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Is spicy food good for you?

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Spicy foods are a hot topic amongst those in the world of nutrition as more and more evidence is revealing their health benefits. 

 

Although when it comes down to your taste buds they might not agree with spicy foods, it seems as though our bodies do. Spicy food is in fact good for you, and some of the health benefits include reduced inflammation and even the possibility of prolonging your life. 

 

But remember, we are talking about healthy natural ingredients here such as chillies and spices, chances are a spicy fast food meal isn’t going to have the same effect. 

Benefits of spicy foods

Although research is sparse in this area, in the last decade more data has been collected to suggest that spicy food is good for you and may have a positive impact on your health. 

You could live longer 

In a large study in 2015 led by Harvard and China National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention they found that there was a reduced mortality rate in those that ate more spicy foods on a regular basis. In fact, those that ate spicy food 6 or 7 times a week had a 14% relative reduced risk reduction in total mortality compared to those that ate spicy food less than once a week. 

 

Why is this? Although there isn’t a specific reason so far, it may have something to do with the anti-inflammatory properties in a lot of spicy foods. Many spicy foods also help to regulate blood sugar levels, this is important in terms of diseases such as diabetes that are caused by increased glucose levels. 

Increased metabolism  

If you’re looking for fat loss then every little helps, and spicy food might do the trick. Capsaicin, the secret ingredient in chillies that makes your eyes water could be a key ingredient in speeding up your metabolism. The theory behind this is that when you eat foods containing capsaicin, it increases your body temperature and in turn speeds up your metabolism. Other foods such as ginger and black pepper may have the same effect. 

 

There is also the possibility that spicy foods may suppress your appetite and leave you eating less after consuming spicy stuff. 

 

Reduced inflammation 

Spicy foods might be able to combat inflammation within the body. For years it has been believed that spicy foods may cause stomach ulcers, however recent research has come to light that questions this. Studies have shown that capsaicin potentially increases blood flow to the gastric area and therefore prevents and reduces ulcers. 

5 Spicy foods you need to try

So, if spicy food is so good for you, how can you include it into your diet? Here are 5 spicy foods/spices that you can incorporate into your meals:

 

 

Spicy foods are an important way to improve your health, but they also bring flavour to what may have been a bland meal. This is essential if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet. Although spicy foods may have all of the properties of good health, the fact that they make healthy foods more interesting is the most important part. 

 

If you want to keep up a healthy diet then it needs to be nutritious and also delicious, therefore bringing flavour to your meals is vital regardless of your health goals. Get inspired to start eating spicier foods by looking at our weekly meal prep menu

Eryn Barber

by Eryn Barber

Eryn is a content writer who specialises in health and fitness articles. When she’s not writing, Eryn is helping people improve their strength and overall health as a Personal Trainer and is currently undertaking her Msc in Strength & Conditioning. You’ll usually find Eryn out on the trails running when she isn’t working.

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