Turn Up The Heat- Benefits of Eating Spicy Foods

Turn Up The Heat- Benefits of Eating Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are a mystery – you want it, but you can’t deal with the heat; and then again, you crave for it! It’s almost like a feeling of pleasure in pain – a psychosomatic effect in the human body that is highly intriguing. Some theories imply that spicy food has several benefits. Let’s take a look.

Benefits of Spicy Foods

Burn that Fat

Spicy food causes a burning sensation in the body; but it also helps burn extra fat faster. Chilies have a compound called capsaicin, which has a thermogenic effect. This effect burns calories and increases metabolism. What a potent combination – great tasting food and weight loss!

Pump your Mood

smiling eating spicy foods lunch date

Spicy food works in ways you would never expect. The burn is addictive because it gives a sense of joy. The brain feels that the body is on fire and stimulates specific pain receptors, which respond by releasing endorphins in the brain. Endorphins trigger a feeling of euphoria and give you a sense of happiness.

Circulation Boost

Hot and spicy food is a stimulant and it increases the blood flow to the stomach. Pain receptors in the intestinal walls are stimulated by the consumption of spicy foods. This action elevates the heart rate and hikes your blood circulation.

Healthy Heart

heart health man drawing heart

It has been observed that people who include more spice in their meals have lower risk of heart attack or stroke. The effect of LDL (bad cholesterol) is counteracted by chilies. Capsaicin fights inflammation, which is usually a major problem for your heart. Additionally, it lowers the blood pressure levels and results in a stronger cardiovascular system. Spices also have the highest antioxidant activity amongst all food type, thus preventing free radical activities in the body.

Studies have shown that people consuming spicy food on a regular basis have lower mortality rate due to cancer, ischemic heart diseases and respiratory issues.

Fight Cancer

There are a few spicy foods that are seen to have cancer fighting properties.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has shown to inhibit growth of several cancer cells. Studies show that it helps in suppressing tumor initiation, promotion and metastasis.

Oregano is rich in antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds. It contains the phytochemical Quercetin, which slows cancer growth.

There are several other spices such as cumin seeds, basil leaves and poppy seeds have shown to prevent cancer by different mechanisms.

Breathe Easy

If you are suffering from cold and flu, spicy food can give you a fantastic sense of relief. The increase in temperature on consumption of spicy food can comfort you in such situations. Spices such as hot pepper would help bring up the phlegm from the lungs and trachea and open up the nasal cavity, allowing clear passage of air. It would help people suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and sinusitis to breathe better.     

So, stop shying away from spicy food. Give it a shot and experience the health benefits it brings to you. Give your spice intake a twist by trying recipes from across the world that use different kinds of spices. Have fun with heat!

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