Whether you like a bold spicy flavor or you love the fiery heat of chili peppers you will be delighted to know that many spicy foods have surprising health benefits. Even if you are not a fan of the three-alarm hot feeling in your mouth many other spices like ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and garlic offer metabolic and heart health benefits.
Here are five reasons to add a little more spice to your life.
Many studies show that the magic behind a metabolic increase from food is a compound called capsaicin, which has a thermogenic effect by increasing your core temperature. The thermic effect of food causes your body to burn more calories for about 20 minutes after eating spicy food.
Chili peppers can reduce some of the damaging effects of LDL cholesterol. Capsaicin helps fight inflammation, which is a risk factor for heart disease, allowing blood to flow more freely throughout your body.
Ginger, chili and other spices can reduce inflammation, which is often an immune reaction that causes swelling. Therefore, many health professionals believe inflammation is a big part of digestive discomfort. Turmeric in particular has a component called curcumin, which has shown promise in relieving irritable bowel syndrome.
Some topical creams that treat arthritis and minor pain can cause a slight hot feeling on the skin. The warm sensation is often from capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers. The warm numbing action of the cream can help relieve minor pain.
Kills Bacteria. Spices like cumin, curry, and turmeric have powerful antioxidants that help combat bad bacteria in the body.
Spices not only provide added flavor to food they also add nutrients and disease-fighting properties. Next time you’re roasting vegetables, cooking up a pork chop or making hamburgers considering adding a few extra sprinkles of your favorite spice.