Hey you, can you handle the heat? They say that diversity is the spice of life, and that couldn’t be more true once you check out. In addition to the super-hot taste, we associate with chili peppers, other types of spice include garlic, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and even cinnamon. Do you think spicy foods are bad for your body? Want to know the secret health benefits of spicy food? Then stay till the end😉
If you’re a big fan of spicy food, then we just might have some good news for you. Additionally, to kicking your cooking skills up a notch, many different types of spices also contain a wealth of health benefits to boot.
Let’s take a glance at a number of the ways eating spicy food can have a positive impact on our health. Before we move on to the facts, why not spice up your subscriptions by subscribing to BE HEALTHY BE FIT. That way you can stay up to date on all of our daily articles and content.
Benefits of spicy food #1. Can Help You Lose Weight
According to data collected from a number of different studies, certain types of spicy food may be able to give your metabolism a temporary boost, which can, in turn, assist you with weight loss by burning through calories at a faster rate.
According to nutritionist and author Pamela Peeke, the consumption of spicy foods that are rich in capsaicin such as, red peppers, increases your body’s temperature and stimulates your body’s stores of brown fat. As a result, you can expect your metabolism to boost by as much as 5 percent. Plus an increase in fat burning by as much as 16 percent.
In addition to helping you burn calories and fat at a faster rate, spicy foods can also help with weight loss by slowing down your appetite.
Research from Purdue University indicates that eating spicy foods can reduce your appetite and lessen food cravings, reducing the chance of overeating and snacking on additional calories you don’t need.
Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that the calorie-burning effects of spicy foods like red peppers seem to be strong in people who don’t eat spicy foods on a regular basis, which seems to imply that your body can potentially build up a “tolerance” too spicy food as well as the benefits it provides.
It’s also worth deserving to mentioning that the weight loss benefits of red peppers and other spicy foods are not a substitute for a proper diet and exercise, so don’t go canceling your gym membership just yet.
#2. Spicy Food Helps Your Heart
In enhancement to helping you towards a healthier weight, spicy food may also be able to improve your health by preventing the risk of developing heart disease.
According to a study published in 2017, certain types of spicy foods such as chili peppers were found to greatly reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Other researchers, such as professor of cardiovascular medicine Michael Miller, suggest that certain types of spices such as red pepper and turmeric can help improve your body’s circulation by causing your blood vessels to dilate and reduce blood pressure.
On a basic level, research has also indicated that people who enjoy the taste of spicy foods are likely to consume less salt in their daily diet, which can also lead to lower blood pressure as a result. It sounds like this is one type of “heartburn” we can certainly get behind.
#3. Spicy Food Can Relieve Pain
To anyone who dislikes the taste of spicy food, this one might sound a little difficult to swallow. However, the potential for spicy food to relieve certain sources of pain is fairly well-documented.
It’s theorized that foods rich in capsaicin can potentially target a chemical within the brain known as “substance P” which plays a role in the pain your body feels from injuries. By targeting this substance, capsaicin is believed to help dull or lessen the pain that these injuries cause.
Other studies have also suggested that capsaicin may also be effective at protecting your body against ulcers by eliminating a type of harmful bacteria known as H. pylori. Because of its supposed effectiveness at treating pain, some doctors may even prescribe over-the-counter creams for pain relief that use capsaicin as an active ingredient.
Other types of spices such as ginger and garlic are also noteworthy for their anti-inflammatory properties, and throughout history have been used for medicinal purposes such as treating everything from headaches to joint pain from arthritis.
#4. Can Prevent Cancer
In addition to all of the other benefits we’ve already mentioned so far, the capsaicin found in chili peppers and other types of spicy food may also be effective at fighting off certain varieties of cancer.
According to senior healthcare consultant Gregory A. Plotnikoff, this is because capsaicin contains many of the same properties as certain types of drugs used to treat cancer, and, as a result, they affect our bodies in a similar way.
A UCLA study has also determined that capsaicin was able to successfully limit the growth of cancer cells in mice while preventing any damage to healthy cells.
Data collected from studies by Cancer Research-UK also demonstrated promising results from the spice turmeric, which in early clinical trials was also found to help reduce the rate at which cancer cells grow.
However, despite the body of evidence that seems to support certain spices being effective anti-cancer agents, much of these findings are still inconclusive due to contradictory sources, and as such as, the actual effectiveness of capsaicin and other spicy foods still remains up for debate in the scientific community.
#5. Spicy Food Can Help Improve Your Life
According to a study published in 2015 by Harvard and China National Center For Disease Control and Prevention, eating spicy food as part of your regular diet may actually be able to help you live a longer and healthier life.
Based on the results of the study, it seems that eating spicy food as often as once per day over six or seven days every week is enough to reduce mortality rates by as much as 14 percent! If that wasn’t enough, spicy food might not only extend your life but also improve your quality of life as well.
The consumption of spicy food also boosts your brain’s production of certain hormones associated with positive feelings and emotions, such as serotonin. As a result, spicy food may be able to help lessen the negative emotions that come as symptoms of certain mental health afflictions, such as depression and high levels of stress.
In other words, integrating spicy food into your everyday meal plan will help you to live longer as well as live better! Perhaps more than any other variety of food, it seems to like spicy food causes the widest divides in terms of people who either can’t stand it or can’t get enough.
However, for those of you who always opt for the “mild” salsa at the grocery store, perhaps these health benefits associated with spicy food will make you feel a little more adventurous in the future and might even encourage you to “spice things up” in your everyday diet. After all, no pain, no gain.
To Sum Up
Did you find this article helpful or informative? What’s your take on spicy food? Do you always order the spiciest hot wings on the menu, or are you a little more mild-mannered in your daily diet? We’d love to hear your feedback on this topic, so as always, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below and help us keep the conversation going. That’s it for this article. Thank you.