You may think of chili as greasy and unhealthy, but that just isn't true. Most of today's chili recipes are packed with nutrients that are good for you, and chili can be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The meat in your chili is an excellent source of protein, and if you make your chili with beans, you have a great second source of it, too. Even if you make vegetarian chili with beans, it can be a great source of protein.
One serving of chili has approximately one ounce of protein—up to 20% of your daily dosage!
You need fiber in your diet, and the chilies, peppers, and beans in this dish are excellent sources of it. Fiber not only works to help keep you regular, but it also slows the rate at which sugar is absorbed into your body, and can lower cholesterol levels.
If you're a diabetic, this will be really good for you, because it keeps your blood glucose level from rising and falling too quickly. Adults require 28-34 grams of fiber per day for a healthy diet. Chili, depending on the ingredients, can offer 30% or more of the daily recommendation per serving.
The peppers—even bell peppers—that go into chili are an excellent source of vitamin C and we all know that vitamin C is really good for your body. Why is vitamin C good for you? It's often used to treat or prevent colds, and who doesn't love chili during cold and flu season? It can also help with depression, stress, ADHD, and other disorders.
The iron from the beans in your chili is really good for you. A lot of people don't get enough iron in their daily diet.
Iron helps to circulate oxygen through the body, and a lack of oxygen can result in iron deficiency anemia. Low iron can also result in brittle nails and lackluster skin and hair. The amount of iron needed to maintain a healthy level varies by age. Infants and toddlers need higher levels of iron, which tapers off during later childhood. Then, once menstruation begins, girls and women need higher levels of iron due to monthly blood loss. On average, men need about 8 mg of iron per day, while menstruating women need about 18 mg.
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