Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Chipotle Peppers Bad For You?

Also Known As: smoke-dried jalapeños



Short answer

Chili peppers contribute to the nutritional value of any meal, and if incorporated regularly, Chipotle can have a number of long-term health benefits. Provided you can tolerate the heat associated with this dried pepper, it is a valuable addition to your diet.



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Long answer

Traditionally used in Mexican cuisine and more recently in Tex-Mex fusion, the Chipotle is a red jalapeno pepper which has been smoked and dried – a process which both reduces its intensity and gives it its characteristic smoky flavor. It is touted as having many health benefits, with a role to play in everything from cancer prevention to decreasing the risk of diabetes.

Many of the health benefits derived from Chipotle come from Capsaicin, the organic compound which is also responsible the hot, spicy character of this dried pepper. The hotter the pepper, the more Capsaicin it contains, and Chipotle is loaded with this active ingredient. Capsaicin is a natural anti-inflammatory, as well as an anti-oxidant, and can help to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  It is also known to help dilate blood vessels, thereby contributing to reduced risk of diseases associated with circulatory problems. The kick which Capsaicin provides to a meal will also jump start your metabolism, helping to burn more calories.

Capsaicin aside, anyone who has eaten a meal containing Chipotle can attest to its immediate benefits. The heat generated from this pepper will help clear nasal congestion, and remove any mucus blockages associated with seasonal allergies. Introducing chili peppers into a meal will also increase its nutritional value - Chipotle is loaded with Vitamins A, E, K and B6, and is high in iron, potassium, and dietary fiber.

The heat in chili peppers is measured according to Scoville heat units (SHU), and Chipotle is high on this index.  Although this means that it is also high in Capsaicin, the only downside is that for some people it is just too hot to handle! It can cause irritation in the mouth and throat, as well as heartburn and flare-up of pre-existing stomach ailments.

Possible short-term side effects

  • inflammation of mucus membrane
  • heartburn

Possible long-term side effects

  • exacerbation of pre-existing stomach problems:
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • ulcers
  • acid reflux
  • heartburn


  • promotes weight loss
  • holds anti-inflammatory effects
  • reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • reduces risk of heart disease
  • reduces risk of diabetes
  • reduces risk of various forms of cancer
  • helps to clear nasal congestion
  • adds a spicy kick to any meal

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Mrs. Renfro's Green Salsa

  • Intense heat level
  • Flavorful condiment
  • 16 oz value pack
  • Perfect for dipping
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 02-26-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 02-26-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

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