Spicy food is enjoyed all over the world because spices add an incredible amount of flavor to food. Cultures all over the world have dishes that excite and stimulate your palate with spices and add heat and taste to everyday ingredients. But if you like spicy food like chillies, curries and hot sauces, there is so much more to look forward to. Recent research shows that adding some spice to your meal can provide more health benefits than previously thought, here are a few reasons:
1. Heart Health:
Studies show that cultures that eat the most spicy food have much lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. Pepper can reduce the damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol) and capsaicin may fight inflammation, which has been flagged as a risk factor for heart issues. Red pepper has definite effects on the body’s circulation. With respect to capsaicin (hot peppers), it can affect blood vessels and causes them to dilate, which can lead, to some degree the lowering of blood pressure. Capsaicin also may help prevent blood clots.
2. Weight Loss:
The extra kick of red pepper can make even the most bland diet food more palatable, causing you to be more likely to stick with your weight loss plan. In addition, they may jack up your metabolism. Studies show that the main compound in chilies, called capsaicin, has a thermogenic effect and may cause the body to burn bonus calories for 20 minutes after eating. Research also suggests that when you eat hot peppers, it increases your body heat, which boosts metabolism up to five percent, and increases fat burning up to 16 percent.
3. Cancer Prevention:
Many studies have shown that regular consumption of pepper and curry decreases the risk of cancer. Capsaicin slows the growth of cancer cells and in some cases, even causes the cancer cells to die off without harming the surrounding cells. According 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. Clears Sinuses:
If you’ve ever had a runny nose after eating something spicy you’ve experienced this effect. The capsaicin in peppers is similar to a compound found in many decongestants, so the hotter the pepper the greater the impact. If you’re ever stuffed up, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to a cup of hot tea. Breathing it in and sipping it may help stimulate the mucus membranes that lines your nasal passages to drain, so you can breathe easier. It’s interesting to note that hot peppers also protect nasal membranes in another way. They’re a rich source of vitamin A, which helps to form strong mucous membranes, which serve as a barrier to prevent germs from getting into your body.
5. Improved digestion:
Spices also improve your digestion because they increase the hydrochloric secretion of your stomach. This in turn will increase blood flow to the stomach and even increase the mucous lining. Capsaicin also helps to kill bacteria like H. pylori and helps to prevent or cure stomach ulcers. However, if you get heartburn from spicy foods, try taking an antacid relief tablet which will neutralise acids in the stomach.