When you're looking lose weight, or even just improve your overall health. There are numerous tweaks and changes you can make to your diet to get the outcome that you're looking for.
Cutting down calories, eating more fruits and vegetables, cutting down sugar - they all have their advantages. But have you ever considered eating more spicy food?
Foods with a lot of chilli pepper, or 'spiciness' to them are an often overlooked form of food that you can add into your diet to burn extra calories and increase fat loss.
Not only that, there are numerous other reasons why you should be turning up the heat on your diet.
When it comes to your body, and chilli, here are the five main benefits you should be remembering.
1. Blood Flow
One of the main benefits of chilli peppers is that they help to stimulate vasodilation. Vasodilation is essentially blood flow.
Once absorbed by your body, a component in the chilli known as capsaicin activates. This is what gives chilli it's heat.
By stimulating certain receptors in your stomach, capsaicin helps to improve overall circulation throughout your entire body.
This is great for improving how much oxygen rich blood can make its way around your body at a time. Your heart, muscles and arteries will benefit greatly from the effects.
2. Appetite Suppression
This is another benefit of using chilli in your food - you'll feel fuller for longer.
There have been several studies that have shown chilli peppers like Cayenne to help reduce your overall hunger cravings.
The most notable of which was performed by Richard Mattes - the professor of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University.
In the study, 25 subjects were monitored over the course of 6 weeks while they seasoned their meals with cayenne pepper.
The subjects were split up into 2 groups, Group 1 used 1.8g of the chilli a day - while Group 2 used 0.3g.
The results were fantastic. The majority of subjects noticed a dramatic decrease in their hunger levels - particulary towards cravings of fatty, sugary and salty foods.
It's believed that the benefit of appetite suppression is mainly down to the flavor of the chilli too. The physical burning sensation you get from eating the food can help to increase your overall body temperature, which helps with burning extra calories and giving you a better control over your diet.
You can read more about Mattes study, here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257466/
3. Weight Loss
And as we've already mentioned in the point above - chilli pepper can help to improve your overall calorie consumption, and by extension, fat loss.
Again the main benefit here comes down to the capsaicin in the chilli. The heating element is what's important here.
After being absorbed by your body, the chilli starts a process known as thermogenesis - in which it heats up your core temperature.
This is an important part of the process. By increasing your body's natural temperature, your body has to regulate itself.
Sweating and other functions help you to achieve this, and to cool back down back to your normal temperature.
In doing so your body burns a lot more calories than it would do usually. Which helps you to cut more fat and lose more weight with no additional effort required on your part.
Muxcle have a good article about the importance of Cayenne Pepper as a fat burner over on their website: http://www.muxcle.com/guides/cayenne-pepper-fat-burner/
4. It's a Mood Enhancer
Another great factor of adding chilli to your diet is that it can help keep you motivated both at work - and with your health goals.
Certain studies have reported that eating spicy food on a regular basis can help to reduce your overall levels of anxiety.
Studies have shown on numerous occassions that it has helped to improve mood. The main study comes from the Colgan Institute, which has shown that capsaicin can help to promote your body's levels of endorphins - which are the feel good hormones.
With higher levels of endorphins, you'll feel less pain, and an increase sensation of euphoria.
Helix Magazine at Northwestern University did a good article explaining the science behind it: https://helix.northwestern.edu/blog/2014/07/your-brain-capsaicin
5. Cancer Prevention
Chilli doesn't only help in the short term, it can help long term too.
And by that we mean, there's numerous studies and reports out there that show that spicy food can help to prevent your chances of developing cancer.
Research has shown that the capsaicin has been linked to decreasing the the growth of cancer cells.
Regular meals of spicy foods have even been seen to actually kill off cancer cells in some occassions, without causing any additional damage to healthy cells.
Reports have even shown that countries that specialize in spicy foods as national dishes have lower levels of cancer suffers to those that don't.
Here's a thorough study from Romos-Torres that was published in Oncotarget to show the impact capsaicin can have on prostate cancer cells: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4811481/.
5 Good Reasons why you need more Spicy Food in your Diet - Summary and Conclusion
As you can see, although hot, spicy food may not be everyone's first choice in their diet - but it is effective.
Here's a quick recap of just some of the benefits you can get from eating spicer meals:
·Blood Flow - Chilli is a vasodilator, it helps to improve circulation and overall cardiovascular health.
·Appetite Suppression - Studies have shown by increasing your body heat, and giving you that 'burn' taste, chilli can help to reduce your overall hunger levels.
·Weight Loss - Due to a process known as thermogenesis, you can burn more calories as your body helps to cool itself.
·Mood Enhancer - Capsaicin has been linked to improving your overall levels of endorphins, which can help to lower your pain levels and anxiety.
·Helps Prevent Cancer - Chilli has been linked to slowing the growth of cancer cells, and in some cases even killing the affected cells.
It's a great addition to any diet, and to give your health that added boost - it's definitely worth adding to more of your meals.