There are several reasons why you should be including spicy foods in your diets. They usually come with uncountable health benefits and for this reason, they are becoming increasingly popular day by day.
They are not just good ways of testing your limits but also a good way to make your body be able to combat inflammation, improve heart health and also fight cancer.
In this article, I’m going to discuss the health benefits of spicy food that you are likely to get when you incorporate spicy foods in your diet.
Table of Contents
What Spicy Foods Should You Go For?
There are several spicy foods that are available in the market today including:
- Hot Pepper
- Hot Sauce
These are the most common spicy foods that you can check when you are looking for all the below benefits. There are several others that are available in the market and for this reason, there’s no limit of the spicy foods that you should go for.
Health Benefits of Spicy Food
Let’s discuss them one by one in detail…
1. Spicy Foods are Full of Nutrients
This is the first and the most obvious benefit that you are likely to get when you incorporate spicy foods in your diet.
Consuming hot pepper will make it easier for you to meet all the nutrients needs of your body. They are rich in vitamin A and C and are also full of vital minerals.
2. Prevent Cancer
This is one of the topmost health benefits of spicy food. Although there’s limited evidence of this, most of the scientists believe that chili pepper and other hot pepper has some impact on cancerous cells.
A recent study made out clear that hot pepper has the ability to make tumor cells ‘’commit suicide’’. Hot pepper has a bioactive phytochemical known as Capsaicin which affects cancerous cells at different stages.
It has the ability to target tumor-suppressing genes which later impacts positively on your overall health.
3. Improve Heart Health
In this regard, there’s enough evidence that spicy foods have more impact on heart health. It has been seen that people who eat a lot of spicy foods have lower chances of heart attacks and other heart-related problems.
Spicy foods especially hot pepper has the capability of damaging effects of bad cholesterol.
On the other hand, Capsaicin which is found on hot pepper has the ability to fight inflammation.
4. Spicy Foods Reduce Pain
The way spicy foods can relieve pain is a very complicated scientific finding but the fact is that there are several instances where spicy foods especially hot pepper can relieve your pain.
As we have said earlier, most spicy foods contain a compound known as capsaicin which has the ability to inhibit certain pain signals that are sent by nerve cells to your brain. This later works to deaden any sensation of pain that you may be going through.
As a matter of fact, this compound is used in pain-relief creams.
5. You Can Live Longer
Another health benefit of spicy foods is that incorporating spicy foods in your diet may make you live longer.
A recent study that was conducted in China brought the finding that most of the people who eat spicy foods every day may impact on their death risk by 14%. However, this finding is not satisfactory in terms of connecting spicy foods with death but the fact is that this evidence is encouraging.
6. Spicy Foods Can Make You Happier
There is another study that links spicy foods with happiness. Consuming hot pepper can make you happier by simply initiating your brain to produce happy hormones such as Serotonin.
This makes it simple for you to deal with anger, anxiety, depression, and stress. This is one of the reasons why most of the people that consume spicy foods are very happy.
7. Make Your Stomach Feel Better
When you are having a hard time dealing with a bad stomach, spicy foods can walk the talk.
It works by lowering the amount of gastric acid produced in the stomach. It can as well reduce stomach bleeding you might have. Spicy foods may also reduce the chances of acquiring ulcers by 53%. This is always a good idea of consuming a few chilis and other hot pepper.
8. Burn Extra Calories
This is another very beneficial reason why you should start eating spicy foods.
A recent study from Purdue University found out that most of the people consuming spicy foods especially hot pepper can initiate the process of burning a lot of fat and eventually impact directly on their weight loss ambitions. There’s enough evidence that consuming these foods can reduce appetite by a greater measure which later impacts on what you have been consuming.
Though, if you are in a weight loss program, you have to note that consuming spicy foods alone is not a reliable method. You have to practice other things that will impact directly on your weight loss. The same study established that this method of weight loss only worked if combined with other types.
9. Lower Blood Pressure
As we had already stated, spicy foods have a direct impact on heart health and to a larger measure to the arteries and veins. They usually contain Vitamin A and C which strengthens the heart muscle wall and also makes the arteries and veins stronger.
What this means is that consuming hot pepper and other types of spicy foods may increase the flow of blood throughout your body. In simple terms, it makes your cardiovascular system strong.
10. Prevent Diabetes
With this in mind, I want to make it clear that diabetes isn’t always generic or unavoidable. There are several things that you can do and reduce the risk of getting type-2 diabetes and consuming spicy foods is one of them. You start by controlling your weight and insulin levels in your blood.
According to the available evidence, consuming hot pepper can significantly improve the function of insulin in your body. For this reason, you need to add more chili to make sure you reduce instances of developing diabetes.
11. Improve Brain Health
The other thing that most people don’t know is that spicy foods are very beneficial to the brain. Some spicy foods such as turmeric have a lot of properties that reduces instances of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
They also have a certain compound that can help reduce stress and at some extent improve your memory functions. The reality of the matter is that stress is a major problem that most of the people are dealing with.
12. Help Fight Flu
The flue is not that dangerous but you can get so uncomfortable with it. It affects your ability to work well, to eat properly and even to sleep.
The good thing is that there are several instances that spicy foods can help you to fight flu. Spicy foods especially chili and other hot pepper have a compound known as Capsaicin which helps to fight flu-causing germs. The compound can also make your eyes and nose run but eventually help you in this case. It also improves the flow of blood and metabolism.
If consumed more often, they can help stop or even reduce the symptoms of cold and flu by opening up nasal passages and also dealing with the associated discomfort.
13. Good for Digestion
Previously, most of the people thought that consuming a lot of pepper and other spicy foods may increase the chances of developing stomach ulcers.
However, this was recently proven to be a myth and now there are several benefits that can accrue. They have recently proven that they contain capsaicin which can actually fight off bacteria which are associated with ulcers.
Turmeric, on the other hand, contains curcumin which helps to moderate and can eventually aid digestion.
14. Combat Inflammation
The reality of the matter is that inflammation is the leading cause of various chronic diseases such as arthritis and several other heart diseases.
As a matter of fact, turmeric and chili are the leading foods that help in this.
Turmeric contains a compound known as Curcumin which is known to reduce inflammation significantly in your body. If left uncontrolled, inflammation may have some side effects on your brain, knees, and heart. It can lead to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
15. Boost Immunity
The last benefit that I’m going to talk about today is it improves immunity. There are several ways that spicy foods can help boost immunity but in most of the cases, bright color of red chili has a lot of beta-carotene or even pro-vitamin A which are very beneficial in this case.
Taking just two teaspoons of red chili pepper has around 6% of the daily value of vitamin C and more than 10% of vitamin A. These are the most important vitamins that your immunity needs.
The Bottom Line!
Lastly, I’d like to say that if you are not used to of eating spicy foods then start with less spicy foods and then gradually go up. But, this does not mean that you must eat spicy foods on a daily basis.
As we all know, an excess of anything is bad! So, use spicy foods in a limit and you’ll see some amazing health benefits of eating spicy food.
Usama Azam is a 1st-year medical student and a professional blogger. He writes on natural treatments about health and medical conditions. To know more about him visit About page.