• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Spicy food: Is it harmful or healthy?

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Spicy food has proven to help people who consume a regular well-balanced diet and exercise, to lose weight, the Cleveland Clinic states.

According to the experts, it also helps boost the metabolism.

The medics explain, “Much of the research on spicy foods focuses on capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick.”

Additionally, “Some of that research has found that capsaicin boosts the body’s ability to break down fat and burn more energy.”

Therefore, there’s also evidence that spicy food not only helps you to lose weight, but it can also help to boost your heart health and (surprisingly) aid your gastrointestinal system.

What’s more, research shows that those who eat more spicy foods are less likely to be obese or overweight.

Research also reportedly states that the center in your brain (the hypothalamus) – which regulates when you’re full, is stimulated by capsaicin, which is an active chemical component of chili peppers.

So, by adding some spicy foods into your regular diet more often, you could actually rev up your metabolism and reduce your appetite, The Sun said.

Patricia Bridget Lane, a registered dietitian/nutritionist, in an earlier report told Cleveland Clinic, “People who eat a diet rich in spicy foods tend to eat less food overall throughout the day.”

By helping break down the fats in foods, spicy food may boost heart health as well. In fact, some studies have shown that spicy foods may even reduce the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes, Cleveland Clinic informs.

A study from the University of Vermont also reportedly found that those who regularly ate hot red chili peppers had a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death.

Additionally, it was found that those who ate chili peppers were less likely to die of cardiovascular causes like heart attacks and stroke.

Thus, “In this large population-based prospective study, the consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality.”

So overall, “Hot red chili peppers may be a beneficial component of the diet,” The Sun states.

There’s evidence that capsaicin may even be good for the microbiome in your gut.

The Sun informs, spicy foods in moderation can help boost your microbiome (the diversity of bacteria in your gut), which is responsible for your immune system, energy, and countless other aspects of your health.

“Capsaicin can stimulate a healthy gut flora and have a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract,” Patricia informs.

In addition, capsaicin can help fight low-grade inflammation in the gut (the type of inflammation that has been linked to obesity), Cleveland Clinic explains.

Despite the health benefits, Patricia cautions that those who are not used to eating spicy food, should start slow.

“You don’t necessarily need a lot of spice to reap the benefits,” she said.

“But no matter how much spice you add, remember that the goal is still a balanced diet.”

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