays a major role in dangerous blood clots. Capsaicin is also an effective pain-killer.
You can also use capsaicin to treat stomach ulcers, which it does by killing the bacteria that cause them. It may also shield the stomach lining by stimulating the production of juices to protect it.
Chipotle peppers are a good source of dietary fiber, just like their fresh counterparts. The drying process does not lessen the fiber content of these peppers. Dietary fiber is important for gut and bowel health and may help with cardiovascular health as well. It can increase the digestive juices that your body produces while also preventing constipation.