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Spicy Foods and Your Health

Posted On: 05-12-2017
Spicy Foods and Your Health
For some, adding a little heat to some dishes is a taste preference. However, many don’t realize that spicy foods also come with some health benefits in addition to flavor. Components like capsaicin and curcumin in spicy foods like chilis and turmeric provide benefits like reduced inflammation.

Circulation Benefits

The main component in hot peppers, capsaicin, can dilate blood vessels, which can contribute to lowered blood pressure. Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory, and it might help to reverse blood vessel damage. Some scientists also believe that turmeric can help to prevent bad cholesterol from building up. These circulation benefits can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease.

Weight Loss

Although weight loss is not as easy as eating a hot pepper with every meal, eating spicy food can help to reduce cravings and reduce your overall appetite, so you take in fewer calories. It can also increase your body heat, which in turn boosts your metabolism in marginal amounts.

Preventing Cancer

Curcumin, a main component of turmeric, has been shown to reduce the growth of cancer cells in laboratory evidence. In fact, a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center study showed that curcumin killed 80 percent of prostate cancer cells in mice.

Living Longer

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences found that participants who are spicy foods six or seven times a week had a 14 percent reduced risk of dying prematurely. Even though more research is needed, some medical professionals believe that the benefits of spicy foods can contribute to living longer.

Fortunately, cooking hot peppers retains their health benefits, so you can prepare them in any way that works for your palate. But not every patient likes spicy food, although some have found that combining hot peppers with dairy products, like yogurt, helps to calm down the fire. if you cannot tolerate hot foods at all, you can talk to your doctor about taking supplements that could have the same effects.

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