The Health Benefits of Spicy Foods

Foods that contain chili peppers are considered spicy foods mainly because of the burning sensation that is experienced when these types of food are eaten. What makes spicy foods produce the burning sensation is the chemical capsaicin. Capsaicin is considered an irritant to try to prevent animals from eating the chili peppers. One way to tone down the spiciness of a meal is to drink milk or any milk product, like yogurt. This type of food can coat the tongue and help relieve that burning sensation after eating a spicy meal. Despite the pain of the burning sensation, chili peppers and spicy foods still have benefits to one’s health.

Protects the Stomach Lining

Researchers believe that the chemical capsaicin prevents the secretion of acids, as well as stimulate mucus and alkali secretions. Capsaicin also prevents the flow of blood to the lining of the stomach. For people who have ulcers, this function of capsaicin helps in the healing of the condition.

Heart-healthy

Studies involving spicy foods suggest that eating chili peppers may be good for the heart. A 2006 study conducted by Australian researchers revealed that regularly eating chili for four weeks lowers the oxidation of Low-density Lipids (LDL cholesterol). Another study conducted by Chinese Researchers showed that regularly eating chili peppers relaxes the walls of blood vessels and prevents hypertension.

Cancer Prevention

A number of studies have been done to show capsaicin’s properties in fighting cancer. In April of 2010, researchers from West Virginia published a study suggesting the ability of capsaicin to slow down the proliferation of cancer cells in the lungs. Other studies also suggest that this chemical may also cause the death of cancer cells while not harming healthy cells.

Chili Peppers Can Replace Salt in Food

It has always been encouraged to lower the intake of sodium. In this area, spiciness can replace saltiness when it comes to taste. Many people do not mind, and even prefer, less salty, yet spicy foods.

Reduces the Risk for Diabetes

A 2009 study conducted by Thai researchers showed that blood sugar level is relatively lower in a group of people who ate chili peppers regularly. A 2006 study in Australia showed that if a meal had chili peppers, less insulin was needed to lower blood sugar levels. These studies confirm that eating chili peppers reduces the risk of developing hyperinsulinemia, a medical condition that is connected to Diabetes Type 2.