Many cultures around the world embrace spicy foods-chilies are actually the second most popular spice in the world next to salt. Spicy foods may be better for you than you even realize-recent research shows that adding some spice to your meal can provide more health benefits than was ever thought. Here are five benefits to adding some spice to your meals.
1. Weight loss. Spicy foods are said to help rev up your metabolism and the faster your metabolism, the more weight you will lose. Furthermore, studies have shown that people who eat spicy foods eat smaller portions which can cut your calories way back.
2. Cancer Prevention: Scientists have discovered that capsaicin (found in jalepeno peppers) attacks and kills cancer cells. The way it does this is by attacking the mitochondria which are the powerhouses of cells.
3. Improved digestion. Even though spicy food has a bad reputation for causing heart burn, it has been shown that the spiciness stimulates stomach secretions. This in turn will increase blood flow to the stomach and even increase the mucous lining and combat ulcers. If you do find you get heartburn from spicy foods, try taking an antacid relief tablet which will neutralize acids in the stomach.
4. Improved circulation. The spicier the food, the more it increases your blood flow, gets your heart pumping, and raises the body’s temperature. If you live in a hot climate this can actually make you feel cooler by making you sweat which cools the body.
5. Improved sleep patterns. Australian researchers have found that people who regularly consumed spicy meals fell asleep more easily, had healthier sleep patterns, and even woke up easier and had more energy throughout the day.
Peppery hot foods have been in the human diet for more than 8000 years, and are becoming more and more popular due to increased health benefits. Almost any recipe can be spiced up with the addition of chili peppers, hot sauce, peppers, or other spices.