Different studies show the health benefits of capsaicin and other compounds present in spicy foods. They are capable of reducing the incidence of frequent fatal diseases.
If spicy is not among your favorite flavors, consider giving it a try, because it is associated with a number of health benefits. A little more spice could make your life last longer. This is the conclusion of a study published in the British Medical Journal that analyzed data from 490,000 people aged 30 to 79 and found that the spicier they consumed, the lower the risk of death from any cause.
More specifically, they found that participants who had the habit of consuming spicy foods 6 or 7 days a week had a 14% lower risk of dying than those who ate them less than once a week. To make your dishes spicier you can resort to foods rich in capsaicin, such as cayenne pepper.
A subsequent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that chili is especially effective in reducing mortality from cardiovascular disease. The research was conducted in Italy with 23,000 participants who were divided between consumers and non-consumers of chili.
The study authors monitored the health status and habits of the participants for 8 years. After that period, it was found that, among people who consumed hot peppers a minimum of four times a week, there had been 40% fewer heart attacks.
The protective effect of chili is not related to the type of diet followed, although a natural and balanced diet will undoubtedly play in favor of longevity. If the diet is also healthy, protection and life expectancy increase.
THE BENEFITS OF ADDING SPICE TO YOUR RECIPES
The spicy seems to offer general protection, but its effects on the body can be specified.
1. STRONGER HEART
The cardiovascular system is sensitive to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of capsaicin. Its consumption is associated with a reduction in cholesterol levels and with its protection against oxidation, which makes it a danger to heart health.
It also lowers blood pressure, since regular consumption of capsaicin dilates the walls of blood vessels and contributes to their flexibility.
2. HELPS YOU CONTROL WEIGHT
Capsaicin helps keep hunger under control. Therefore, it is a great help in low-calorie diets to reduce weight. It also has a beneficial effect on the composition of the intestinal micro biota, which in turn is associated with overweight and obesity, among other alterations.
3. REGULATES THE RATE OF BLOOD SUGAR
Capsaicin is associated with an improvement in markers related to metabolic syndrome. One of them is the rate of glucose in the blood. By promoting the action of insulin, spicy foods help avoid too rapid rises in sugar. For this reason they are recommended in the complementary control of diabetes.
4. REDUCES THE RISK OF CANCER
In vitro studies show that capsaicin acts selectively against diseased cells. Researchers suggest that it can fight cancer in many ways, by inducing cancer cells to die or by stopping their proliferation.
Some studies suggest that it especially prevents stomach and bladder cancers.
5. IMPROVES DIGESTION
It is not true that spicy, consumed in reasonable doses, is irritating to the stomach and the rest of the digestive system, and that it can contribute to the appearance of ulcers.
On the contrary, the spicy favors the proper functioning of the digestive system and can even prevent ulcers. Capsaicin stimulates the production of gastric juices that facilitate the assimilation of nutrients, improves their absorption and promotes the good condition of the intestinal mucosa.
It can only be contraindicated if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or heartburn.
THE BEST, THE FRESH CHILI
Compared to dried spices (such as cayenne pepper powder), fresh chili appears to be more effective and healthier. Researchers suggest that consuming fresh chili peppers provides more capsaicin and nutrients that may also contribute to its positive effects, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, or vitamins K and B6.
On the other hand, if the fresh chili is taken with a healthy fat such as olive or coconut oils, the absorption of capsaicin and fat-soluble nutrients is improved, thereby enhancing its beneficial effect.
A tip: if you have dared with the spicy and your tongue has been burning, you can reduce that feeling by taking a soy yogurt.
SPICY MIX OF SPICES TO KEEP ON HAND
When you don’t have fresh chili peppers, you can use a mixture of spices adapted to your tastes. We propose a combination, but you can introduce variations until you find your exclusive formula.
Ingredients for 30 g of mixture
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or increase to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder