As you know, I love chillies. Anything spicy – I’m there.
In my eyes, chillies are a super food. But what makes chillies so great? And why should we be using more of them in our diets?
Here’s my top 5 reasons to eat chillies followed by an awe-inspiring case study from Oxfam; which really proves that chillies are going a long way to becoming a true super food. The little fiery red capsicum’s are being used in Bangladesh to empower women to make better lives for themselves and overcome poverty caused by adverse weather conditions in that part of the world.
Why I think chillies are super food;
They contain a lot of vitamin C (up to seven times more than the average orange)
They add flavour, vibrant colour and warmth (but not always hot-heat) to a variety of dishes
Chillies can increase the speed of your metabolism, and help burn fat
They aid sinus congestion, which is why your noes runs after a hot curry!
There’s such a huge range to choose from, there’s literally a chilli for everyone and every dish!
Chillies in action #WithOxfam
So chillies might be good for our health, metabolism and taste buds, but when Oxfam contacted me to see if I wanted to hear more about how they coordinate projects across the world and use chilli farming as a way to empower women out of poverty, I was excited to find out more.
In Bangladesh, many of the poorest people live in areas badly affected by terrible weather conditions like flooding, cyclones and heavy storms. These conditions make communities in the area vulnerable; there is little work and many people are forced to go hungry as their crops and cattle get washed away with the floods.
Due to food being scarce, women need additional support as their husbands are away for long periods, seeking work in the cities.
Oxfam work with their partners in Bangladesh to help flood-hit communities earn an income through growing chillies. Amazing, right?
Joygun Islam, who’s pictured above, is directly affected by Oxfam’s work. She said:
“We eat less food when there is a flood. We mostly eat dried food, and we try to save some rice if we know the flood is coming.
“Sometimes we have two meals a day, but some days we only have one meal.
“I’ve benefited a lot from growing chillies. I now eat better than I used to before. I wouldn’t be able to eat before but I’m getting good quality food now. I now have some disposable income to spend on things like chicken and fish.”
What can a regular donation do?
£9 can provide a family with manure, organic fertiliser and training in eco-friendly farming techniques.
£24 can provide a family with the tools, seeds and training to set up an allotment, helping them to feed themselves.
Empowering people to help themselves is key to a sustained solution to overcome poverty. Women like Joygun can now give their children nutritious food and prepare for future disasters.
I hope you have enjoyed this read and finding out more about this type of project. This is just one of many, many initiatives Oxfam run to help beat poverty across all corners of the world. The next story I am going to feature is about coffee production in Honduras, so keep your eyes peeled for that one and in the meantime follow Oxfam on Twitter for their latest project updates <3