Are you one of those people who carry a bottle of hot sauce with you? If so, you are by no means alone. For hundreds of years, spices have been a major trade product around the world. Hot and tasty dishes from Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East have toured the world.
Whether it’s hot peppers, curry or cumin, the spices are quite pleasant. But what does the spice actually do for you, nutritionally? In the end, a lot.
But is it safe to eat spicy foods on a daily basis? Here are 10 things that happen to your body when you eat spicy foods.
1. You may lose weight.
Eating spicy food is an easy way to burn some extra fat. Nothing can replace exercising and a healthy diet, but capsinoids that are found in peppers can’t hurt. They are known for increasing energy expenditure and decreasing body fat.
2. Your tolerance for pain will increase.
It’s hard to believe, since eating spicy food is painful in itself for some people. However, specialists suggest that capsaicin can target a special substance in our brain that’s responsible for painful feelings. It tricks our brain into ignoring pain, a nice bonus for those who are not afraid of hot things.
3. Your immune system will improve.
Peppers can also help you fight illnesses and daily stress thanks to their high content of vitamin C. For example, a cup of chopped red pepper contains almost three times more vitamin C than an orange, 190 mg.
But other less hot peppers like green or yellow peppers can also increase your vitamin C intake. Peppers of all heat levels also contain vitamin E, folate, and potassium, among other beneficial minerals. While you like it spicy or slightly tangy, peppers are good for the body!
4. There’s a chance you’ll live longer.
This study showed that those who ate hot food 6-7 days per week had a 14% lower mortality rate. The research observed spicy food lovers independently of other risk factors, so spicy food won’t help those who have an unhealthy lifestyle.
5. Your sugar consumption will decrease.
It’s not a secret anymore that sugar is terrible for your health, but cutting its amount isn’t easy. Experts say that adding spicy dishes to your menu from time to time might help to fight cravings for sugar. It’s similar to drinking a glass of orange juice after brushing your teeth — after eating something spicy, we usually don’t want anything sweet. Just one more reason to pass the chili sauce!
6. Your taste buds will suffer.
Your tongue will be the first one to feel the negative consequences of your cravings for hot food. Your tongue will feel a scorching sensation and this is not just a feeling, it will be an actual burn. Because of it, you won’t be able to taste as many flavors as before, but don’t worry, this is only temporary. Your taste receptors will recover, unless you eat too much spicy food on a daily basis for a long time.
7. Spicy Food Can Be Good For Your Heart
One of the compounds that make spicy foods hot is called capsaicin. You may have heard of it because of its health properties. Studies have shown that capsaicin has good effects on cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and suppressing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood circulation, which reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack.
8. Your stomach’s problems might worsen.
If you have a sensitive stomach, eating spicy food is a bad idea. First, it can give you diarrhea. The reason why is capsaicin, which has positive effects on the body, but generally speaking, is an irritant to us. Additionally, it may cause temporary gastritis, or if you already have stomach issues, they are likely to get worse.
9. Spicy Food Relieves Inflammation In Your Body
Inflammation is caused by overcorrecting your immune system for a minor threat. This can lead to conditions such as arthritis in your joints and ligaments. However, hot peppers are loaded with capsaicin, which is also a natural anti-inflammatory full of antioxidants. So far, studies look promising, and some people take capsaicin as a supplement. But if you can handle the heat, you might as well get your capsaicin the old-fashioned way, by eating it.
10. It may increase heartburn.
Peppers include a combination of acids and when we consume too much of them, the walls of our stomach start to burn. This condition might worsen and become chronic in the long term. So it’s not in your best interest to overuse foods packed with heat. If you’re already experiencing heartburn, try drinking milk, or cool the burn down with some ice cream.
11. It can cause an allergic reaction.
Some people say they experience a swollen face and itchiness the morning after eating a spicy dinner. This can happen because peppers are likely to cause allergies. For some people, this reaction is just the body’s natural reaction to spice. To understand why it happened and how to prevent it, it might be necessary to see a doctor.
12. Spicy Foods Can Lower Your Risk Of Cancer
Capsaicin has another trick up its sleeve: In medical studies, it has been shown to be effective in fighting certain types of cancer cells. This does not mean that it is a cure for cancer, or even a treatment for cancer.
This means that capsaicin has a negative effect on cancer cells, which can help reduce the spread of malignancy. More testing obviously needs to be done, but anything that helps the body fight cancer is welcome.
Sources: brightside.me, keshdigital.com