Bring On The Heat! 5 Hot Health Benefits of Spicy Food

When it comes to eating spicy foods, many do it for the thrill, or the ability to boast that they ate ‘atomic’ this or ‘ fiery’ that. However, spicy foods have more to offer than excitement. In fact, your body may be craving the heat for its health benefits. From weight loss and heart health, to cancer prevention and lower blood pressure, you might just want to stock up on hot sauce!

Spicy Food

#1 Weight Loss

Not only does hot sauce or other spicy condiments — such as jalapenos or crushed red pepper — have the ability to jump-start your metabolism, but they can also help you stick to your diet. In fact, chilies and many other spicy foods contain capsaicin, which has the ability to burn calories for up to 20 minutes after a meal. Plus, the addition of hot sauce or spicy peppers can make bland diet food taste better, which could help you stay on the path of healthy eating.

#2 Heart Health

Chili peppers have the natural ability to reduce the effects of bad cholesterol (known as LDL) in your blood, essentially lowering your risk for heart attack. Capsaicin also helps fight inflammation, which is a risk factor in many heart conditions.

#3 Cancer Prevention

Studies conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research have shown that capsaicin has the ability to kill both leukemic and cancer cells, particularly those found in prostate cancer. Another spice, turmeric, which is often in some mustards and curry powder, could slow down the growth progression of tumors and minimize the spread of cancer. To increase your body’s absorption of turmeric, it is recommended that you pair it with black pepper. This spicy combination is great on kebabs, roasted vegetables, and in soups.

#4 Lower Blood Pressure

As was mentioned earlier, capsaicin has the ability to reduce the effects of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol in your blood with the ability to increase blood pressure. In addition, spicy foods contain vitamins A and C, which strengthen the walls of the heart muscles, while the heat in peppers improves the flow of blood throughout your entire circulatory system. Essentially, these benefits all add up to a stronger cardiovascular system.

#5 Improve Your Mood

Oddly enough, spicy foods have the ability to improve your mood. This is because they increase the production of serotonin, and other feel-good hormones in your body, which can actually reduce stress and keep you from feeling depressed.

There are many healthy foods that you can add hot sauce or hot spices to in order to receive health benefits. This includes vegetables, eggs, potatoes, tacos, chicken, fish, and chili, to name a few.

The next time you are thinking of going on a diet, or wanting to burn a few extra calories, try something that will also ward off cancer, lower your cholesterol, improve your mood, and reduce the risk of a heart condition. Consider adding a little extra heat to spice up your food and your life!

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Resources:

http://www.self.com/flash/health-blog/2010/09/5-healthy-benefits-of-eating-s/

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/09/16/4-health-benefits-spicy-foods/

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