Chili peppers are a very common ingredient in Phuket Thai food, and particularly in the more popular dishes among locals. While they can be a bit of a challenge to a western palate if you’re unused to spicy cuisine, they can also take your dining experience to the next level. As an added bonus, the humble fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit) has a few interesting health benefits that make it worth getting used to the heat.
They’re packed with vitamins and minerals
Why take flavourless supplements when you can get a hefty dose of essential vitamins and minerals in your Thai food? Spicy dishes can give you a good amount of Vitamin C, B6, K1, and A. These help in your immune system, metabolising energy, blood clotting and eyesight respectively, among other benefits. Chilies are also packed with potassium and copper. While the former is found in high concentrations in bananas, copper is often missing from a typical western diet as it’s not found in many of the usual ingredients.
They reduce your sensitivity to pain
If you’ve accidentally bitten into a chili without realising you were doing so, the thought that this particular Thai dining experience might help reduce pain in future was probably not in the forefront of your mind. However, as you guzzle as much water as you can stomach to try to stop your tongue feeling like it’s on fire, you can take comfort in the fact that you are helping to desensitise your pain receptors. Thai people don’t really feel the burn so much because their nerves are numb to it, but the large amounts of chili peppers in Thai food in Phuket also means that the locals will not feel most other forms of pain so strongly, either.
They help you lose weight
Your tongue isn’t the only thing that chili peppers can burn. Studies have found that eating chilies increases the rate at which fat is burned, helping to reduce weight. Why do you think so many Thai people are so slim? Incidentally, it’s worth noting that we’re not recommending an all-chili diet – they’re only effective as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Enjoying a tasty Thai food dish in Phuket is a perfect way to get both the fat-burning chilies and other important nutrients in a properly balanced meal.