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Health Benefits of Spicy Food

Health Benefits of Spicy Food

Programme B
Published by Programme B

A lot of people like spicy foods and this may be a great thing for their overall health. Chili peppers contain the chemical compound capsaicin. This is the compound that is responsible for the burning sensation that some people love, and some people avoid at all costs. 

Check out these great physical and mental health benefits of spicy food! 

Mood Boost

It is important to note that a lot of healthy foods can be beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing. However, no food is enough to help someone who is struggling with mental health issues. If you are struggling with your mental health, you should check out BetterHelp. Now, let’s get to the spicy part.

We all get down sometimes. However, did you know that eating a meal full of chili peppers could actually help to improve your mood? Craving for spicy food may be more than just a craving for flavor. When we consume capsaicin, our brain addresses the burning sensation like any other pain. 

When our brain registers pain, it releases things like endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins are naturally occurring pain relievers, but they can also make us feel good. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates our sense of pleasure and reward. The release of these will provide us with a boost in mood. 

In fact, one study found that the consumption of chili peppers actually has antidepressant effects. This effect may be subtle, but if you already enjoy spicy food this may be a good reason to eat it more often. 

Live Longer

The consumption of spicy food may even be enough to increase your lifespan. A study on five hundred thousand Chinese citizens over 5 years found that those who consumed spicy food at least 6 times a week had 14 percent lower mortality rates compared with those that did not consume that much spicy food. 

Lose Weight

Eating spicy foods may help us lose weight for a couple of reasons. First, it may give us a boost in our metabolism which can help us burn more fat. In addition, spicy food may help us feel full when we eat less food. Just these two things together combined with nutritional eating a regular exercise may be enough to help us lose more weight.

Reduce Inflammation

This benefit is not due to capsaicin, but from curcumin which is found in turmeric. Turmeric has a unique flavor and is often used in dishes alongside capsaicin containing chili peppers. Curcumin may help to reduce inflammation in the body and has been used for centuries as a part of Ayurvedic medicine.

Chili peppers may even improve heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. This is because capsaicin can break down LDL. This may also help with the reduction in inflammation. 

Pain Relief

Spicy food can cause temporary pain in the mouth, but it has pain relieving qualities as well. This is likely because it releases endorphins to fight the pain caused by the capsaicin and the endorphins then alleviate other pain that you may be experiencing.  In fact, capsaicin is actually used topically to reduce pain from arthritis and other conditions.

Fight Cancer

Capsaicin can actually destroy or slow the growth of some cancer cells. More research needs to be completed, but the evidence does suggest that there is a correlation with cancer rates and the consumption of spicy food. In addition to capsaicin, researchers have found similar properties in curry, turmeric, and other spices. 

Capsaicin may fight cancer growth by promoting weight loss, reducing inflammation, and improving blood pressure as well. All of these things contribute to cancer and capsaicin has a positive influence on them. 

Alleviate Stomachache

Spicy foods may be the last thing you want to eat when you have an upset stomach. However, the research finds that the consumption of spicy foods may contribute to lower levels of gastric avid which can reduce the risk of peptic ulcers and stomach bleeding. 

Conclusion

Spicy food may be delicious, but that is not the only reason you should eat it. It can help you live longer and promote a better mood. It can even fight cancer and inflammation. These effects are mostly due to the concentration of the compound known as capsaicin. If you enjoy spicy food, this may be enough to get you to add more to your diet from now on.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

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