Does eating spicy food help or worsen inflammation?

By now you’ve probably heard all kinds of health benefits tied to eating spicy food.

In the past, researchers have looked at the capsaicin found in hot peppers and found a connection between things like weight loss and pain management. Found naturally in hot peppers, the amount of capsaicin helps determine how high a pepper ranks on the heat scale. The more capsaicin, the higher the ranking. Its thought capsaicin could help your metabolism and make it easier to drop pounds because capsaicin is said to help your body break down fat and burn energy.

Products containing capsaicin have also been used in pain management.

The chili pepper extract is sometimes used in lotions, creams, and patches. It’s believed capsaicin can help certain types of arthritis as well as help people deal with other types of minor aches and pains. But could spicy food have more health benefits we don’t even know about? It’s possible. Researchers have looked at all kinds of health benefits tied to capsaicin and hot peppers, and they’ve found some real promise in certain areas.

The one thing that has researchers split is whether capsaicin can help with inflammation.

It’s not necessarily a new idea. Common spices have been used in medical care for thousands of years. Ginger and garlic both have some anti-inflammatory qualities, and they’ve been used in the past to help with a number of different health conditions. Spicy food could help with inflammation, but there’s also the thought it might do just the opposite. There hasn’t been a lot of research on people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease and spicy food, but some experts say spicy food can make their symptoms worse or cause more pain. The research isn’t conclusive just yet, so do what makes you most comfortable, and of course, talk to your doctor.

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