Spicy foods are all the rage in some cultures, while others may consume them on a rare occasion. But you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant now that didn’t have at least one spicy food on its menu.
More and more people are gravitating towards spicy food, whether it is something they truly enjoy, or because you will see continuous competitions on TV that showcase extremely spicy foods.
It has almost become a dare to people to try and see if they can out eat their friends or family in a spicy food match.
There are people, however, who tend to steer clear of any food that might be even remotely spicy. Many people get indigestion when they consume spicy foods, or they feel like they cannot handle too much heat in their foods.
But what many people do not know is that there are many health benefits to eating spicy foods. There are also just as many spice levels as there are benefits, so there will more than likely be something for everyone.
Because there are so many different levels of spicy foods, there are foods for everyone no matter what heat they can tolerate. Though if you are just starting out your journey with spicy foods, you should stick to ones that do not have a large amount of heat to them.
You don’t want to dive into a meal that is covered in extremely spicy causes or chilies so making something at home might be a better choice.
In addition to the flavor that spicy ingredients can bring to almost any dish, they can also bring you some health benefits that you may not have considered before.
Most people tend to think of spicy foods as being unhealthy and something that is more of a treat then a food that they should have on a regular basis.
There are people who enjoy spicy foods on a weekly or even daily basis simply for the heat and sensation they get when they eat the spicy foods.
Many people will tell you that they eat spicy foods because that is what they grew up on or maybe they developed a taste for it during college. But many people are actually eating more spice in their foods because of the added health benefits.
Now that doesn’t mean that just because you eat a dish with extreme heat in it that you will be healthier than you were before you ate it. You still need to have a base of healthier foods and then add the spice to those foods to really get that one two punch of healthy.
Because there can be large amounts of spice in certain foods, you will want to talk with your medical doctor and make sure that your stomach and throat are healthy enough to consume those foods.
If you have problems with your stomach or throat area, you will want to get those checked out before you begin consuming large amounts of spicy foods.
This is simply for you to be on the safe side and not make a situation worse than it already is, or to cause yourself a problem when you don’t have to. Now, let’s take a look at these 8 health reasons to eat spicy foods that you might not be aware of.
What Are The Top 8 Health Benefits For Spicy Foods?
Who doesn’t want to burn calories and shed some of that unwanted winter weight? Everyone has at least a small amount of weight that they want to lose and burning calories is a great way to do that.
You may have noticed that people who are eating spicy foods are sweating a little or even a lot. And while it might seem gross and it might turn you off from eating spicy foods, there is actually a really good reason for the sweating that you see.
They are sweating because they are burning those calories! Your metabolism is working overtime to catch up with the heat that you are putting into your body so your body begins to sweat.
Research has shown that eating one dish containing spicy foods can actually increase your metabolism by up to 10%, meaning it will work faster at burning off those calories.
Other research studies that have been conducted show great promise in regards to people eating a spicy appetizer before their main course.
That means that if you have a spicy appetizer before you eat your main course, you are more likely to consume less of your main course than you would if you did not have that spicy appetizer.
As we age, we are all looking for ways to help protect our hearts and make sure that we are around for a long time to bug (and hug) our loved ones.
No doubt you have seen many different medications, self help remedies, and even way out in left field things to try to keep your heart healthy but here is one you might not have known about … spicy foods!
Research studies have indicated that people who consume spicy foods on a regular basis tend to have healthier hearts than people who don’t.
It is believed that the chili peppers used to make spicy foods may be able to help lower bad cholesterol which means that you are less likely to have high cholesterol or a heart attack if you are consuming spicy foods.
The chemical capsaicin, found in almost every chili pepper, can actually help to reduce any inflammation found around your heart. Inflammation around your heart is what can lead you to have a heart attack.
Just go with me on this one, I know you are thinking, “How on earth can chili peppers relieve pain?” Well they can, but probably not in the way you are thinking.
The same chemical capsaicin that reduced inflammation around the heart muscles can also help relieve pain nerves.
Capsaicin gives messages to your brain letting it know where you are experiencing pain, whether it is your knee, or maybe your arm, it sends out signals to your brain.
Your pain is stopped at the nerve level wherever you are experiencing the pain and while you may not notice it while you are eating, you will notice once you are done.
Capsaicin is also used in ointments and creams that help to calm your nerves from the outside instead of the inside.
Longer Life Expectancy
While eating spicy foods on a regular basis will not make you live forever, research studies have shown that it can help you live longer than you might have otherwise.
A research study conducted in China stated that the people who ate spicy foods on a daily basis improved their chances at living longer by almost 20%.
While it may not add a larger number of years to your life and you shouldn’t expect to live forever, it has shown promise that it can certainly add a few years onto your life.
You may not think of chilies as a healthy food or a food that is high in the nutrients that you need on a daily basis, but that is where you would be wrong and probably surprised.
Some chilies actually contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C and can help you reach your overall goal of adding more nutrients into your diet.
While they may not have as many vitamins and nutrients as some of the other foods you may eat, they do contain enough to make a difference in your diet.
We’ve all heard of the chemical serotonin, it is referred to as the “happy” chemical since it can release happy feelings into your body. Chili peppers can actually release serotonin into your body, giving you that happy feeling every time you eat them.
By releasing serotonin, you can help to combat anxiety, depression, and even stress. It is not a cure for those and will not last forever, but it can help you out until you can be seen by a medical doctor.
According to recent research studies that have been conducted, the capsaicin that is found in chili peppers might be used in a cancer fighting drug. There has been some promise in regards to using capsaicin to treat leukemia cells in the body.
There are also research studies being conducted to see if it can be used to help stop the growth of tumors and tumor cells in people who have already been diagnosed with cancer.
It is currently being tested, so as of yet there are no definitive answers on if capsaicin can actually stop those tumors from growing and how exactly it can be used in the fight against cancer.
This is also a new field of testing for chili peppers. While there is currently not a large number of research studies being completed, the ones that have been done are showing a lot of promise when it comes to stomachaches and chilies.
We all naturally produce a gas in our bodies called gastric acid and some of us has more than others. Gastric acid is what can cause you to have an upset stomach or maybe develop ulcers that are horrible to get rid of.
Research has indicated that eating chili peppers or foods made with them on a weekly basis can actually reduce the gastric acid in your stomach. By reducing that acid, you can cut down on the amount of times you have stomachaches, ulcers, or just plain tummy rumbles.
You lower your risk of an ulcer known as a peptic ulcer by over 50% and that is amazing from just eating a little bit of spicy foods.
While you may be shocked or surprised, you may not be completely convinced that eating spicy foods can do this for you. This is certainly something that you would need to simply try for yourself and see what works best for you.
Just like people are different and their health issues are different, chili peppers are also different. You should only consume the type of chilies that you are okay with so don’t eat a ghost pepper just because someone else did.
Start out small and work your way up or stay where you’re at. All you are looking for is a chili with enough spice you can handle that will also be able to give you the health benefits you are looking for.
There are even chili growers that can help you to find the right amount of spice that you are looking for. If you are worried about a dish being too spicy, try making it at home the first time.
By making your spicy dishes at home, you are able to be in complete control with how hot your dish is. This is perfect for people who have no experience with chili peppers or those who do not feel they can handle large amounts of heat in one sitting.
Top 8 Health Benefits For Spicy Foods Final Words
If you have never had spicy foods before, you should consult with your medical doctor to make sure that you do not have any conditions that could be made worse.
Even though chili peppers do have some health benefits to them, you should still be very careful before you eat them or add them to your dishes. If you eat them and you have an allergy to them and you don’t know it, it could be very dangerous.
Have your doctor preform an allergy test on you to make certain that your body will not reject the chili peppers. Once you are certain, you can start making those delicious recipes with chili peppers.
You have lots of choices, as most chili peppers can be added to any savory dish of your choice. Though they are great for salsas, tacos, chili sauces, and stews, you can add them to almost any dish to amp it up and give it another level of flavor.