Spicy food is commonly found in Asian countries, not in America where we love our burgers, fries, and pizza so much to the point that there are thousands of burger joints and pizza shops out there competing for our affectionate consumption habits.
As the country’s go-to comfort food can’t be spicy in nature, some people prefer to cook their personal versions of the most popular food in the country by adding and removing ingredients. But it’s quite difficult to find spicy burgers and pizzas, right?
So, we rely on foreign cuisine that made its way to our bellies. That of Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisine. They’re notorious for being spicy and for some, that could be a deal-breaker. There are select few who can handle the foreign spiciness of these imported cuisines.
To be fair, not all people can handle spicy food and there’s nothing wrong with staying within your comfort zone when it comes to what you eat. It’s your body, after all.
But for the ones who are into the piping hot spice of some dishes, are they getting anything special out of their love for spicy food aside from the mouth-burning goodness?
Actually, they are. Here’s a list of things that can back that statement up if you’re curious:
1. Weight loss
Spicy foods are found to be good helpers when you’re trying to shave some pounds off. But this doesn’t mean that mixing a load of hatch green chili powder with your meal can instantly make you lose weight.
The weight loss part of eating spicy dishes comes from chili containing a compound called capsaicin. It’s the one that causes the burning sensation that is the good thing about spicy foods for some, and the worst thing for first-timers.
Capsaicin helps increase your body’s core temperature, along with increasing your metabolism, which turns into you burning calories faster. Eating spicy dishes can increase the rate of your body’s metabolism by up to five percent.
The compound in chili, capsaicin, also works as an endorphin. Endorphins produce serotonin—the hormones also known for producing feelings of happiness and contentment.
Serotonin production is a form of response to heat, which is perceived by serotonin as pain, and try to make you feel better. The serotonin working decreases the risks of depression and stress.
But that doesn’t mean chili is the cure to depression and stress, you still need to consult your psychiatrist for serious matters that can affect your mental health and stability. Don’t rely fully on food. You can only use them to aid in the professional treatment you receive.
3. Cancer Prevention
Capsaicin also functions as an antioxidant. It rids your cells from harmful molecules, also called free radicals, that can cause different types of cancer.
If you’re looking for a reason to try spicy dishes for the first time, make this your sign to succumb to your curiosity and set out to find a good restaurant. Better yet, you can cook your very first spicy dish at home.
4. Heart Disease
Bad cholesterol, which can be from what you eat, has damaging effects on your heart’s health. The good thing is those red-hot chili peppers have the ability to reduce their effects.
Capsaicin also helps fight inflammation, a proven factor that increases the risk of developing heart disease. Chili has vitamins A and C in them. Those two can help strengthen the heart muscles, and the heart of the peppers — the seeds — helps with your blood flow.
These factors work together in lowering blood pressure, which is good for your heart’s health.
If you’re having an episode of a body twisting diarrhea, you might want to spice up your meals.
Capsaicin can improve digestion by increasing the amount of digestive fluids in our stomach. Your body can break what you eat down better which leads to better circulation and well, release.
But be careful of eating too much chili, you might irritate anal fissures and experience more problems with your bowel movement.
What if you don’t like spicy food?
We all know that spicy food isn’t for everyone. That’s something we understood deeply before diving into the benefits of people who like their food spicy get. If you’re looking to reap the benefits of eating spicy food, you should look at other options that won’t make your mouth feel like it’s burning.
Most of the benefits can also be found in other healthy types of food out there. Just make sure you eat them in the right amounts, same with eating spicy food.