Top 6 Benefits of Spicy Food (and Sauces!)
Turns out, your taste for hot and spicy food can actually help your health! So if you’re in the habit of sloshing on our Spicy Stir Fry or have an unwavering love for our Ginger Lemon Sriracha, read on.
Here’s how these hot and spicy foods (and our spiciest of sauces!) can help your health:
It May Help You Live Longer
Yes, really. According to a large 2015 study by Harvard and China National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, chowing down on spicy food six or seven days a week — even just once a day — lowered mortality rates by 14 percent.
It Speeds Up Your Metabolism
Numerous studies have found that certain spices — think: cumin, turmeric, chilies, and peppers — can raise your metabolic resting rate and slow down your appetite. What’s more, one study also found that turmeric suppressed fat tissue growth in mice.
That said, the effect isn’t substantial. Meaning, that, if you put some peppers on your hoagie it probably isn’t going to help trim your waistline. Still, if you’ve reached a plateau in your weight loss journey, spicing things up (literally) may just be the trick.
It Fights Inflammation
According to research, curcumin, a compound in turmeric, may reduce inflammation in the body. Also important: In Ayurvedic medicine (a traditional Indian system of medicine), the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger and garlic have been used for centuries to treat a range of health conditions, including arthritis, autoimmune disorders, headaches, and nausea.
It Helps Kill Bacteria
Cumin and turmeric have been shown to have powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, helping fight off harmful bacteria in the body. Hot peppers can also boost your immune system, aiding to ward off germs that can cause illness.
It Helps Your Heart
Where do hot peppers get their heat from? Turns out, they get it from a substance called capsaicinoids — which helps your heart! Yes, that’s right: Researchers have found that capsaicinoids can not only lower blood cholesterol levels and keep blood vessels from constricting, but that they also help to improve blood flow. And not only that: They may also help lower blood pressure, too.
It May Help Fight Cancer Cells
In 2006, a UCLA study found that capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers, inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells in mice while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In simple terms, this means spicy foods (or at least those that include chili peppers) have been shown to slow and destroy cancer cells. Talk about amazing!