Chilli, Jalapeno, Cayenne…
Spices add an incredible amount of flavour to what you eat and are enjoyed all over the world in a variety of exotic dishes. Did you know that spicy foods not only taste delicious, they have amazing health benefits too?
Here are 5 surprising health benefits of eating Chilli:
1. Weight Loss
Research has found that the chemical capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers, can speed up weight loss. Why? Because capsaicin increases your body temperature and speeds up your metabolism, which helps your body burn calories quicker. Studies have also shown that people who eat spicy food, tend to eat small portions and have fewer cravings for sweet, salty, or high-fat foods after meals. Don’t forget that an extra kick of hot sauce can also make even the blandest diet food more appetising, meaning you’ll be more likely to stick with your weight loss plan.
2. Healthier Heart
Numerous studies have found that people living in cultures where spicy food is commonly eaten, have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. Research shows that chilli peppers have the ability to reduce the effects of bad cholesterol and capsaicin can fight inflammation and reduce blood clots which all reduce the risk of developing heart issues. Include red peppers in your diet to keep your heart healthy!
3. Lower Risk of Cancer
It has been found that regular consumption of spices and chili can decrease the chances of developing cancer. According to some medical professionals, capsaicin can have the same effect on some cancer cells as powerful cancer-fighting drugs. Some medical research has shown that capsaicin has the potential to slow the growth of deadly tumours and can even kill some cancer cells!
4. Pain Relief
Did you know that capsaicin is one of the main ingredients in pain-relieving creams? Adding chilli to your food can reduce joint and muscular pain associated with conditions such as arthritis. Some spicy food can also release serotonin in your body that is known to decrease pain and increase feelings of happiness.
5. Cold and Flu Relief
Having a cold or the flu is not considered particularly dangerous, but the symptoms can leave you unable to work, eat or sleep properly because your sinuses are blocked which makes you feel terrible! The capsaicin found in peppers, is similar to the compound found in many decongestants. Capsaicin promotes sweating and eases cold and flu symptoms by opening up your nasal passages. Consider adding some chilli to your soup for fast recovery!
Spicy food is becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. It’s not just the thrill of testing your limits against the chilli, but also the fact that spices have some amazing health benefits when consumed in moderation. So, next time you eat something that makes your eyes and nose run, remember that it’s good for you!
Submitted by Abby Whiffen of “Ethical Abby” – www.ethicalabby.com