If you’ve ever eaten an extremely hot pepper, you know one of those peppers that ranks high on the hot pepper scale, you know just how intense peppers can be.
A really strong pepper can make you shed a few tears, or even start sweating. While you definitely don’t want to overdo it, especially if you haven’t had much experience with eating hot peppers, they do come with plenty of health benefits. Some research claims peppers can help with weight loss, plus there’s other research that shows peppers may be able to help fight off cancer cells.
But there’s one big reason why eating spicy food could be the right answer for almost all of us.
According to a study a few years ago, people who ate spicy food either six or seven times a week saw a decrease in mortality when compared to those who only ate spicy food once per week, or less. It wasn’t just a little bit of a difference, either. The study found a 14-percent decrease in mortality. Even if researchers weren’t able to definitively tie it to the capsaicin in hot peppers, the compound does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Capsaicin is said to help improve blood flow and inhibit acid secretion, which can help with stomach ulcers. It’s also thought hot peppers could help reduce abdominal fat and increase energy expenditure.
In addition, capsaicin has been linked to better gut health.
Again, researchers think it may be because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. In yet another study, researchers found capsaicin helped with prostate cancer cell growth in mice. Topical capsaicin cream is already known to help with pain, including some nerve pain. When you bite into a hot pepper, sometimes your brain tells your body to release endorphins and dopamine, too. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that hot peppers are packed with healthy vitamins and nutrients.