Health Benefits of Spicy Foods
Published August 19th, 2019
We all know that not everyone loves spicy foods. Some may find it unbearable, especially that fiery taste that you can feel in your mouth when you eat it. While others, still think that spicy foods can cause you harm, like heartburn, or acid reflux.
But did you know that eating spicy foods is, in fact, beneficial for you?
Here are a few good reasons to spice up your meals.
Benefits the Digestive Tract
Most of us have been told for years that spicy foods are bad especially for people with ulcers. Some even say that spicy foods result in an upset stomach.
But research says that capsaicin found in chili peppers has anti-irritant properties. It reduces the acidity in the digestive tract and kills the bacteria that causes an ulcer. So spicy foods are actually beneficial to people with ulcers. It also helps good digestion by producing saliva and stimulates gastric juices.
Capsaicin also has anti-oxidants properties which aid in reducing upset stomach.
Helps in Weight Loss
There are now several studies that show that eating spicy foods can help you lose weight.
The capsaicin found in chili peppers speeds up your metabolism and triggers thermogenesis. A process where it creates heat from burning fat. Capsaicin is like mimicking the fat-burning exercise. So when you eat spicy foods, even while you’re at rest, your body still burns calories.
Some studies show that spicy foods suppress your appetite. Once you eat spicy foods, it makes you feel satisfied after. So if you want a natural way of losing weight, adding up a little spice to your meal won’t hurt you.
Promotes a Healthy Heart
Lots of studies were already made about spices that prevent heart diseases.
Researches found that eating spicy foods lowers blood serum cholesterol. Thus, lessen the risk of having heart diseases such as heart attack, and stroke. It also helps in the dilation of blood vessels which helps in having good blood flow.
Decrease Cancer Risk
Experts say that Capsaicin has anti-cancer properties that slow and destroy cancer cells. One study even shows that capsaicin reduced the growth of cancer cells of the prostate.
Some even say that curcumin, a component found in turmeric, aids in preventing cell growth too. What’s great is that it’s not as spicy compare to eating chili peppers. So if you can’t tolerate extreme spicy foods, turmeric can be your other option.
You may notice that capsaicin is often used as an ingredient in pain relief creams and medications.
This is because capsaicin also acts as a pain reliever by dulling the body’s pain sensation. It targets the neurotransmitter called “chemical P” that acts as a pain signal of our body. This pain signal plays an important role in cases of hurt and injury.
Even in treating arthritis, eating spicy foods is often advised to aid in joint pain.
Boosts the Immune System
Much like probiotic supplements, studies show that eating spicy foods can boost your immunity. (Read more about how probiotics can improve your immune system.)
Capsaicin, a substance staple in chilis, is full of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. Thus, eating hot peppers can boost up your immune system and help your body fight against flu and colds. This is why sometimes you can also find capsaicin in nasal sprays to reduce congestion.
Reduce Symptoms of Depression
Studies show that spicy foods help the body release serotonin in the brain. These neurotransmitters help in boosting up your mood and reduce depression. Although spicy foods itself can’t treat depression, it can help you lighten up your mood.
So spicing up your comfort food will be a great help in loosening up a bit, on top of your treatment with depression.
Prevents Bad Breath
As mentioned, capsaicin has antimicrobial properties. Because of this, it also acts as a disinfectant to your mouth and helps you improve the odor of your breath.
Increase levels of Libido
Experts say that eating spicy foods can also increase levels of some hormones. These hormones include testosterone, which has a connection to libido.
So if you’re not feeling it tonight but you don’t want to disappoint your partner, grabbing some spicy meal can be the key.
These are the few health benefits you can get from eating spicy foods. Don’t you think it’s time to reconsider putting up a little challenge to your meal?
(Related: Health Benefits of Sauerkraut)
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.