Health Benefits of Spicy Food

by Elli on May 2, 2012 · 0 comments

Do you love the hot stuff? Do you crave that fiery feeling in your throat? If these thoughts make you crave food from your favorite Mexican restaurant, there’s great news for you. Spicy food has some incredible health benefits. So now there are even more reasons (besides tasting great) for you to eat your favorite spicy foods, some of which may surprise you.

  1. Spicy Hummus- Recipe & Image via OhSheGlows.com

    Helps stomach problems.
    The next time you head out for sushi, you may want to add a little more wasabi to your meal. In fact, the Japanese have been using wasabi since the 8th century, so there’s got to be something to this green paste. Recent studies have shown that wasabi may help with stomach issues, like gastric inflammation. And if you’re worried about food poisoning while eating your raw fish, rest assured. Wasabi may help to prevent food poisoning as well.
  2. Promotes weight loss. Who doesn’t want to lose a little bit of weight? If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, consider adding some spice to your diet. Add hot sauce to your meal or throw a jalapeno into your salad and you may rev up your metabolism. Many chilies have a thermogenic effect that can help the body to burn calories, for up to 20 minutes after you’ve eaten the spicy food.
  3. Spicy Sunflower Salad- Image & Recipe via MyRecipes.com

    Improve your heart.
    Some studies have shown that spicy foods help to lower the rate of heart attacks and strokes. Key studies in cultures where spicy food is eaten regularly show that chili peppers can reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels.
  4. Prevent cancer. There’s no certain cure for cancer currently, but some spices may help spread the growth of cancerous tumors. Curry powder and some types of spicy mustard may slow the growth of cancer, some even having the same effects as certain cancer drugs. Add some curry to your vegetables or in soup for an extra kick.
  5. Lower blood pressure. You already know that Vitamins A and C can help strengthen your heart muscles. Add in some pepper and you’ll increase the blood flow throughout your body. Combine the effects of pepper, with the health benefits of Vitamins A and C and you’ve got a stronger cardiovascular system.
  6. Calm moods. Yes, you can calm your mood with spicy foods. Adding spicy food to your diet helps to boost serotonin, the hormone that makes us feel good. So, spicy food can help with depression and even decrease stress.

Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce- Recipe & Photo via AppetiteforChina.com

If you want to be healthier, add some spice to your life. You can add spices to salads, soups, or top them on roasted vegetables to get all of the wonderful health benefits. What’s your favorite spicy recipe?

Feature image via cbb4104

About the Author

Elli is a writer for InGoodMeasure.net. She was born and raised in Colorado and now enjoys skiing, playing tennis, and hiking in the mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah. Find out more about Elli on Google+.