Spicy peppers have become indispensable additions to cuisine prepared all around the world. Foods are absolutely loaded with spicy chillis in places like Thailand, India, and Mexico but they also have their place in foods in most other countries as well. There’s just nothing like a great tasting dish that mixes in a little pain with your pleasure to really make you feel alive, plus it can do wonders for adding flavor to a meal. If you’re one of those people that enjoys their food hot, well, there are actually some perks to go along with your masochism!
So, what does the science say about the health benefits associated with eating hot chillis?
Chilli Pepper Consumption Is Associated with Reduced Risk of All-Cause Mortality
A large population study published in 2017 observed 16,179 participants over 18 years of age who had completed the “National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey III” and analyzed data and health trends over a median follow-up period of 18.9 years.
The goal of the study was to analyze any link between the consumption of hot chili peppers and mortality. Interestingly enough, the study concluded that those who ate hot chili peppers as a regular part of their diets had a 13 percent reduction in all-cause mortality when compared to those who did not consume the peppers. Vascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke seemed to have the strongest correlation to reduction among the hot pepper eating population but given the limited number of deaths in the study (4,946), the sample size was not large enough to determine how the chili pepper may affect specific causes of death. More research will be needed.
Chilli Peppers Can Relieve Symptoms of Migraine and Nasal Issues
Several studies have shown that Capsaicin, the active component of chili pepper, has successful therapeutic effects for the relief of migraine headaches and has decisively proven itself against placebos over and over again in trials.
This is believed to be because spicy foods open up the blood vessels which are affected by the neurovascular disorder causing a migraine. For this reason, Capsaicin is sometimes used in nasal sprays to aid in the relief of migraine symptoms when they occur or even preventatively. Just don’t expect it to feel pleasant going in!
The same treatment is also effective for relieving symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis which is responsible for runny or congested nasal passages without allergies, flu or cold being the cause.
Chilli Peppers Can Boost Your Metabolism!
Capsaicin, the active component in hot peppers has been shown through numerous studies to be an effective tool to aid in weight loss because of its ability to suppress appetite and also to increase our bodies natural metabolic rate for approximately half an hour after consumption.
Which means you can burn more calories and feel more satiated just by adding some spicy peppers to your meals.
If you still hate the burn that comes with eating spicy foods but wish you could reap the benefits of capsaicin ingestion without the burn, there are some capsules of cayenne pepper on the market that can be taken supplementally throughout the day. Although I would not recommend it without doing some very thorough research of your own.
Capsaicin Can Reduce And Soothe Pain in the Body
Capsaicin has also been used as an effective, albeit temporary method of controlling pain in the body because of its ability to draw the attention of pain receptors in the brain towards the hot sensations in our nerve receptors.
Capsaicin is also used as an active agent in some topical creams, lotions, and patches for the relief of symptoms caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia. These treatments have been shown to be effective with regular use, however, it is still best paired with other more traditional medicines as an aid to pain relief.
There are heaps of benefits to adding spicy foods into your diet from time to time besides just trying to prove how tough you are to your friends. There are many reasons that cultures around the world have been using chili peppers in their cuisine for at least the past 6000 years besides the taste. Chili peppers are also great for preserving foods as the plants themselves are capable of impeding fungal growth and deterring some animals and insects from eating their fruit.
Pet owners can attest to the chili peppers power to deter hungry animals from getting their maw in your meal more than once and it’s also an effective deterrent which some men use to keep hungry girlfriends at bay! Truly a miracle food.
So rest easy the next time you go for that pound of suicide wings or drizzle that bottle of habanero hot sauce all over mama’s cooking with great abandon. Sure you might get flack that you’re wrecking all the flavor in the dish she toiled so long to create, but hey! You’re doing it for your health. 🙂