Add some spice to live a healthier life…who knew? I am a big advocate of spicy foods and turns out it is a good thing! If you enjoy spicy foods you’re in luck. If not…you might want to try adding it into your diet 🙂
1. Capsaicin (phytochemical): Studies are popping up showing the benefits of peppers. And it is not just 1 specific pepper that provides benefits, there are a variety (hundreds actually). Capsaicin is the ingredient found in chili peppers that makes them hot. According to the Food and Nutrition Magazine (Published through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), capsaicin can stimulate the release of endorphins, natural pain and stress fighters. Some studies are showing this phytochemical in peppers can help to curb appetite and boost your metabolism.
*In my research for this post, I learned capsaicin is actually not located in the seeds, but in the ribs of the pepper. Just the other night I made the rookie mistake of touching my eyes after touching a pepper and oh man…let’s just say it burned a little! Try wearing rubber gloves or just don’t touch your eyes or skin like I have done haha.
2. Nutritional facts: Peppers are typically high in vitamin C, contain beta carotene, potassium and vitamin B6. Another plus is they are low in calories and sodium which makes adding peppers/spice to your food a great idea for individuals cutting back on salt.
3. Spice can help “cool” your body: Sounds kind of funky since spicy food is…well spicy…so you think of heat. But after the burning sensation starts to diminish your body starts to cool itself down…which is why you may have seen people sweat when eating something too spicy!
4. Anti-inflammatory: In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, they found capsaicin to have an anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies. This could be useful for people with arthritis.
5. Which peppers and spicy foods should I try?: Jalapeños, cayenne, poblano, thai, Serrano, bell…just to name a few. Watch out for habanero and ghost peppers…these are hot hot!
Spicy food can be great for weight control and perfect for making your foods tasty without adding more calories and sodium!
Do you eat spicy food!? Add it to your meals this weekend!