We all know that spicy food is hot enough to make you sweat. Spice is thoroughly enjoyed in every country, city, and culture. Spices are added to food because it adds an enormous amount of flavor and texture to what you eat. Communities and cultures around the world have traditional dishes that excite and stimulate your taste buds with spices as well as add extra heat and tang to everyday ingredients.
Apart from giving an extra kick to your simple food, there is so much more to look forward to, when it comes to spices. Various recent research shows that adding extra spice to your everyday meal can provide a burst of health benefits. To find out all about the good things that fiery foods can do for you, keep reading.
Curb the calories
Did you know all that sweating you do while consuming spicy foods serves a purpose? A study published in the New York Times says that devouring a spicy bowl of food helps your body burn those extra calories you carry up to 8 percent. Or in simple words, dealing with all of that heat makes your metabolism work faster. People who consume spicy appetizers before their main courses like samosas and other spicy finger foods consume fewer calories when their main course is served. So, all of you looking to shed a few pounds, consider adding some extra spices in the food you cook.
Reduces stress and promotes overall well-being
Spicy foods are also known for easing depression and stress levels. The consumption of spicy foods in daily life helps the body’s internal engine, which in turn allows you to relax. In fact, there are certain types of spices used in curries (like turmeric) that are believed to even delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Along with other health benefits, eating spicy foods also promotes a healthier respiratory system by loosening mucus. It has been observed that spicy foods are an excellent way to reduce the mucus congestion created by simple cold-like symptoms to asthma.
According to some doctors and medical practitioners, and based on recent research, capsaicin, an ingredient found in most spices, has the same effect on certain cancer cells as powerful cancer-fighting medicines do. Seemingly, capsaicin is so powerful that it can possibly kill off leukemia cells and drops the growth of deadly tumors. With that in mind, I say we all buy a bottle of the spiciest hot sauce or dips we can find and use it on everything we eat!
A huge study in China involving nearly 0.5 million people, found that people who consume spicy foods on regular basis may lower their chances of death by 14 percent. The researchers who led the study think that although it’s too early to directly link spicy foods to an increased lifecycle, but the results do sound compelling. Given all of the health benefits spices have, it really doesn’t come as a surprise that consuming them frequently might add a year or two to your life.
Having spicy foods allows your brain to produce some happy hormones, like serotonin. This happy hormone is known for dealing with mental issues like depression, anxiety, anger, and stress. It further proves why people eating super spicy foods always look so content, even when they are sweating buckets and crying from sweet pain!
The addition of fresh or dry green and red chilies to your daily meals can help you reach your daily recommended intake for necessary vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA (National Nutrient Database), green and red chilies have variety of essential minerals and high levels of vitamin C. The presence of this important vitamin has the tendency to reduce the duration of the common cold and may help prevent heart disease.
Other noted benefits
Good for arthritis: Ancient spice like turmeric has the ability to reduce joint inflammation and bone destruction.
Cold and flu: Spices with capsaicin promotes sweating and comforts the cold and flu symptoms. A kick of extra spice also helps to open up the nasal passages.
Improved sleep patterns: People who regularly consume spicy meals fall asleep more easily.
There are so many benefits of consuming spicy food that one can find hard not to consider how to add more of them into their diet and daily menu. The good news to make you happy is that spicy foods are becoming more and more mainstream, from hot dips, sauces, and salsas to wasabi pastes and ginger candies. Grocery stores are full of spicy options that once were only available in specialty shops or big supermarkets. Getting them into your daily diet is easier than ever, and with that comes a longer, healthier, and happier life. However, despite having multiple benefits, it is still important to take spicy foods in a reasonable amount, especially when you have a sensitive stomach or simply a low tolerance for them. Learn to have your food medium-spicy and hot to enjoy the amazing health benefits that go along with it.
ABOUT ALMA CAUSEY
Alma is a mother, wife and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Groningen. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management. She loves to discover new places and share experiences in words. Oh, Alma- is incomplete without cats.
Find her on Twitter: @Almacausey