Are spicy foods good for you, or not? That is the question we have to keep asking ourselves as new studies unveil different benefits and risks seemingly every other week. One day adding a little spice is a hot trend, the next it’s frowned upon as unhealthy—we’re here to settle it once and for all by talking about four spicy foods that can be found in a number of dishes that are extremely beneficial to consumers’ health.
Four Good For You Spices
Red peppers got a bad reputation a few years ago when the nation blamed spicy foods for irritating stomach ailments, such as ulcers, but the truth is that hot peppers actually help protect the lining of the stomach. These aren’t the only benefits of the pepper, this spicy fruit is chock full of calcium and vitamins A and C, making it effective with the following:
- Weight Loss: Capsaicin, the main compound in chilies, has a thermogenic effect on the body, causing higher metabolism rates for up to 20 minutes after consuming the peppers.
- Heart Disease: Capsaicin fights inflammation, which has been linked as a large risk factor for heart disease. It also helps fight against LDL, or “bad cholesterol.”
- Lower Blood Pressure: Everything in peppers seems to be geared toward helping the heart. For example, vitamins A and C strengthen the walls of the heart and the heat of the pepper increases blood flow throughout the body
Embrace the fragrance and the slight yellow tint that will forever stain your plastic food containers when you start enjoying curry. The spice is not only extremely flavorful and distinct, it also has incredible health benefits. One of the most notable health benefits is cancer prevention. Turmeric, a spice found in curry and some spicy mustards, has the same effect on the body as some cancer drugs. The spice helps slow the spread of cancer and halts the growth of some tumors.
This pungent spicy plant has been added to condiments, cheese, and meals for hundreds of years to add flavor and has even been used for medicinal purposes throughout ancient history. The white root has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve immune systems, help with respiratory problems, build strong bones, and prevent cancer with its elevated levels of glucosinolates.
While not always thought of as a spicy food, cinnamon on its own can be assaulting on the senses. This dessert spice is loaded with antioxidants, has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces bad cholesterol, it can improve sensitivity to insulin and reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes, and it may be protective against certain types of cancer.
Spice Up Your Life!
Used all over the world, spicy foods have proven to contain incredible health benefits including cancer prevention, heart disease prevention, neurological systems improvements, and improvements in the immune system. Spicy foods many not have the same effect on everyone or with every food and drastic changes in diets should be checked with doctors for those with serious health issues.