Sizzling News for Those Who Love Spicy Stuff!

Friday, December 02, 2016
Sizzling News for Those Who Love Spicy Stuff!

If it has been a while since you broke into a sweat, were breathless for a moment or two, had a burning sensation run through you, felt light-headed, a little weak, and sensed your adrenalin levels are reaching new heights, then you really should head back to the kitchen to get a little hot and spicy!

Researchers are finding that capsaicin, the compound that gives chili and peppers their zing, has many valuable health benefits. This is sizzling news to the millions of people across the world that enjoy the flavor and the fire of hot foods.


Here are just a few of the numerous benefits of capsaicin…


Cancer fighter

Capsaicin can kill cancer cells with little or no harmful side effects!  Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that capsaicin can cause cancer cells to actually self-destruct without harming any of the good surrounding tissues. The study was done on human lung cancer and pancreatic (considered one of the hardest forms of cancer to beat) cancer cells with positive results.


It’s no wonder that in countries where chilies and peppers are a dietary staple, such as India and Mexico, rates of cancer are unusually low.


Another study conducted at the University of California tested mice with prostate cancer.  In the mice that were given doses of capsaicin equivalent to a human eating 10 peppers three times a week, 80% of the cancer cells died and the remaining tumors were about one-fifth the size of those of the untreated mice.


Cold and flu


Eating hot peppers can help to prevent and reduce the discomfort of the flu - in part by promoting sweating and in part by unclogging breathing passages.  


Aching head


The relief that capsaicin provides to an aching head is such that ground chili peppers are actually known to be snorted up the nose. For headaches brought on by tension or sinus problems, even migraines, the capsaicin desensitizes the nasal nerves providing relief. While you may initially hesitate at the thought, try it once and it’ll become a shopping list regular.


Healthy heart


The consumption of chili and cayenne peppers increase peripheral circulation, reduce cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Peppers help strengthen blood vessel walls making them more elastic and better able to adjust to differences in blood pressure. It’s not surprising then that cultures that eat spicy foods frequently have a much lower rate of heart attacks and strokes.


Feel good


Chili peppers increase the body’s production of endorphins, which are the natural, feel-good, mood-elevating substances that we all need from time to time. So if you skipped a session at the gym, but still need that high that you feel after a great workout, chop up a few peppers and toss them in your salad!  


Muscle pain


Muscle pain such as that caused by over-exertion in sports can be eased by applying a fresh, cut-up pepper to the source of the pain.


Boosts the metabolism


Hot and spicy foods raise the metabolism which we all know is great news! There is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that you are eating and enjoying your food, and at the same time burning calories at a faster rate. The heat increases your body temperature and heart rate which both require energy!  Spicy food is also known to have appetite-reducing abilities in addition to enhancing the flavor of the food. This provides a satisfied feeling to your palate and therefore makes you eat less.


Hot tips:

  • For those who suffer from heartburn - stay away from the heat! The same goes for anyone with hemorrhoids - spicy food will not go down well!
  • If you’re growing your own, it’s good to know that in order to get a really spicy pepper, you have to stress the plant. This means to deprive it of water, grow it in extreme heat, bring it to the brink of death - and then pick it…ohhhhhhhhhhhhh  make sure you have a jug of water on hand!
  • Capsaicin is virtually indestructible and can withstand freezing, cooking, and time.
  • Some athletes eat spicy foods to increase their endurance and treat osteoarthritis.