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Spicy foods are often a big debate, especially if you like your food hotter than your partner or family. Whilst spicy foods can cause some people to have an upset stomach, many people love spice and can’t live without a bottle of hot sauce in their home. If that sounds like you, you’re in luck. Below we look at the health benefits of spicy foods; backed up by science!
More Spice = Faster Metabolism
One of the most well-known health benefits of spicy food is that it can speed up your metabolism. There have been many scientific studies that show that spices like peppers, chillies, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon can all slow down your appetite whilst raising your metabolic rate. Another study carried out on mice found that turmeric can suppress fat tissue, although the effect is mild.
Indian curries contain plenty of spices, including turmeric and chillies. So, next time you are enjoying your favourite curry from urban-tandoor.com, remember that it could also be helping to speed up your metabolism.
Spicy Foods Could Help You Live Longer
As crazy as it sounds, spicy foods have actually been associated with living a longer life. A study carried out by Harvard found that people who consumed spicy foods at least six days a week had a lower mortality rate than those who ate spicy foods just once a week. As spicy foods have other health benefits, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of chilli to your next meal.
Some Spices Can Reduce Inflammation
Not all spices are hot, so even people who don’t enjoy spicy foods can still reap the benefits of spices like turmeric and ginger. Turmeric has been found to reduce inflammation, which could help with conditions such as arthritis or IBS.
Ginger is another spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used in medicine for thousands of years to treat everything from autoimmune disorders to nausea.
Spices Help Kill Harmful Bacteria
Certain spices such as turmeric and cumin have antimicrobial properties. This means adding these spices to your favourite dishes could prevent a build-up of harmful bacteria in the body and gut. Many people looking to improve their gut health add a decent spoonful of turmeric to every meal. Although you can get spice supplements, nothing compares to the real thing, and you will get the most benefit from any spice when consuming it in its natural form.
Spicy Foods Have Been Shown to Combat Cancer Cells
Although there is more research to be done on this subject, a study by UCLA found that the active component in chilis, known as capsaicin, could inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. This study was carried out on mice and prostate cancer cells, but many studies carried out on mice have held promising results for humans.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to fill up that spice rack and start adding some spice to your meals. Whether you enjoy hot food or not, the health benefits of spicy foods make a compelling argument.