Spice up Your Health

October 12 2017

Jacqueline Rosenhek

We all have that one person in our lives who is just obsessed with spicy food. They love putting hot sauce on their food; they chop up some chili peppers and add them to their cooking, a lot of what they consume is just piping hot with spice. Whether that person knows it or not, they are actually reaping some healthy benefits by eating spicy food. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in spicy peppers that has a wide range of health benefits, despite the fact that it makes your mouth feel like it is actually on fire.

One big benefit of capsaicin is its cancer fighting abilities. A study published in Cancer Research found that capsaicin made cancerous cells essentially kill themselves. Capsaicin was actually tested and it was found that it actually killed off close to 80 percent of prostate cancer cells in mice.  Another well-known medicinal use for this spicy compound is pain relief. That’s right, capsaicin may cause some pain when you go to the bathroom, but when used topically it can actually reduce pain for ailments such as osteoarthritis and muscle pain. Its warming effect loosens up muscular and joint related tension and reduces inflammation.

Capsaicin is especially good around the fall and winter when your immune system takes a bit of a dive. Due to its high content of vitamins, specifically vitamins A and C, capsaicin has long been valued for protecting and building up the immune system. Vitamin A is essential for supporting mucosa tissue, such as your respiratory passages, urinary tract and intestinal tract. These systems are the body’s primary defence again outside infections and pathogens. Capsaicin is also fantastic for speeding up your metabolism and helping with weight loss. Thermogenesis (the production of heat from eating spicy foods) requires increased work from your metabolism. Eating certain spicy foods may increase your metabolic rate and cause your body to burn more calories than non-spicy foods. The benefits of capsaicin don’t end with metabolic support. This compound has been shown to help in the reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride levels while reducing the risk of blood clots. Reducing these risk factors in your cardiovascular system translates into lowered risks of suffering different cardiac disorders. Even adding a small amount of chilli pepper or cayenne or even hot sauce into your diet can cause a gradual but dramatic improvement to certain parts of your health (provided that your diet is healthy overall and you maintain an active lifestyle). Foods containing higher amounts of capsaicin will add a playful and unique dynamic to your home cooking while providing long list of health benefits.


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