Spicy foods certainly pack a punch in terms of taste. They can give our tongues that delicious burn while making our body temperatures go up, leaving us sweating with every bite that we take. Some may say that spicy dishes can cause digestive problems which might be probably true for those with sensitive stomachs. But there are also several surprising benefits for you to gain if you add some spice to your meals. As a matter of fact, here are the health benefits of eating spicy food.
- Combats heart disease. Eating spicy foods such as pepper and turmeric can help reduce blood pressure because of the presence of capsaicin. This compound helps the blood vessels to dilate which can make your blood pressure go down. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties which can protect the heart.
- Burns calories. It appears that the amount of sweat that you produce when eating spicy foods is actually a good thing. What happens is that as your temperature goes up, the number of calories you burn goes up as well. There are also studies that show those who ate something spicy for appetizer end up with eating less during the main course. Not bad for those who are considering lose weight.
- Prevents cancer. Curcumin appears to have a huge impact on cancer cells as discovered by scientists and researchers. Studies on curcumin show that spicy foods can help reduce breast cancer, stomach cancer, and cervical cancer just to name a few. Capsaicin, on the other hand, is believed to reduce the amount of prostate cancer cells in laboratory mice without harming healthy cells. This sounds promising in the field of medicine.
- More nutrients. Consuming chilli or pepper on a daily basis can actually help provide you with essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C including other important minerals. Just think about what your body can absorb if you add a little spice to your diet.
- Weight loss. This is probably one of the best reasons why you should include some hot peppers in your diet as they are known to help with losing weight. Eating peppers or adding some chilli to your dinner can actually increase your body heat which in turn speeds up your metabolism. Another advantage to eating spicy food is that it can help reduce your cravings. So if you are planning on shedding several pounds to achieve your previous weight, you should definitely consider making some spicy meals once or twice a week.
- Good for your stomach. There is a common misconception that eating spicy foods is bad for your stomach. Although some may feel that their stomach rumbles after eating quite a lot of spicy dishes, studies have shown that spicy food can actually help your stomach settle because it reduces the amount of acid being produced in the stomach. This can actually reduce your risk of suffering from peptic ulcer by 50%.
- Mood booster. Another surprising benefit linked to spicy food is that it can actually give your mood a boost. The capsaicin and curcumin present in chilli and pepper are believed to cause the brain to produce happy hormones called serotonin. This helps you combat various mood problems like depression, anxiety, and the like.
As you can see, there is nothing wrong with adding some spicy meals to your weekly diet. Regardless of whether you want to speed up your metabolism to lose weight, or you want to gain protection against cancer or heart disease, make sure that you incorporate spices into your dishes every week to get the nutrients you will need for better overall health.