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Chili Powder Health Benefits

By Joseph McAllister

Chili powder is a widely used spice in various soups, stews, and -- of course -- chilis. It can also be used as a component of marinades or dry rubs for meats as well as incorporated into burgers. Chili powder is actually a fairly healthy seasoning, with significant amounts of several beneficial nutrients.

Vitamin A

There are about 2,224 International Units of vitamin A in a tablespoon of chili powder. That is 44.5 percent of your recommended daily vitamin A intake. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, your body needs vitamin A for the maintenance of your eyesight as you age as well as to contribute to maintaining the health of your bones, teeth, skin, internal membranes and reproductive systems.

Vitamin C

One tablespoon of chili powder contains 4.8 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 8 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C intake. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements by the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C is an antioxidant. Your body uses antioxidants to fight damage from free radicals, which are unstable molecules created during the energy creation process that can increase your risk of developing harmful health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C also helps strengthen your immune system and heal injuries.

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Minerals

Chili powder is also rich in several important minerals. One tablespoon contains 143.7 milligram of potassium, or 4.1 percent of your daily recommendation; 22.7 milligram of phosphorus, or 2.3 percent of your daily recommendation; 20.9 milligrams of calcium, or 2.1 percent of your daily recommendation; and 1.1 milligrams of iron, or 5.9 percent of your daily recommendation. It also contains 0.2 mg each of zinc and manganese and 0.5 micorgrams of selenium.

Other Nutritional Information

Each 1-tablespoon serving of chili powder contains 23.6 calories, with 1.3 grams of total fat, or about 2 percent of your daily recommendation, and 0.2 grams of saturated fat, or about 1 percent of your daily recommendation. It contains no cholesterol, as well as 4.1 grams of total carbohydrates, 2.6 grams of dietary fiber, 0.5 grams of total sugars and 0.9 grams of protein.

Keep in mind that chili powder and the packets of "chili seasonings" do not have the same nutritional benefits. These packets typically contain high amounts of sodium.

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