Spicy foods are the favorite kind of foods for many people around the world. Some people can’t eat one meal if it isn’t extremely hot. Although it is a little bit weird that we can find pleasure in eating things that are really scary and painful, those spicy peppers and sauces add an amazing flavor to food that makes us always prefer adding them to any dish. But the benefits of heating up your cuisine may go beyond just pleasing your taste buds. New research suggests that eating spicy foods could actually be good for your health. In this article, we share some surprising ways spicy foods can be beneficial for your health.
1. Weight Loss: Adding hot spices to your recipes can speed up weight loss. Studies have found that by raising the body’s temperature, spicy foods—especially those containing capsaicin, ginger and black pepper—could temporarily boost metabolism by 8 to 10 percent. Spicy food may also help you with your food cravings. Research from Purdue University found that eating spicy foods can decrease appetite and lower the amount of calories you eat.
2. Heart Disease: In 2011, a study by the American Chemical Society revealed the heart-healthy benefits of chili peppers. The capsaicin and other elements found in spicy foods help to reduce the damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol) and improve circulation, both of which prevent heart disease.
3. Cancer Prevention: According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill some cancer and leukemic cells. One particular spice, turmeric, found in curry powder and some mustards, may slow the spread of cancer and growth of tumors.
4. Longevity: Eating hot peppers can add be the secret to living longer. This may be surprising, but a 2015 study analyzed the eating habits and longevity of more than 500,000 Chinese people aged 30-79 in China over a five-year period. Participants who consumed spicy foods six or seven times a week—primarily fresh and dried chili peppers—had a 14 percent lower risk of dying prematurely.
5. Clear Sinuses: Capsaicin-containing peppers, such as cayenne, tabasco and jalapeños, may reduce nasal congestion, sinus pressure and sinus pain. In a University of Cincinnati study, a group of 44 people suffering from non-allergic rhinitis were given either a nose spray containing capsaicin or a placebo. The spray with capsaicin relieved symptoms faster, participants reported.