If you like your meals on the spicy side, you’re in good company. People have been flavoring their food with jalapeños (ha-la-PEEN-yos) for some 6,000 years. Originally from Mexico and a staple in that country’s cuisine, today these strong peppers also grow in California and throughout the American Southwest.

Most jalapeños are deep green and grow to about 2 to 3 inches long. Some turn red, purple, or other vivid colors after they ripen.

Some are spicier than others. You can buy them fresh and whole in the produce section or canned, sliced, or pickled on the supermarket aisles. Any way you slice them, these little firecrackers are exploding with health benefits.

Variety Is the Spice of Life
There are dozens of varieties of jalapeños. Some of the most common include:

The Señorita — very hot, dark green, and can turn purple or red if left on the vine
The Fresno — a smaller, milder cousin of the Señorita
The Sierra Fuego — a larger, mildly hot pepper that grows from dark green to red
The Mucho Nacho – mildly spicy and the longest jalapeño pepper (up to 4 inches)
Chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños.
Nutrients per Serving
One raw jalapeño has:
Calories: 4
Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 1 gram
Protein: 0.1 gram
Fiber: 0.4 gram