Spicy foods have a large group of both supporters and staunch opponents. Which of these groups is more right? Let’s find out how spicy food can affect our health.
Since the dawn of time, people have been reaching for various types of spicy foods, which is the result of two key factors. The first of these is the distinct taste – according to many, spicy food simply tastes better than other foods. On the other hand, the preference for spicy food may be rooted in instinct, which tells us to choose hot spices for their healing properties. It has been scientifically proven that spices kill bacteria, a great example of which is the extremely popular in traditional cuisine garlic. So we can conclude at the outset that spicy foods are good for your health, but can they also be helpful in burning fat?
Capsaicin and weight loss
The fact is that the capsaicin contained in chilli peppers boosts metabolism, which is why it is often used as a weight loss aid. Thanks to its action, metabolic processes of fat tissue run very efficiently, which is a natural result of effective weight loss. This is because this substance has a beneficial effect on thermoregulation, i.e. the production of heat by the body. Its regular consumption leads to an increased release of heat and raises the temperature of the body, resulting in the mentioned acceleration of metabolism.
In addition, studies have shown that capsaicin also affects the increase in oxidation of fatty acids, a decrease in appetite, or an increase in energy consumption through stimulation of the nervous system. If we add to this the fact that the substance stimulates our body to produce endorphins (popular hormones of happiness), it paints a picture of a great agent for weight reduction. Even if you had doubts about using spicy food in the process of losing weight, it is worth enriching your diet with chili peppers or cayenne pepper which contain large amounts of capsaicin. Of course, unless we have any health-related contraindications.
When to avoid spicy food?
As we have already established, the inclusion of spicy foods in the menu is extremely beneficial. However, there are situations where spicy food can be counterproductive. Spicy foods are not recommended for people with inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal mucosa, as well as those suffering from gastric and duodenal ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux, among others. It is claimed that pregnant women should also give up hot spices. If we are not sure whether our health and circumstances allow us to consume spicy foods, it is best to consult a specialist.
main photo: unsplash.com/ABHISHEK HAJARE