You may have heard some buzz recently that people are trying to boost their weight loss simply by adding spicy food to their diet. People looking at this information with a critical eye will immediately point out that there is no magic ticket to weight loss – and in that they are correct – but it turns out that spicy food may actually be more beneficial to weight loss then we realized.
When paired with a balanced diet, and healthy lifestyle, spicy food is shown to boost overall fat loss and metabolism. People who consume larger amounts of spicy food tend to be thinner and more active.
Let’s take a look at why this happens…
What Causes Spicy Foods to Have This Effect?
The amazing properties of spicy food all stem back to something called capsaicin. Capsaicin is the substance found in chili peppers that makes them “hot.” The more capsaicin something contains, the spicier it will be. Studies have shown that those who consume at least 2 mg of capsaicin per day were more likely to experience the benefits associated with eating spicy foods.
There is a reason we refer to spicy foods as being “hot.” When you eat foods containing hot peppers, your body begins to put out more heat; this is called thermogenesis. If you have ever found yourself sweating while trying to take down a few buffalo wings, this is why. A body that is creating more heat, is also burning more fat.
Spicy Foods Can Better Satiate Your Appetite
Studies show that those who consume spicy foods regularly often feel more satisfied after their meals. This means that they are less likely to absently snack, but the study also showed that spicy foods made people less likely to choose fattier foods in general. The spice and heat associated with certain peppers seems to satisfy your appetite pretty completely, meaning you are taking in fewer calories overall.
Capsaicin is an Antioxidant
Capsaicin is considered an antioxidant, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Now it may seem surprising that something so spicy would actually reduce inflammation, but it’s true. Some cultures have used cayenne pepper as an anti-inflammatory agent for centuries. However, there are even more benefits to antioxidants, including increased heart health, decreased pain, and boost in your mood. People who don’t feel achy, and to feel awake and energized are more likely to get up and move their bodies, and spicy food can help inspire us to do just that.
So Which Spices Should I Use?
The spices that are found to be most beneficial in aiding weight loss and overall health include cayenne pepper, red chili peppers, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. Of course, anyone with allergies to any of the above substances should continue to avoid them for their own health.
What if I Don’t Like Spice that Much?
So you want the benefits of spicy food, but don’t quite have the fortitude to handle an extra hot bowl of chili? There are capsaicin supplements, such as Casiplex available. You simply swallow a capsule before a workout, and go. No need to develop a taste for fiery peppers!
Spice lovers can rejoice, and enjoy adding that extra bit of pepper to your next healthy meal!