If you find yourself feeling a little blue as the temperatures dip, you may someday be able to help thwart those pre-winter blues by adding extra spice to your diet. It seems hot peppers not only taste great and provide a number of known health benefits, but some of those benefits may actually extend to your mental health, as well. According to a recent study, there’s a possibility that the capsaicin found in chili peppers may additionally help reduce symptoms of depression.
Capsaicin is the spicy part of the pepper, which some past studies have already linked to everything from pain relief to possibly even weight-loss and appetite suppression. Findings from this latest study, however, suggest that capsaicin may also play a part in affecting your mood. The study, published in Physiology & Behavior, looked at rats and how they performed on a forced swim test, which can reportedly also be used to test symptoms of depression. While the capsaicin didn’t seem to play a role when it came to anxiety, researchers do want to see in the future if capsaicin reduces the symptoms of depression when it comes to humans.
If so, it could possibly lead to a new treatment someday for depression with fewer side effects than some of the current antidepressants already out there. Of course, researchers concede there’s plenty of research that still needs to be done on the topic. In the meantime, why not use hot peppers for all of the known health benefits. Chili peppers are packed with Vitamin C, plus they also contain Vitamin A and plenty of healthy minerals, too. While you can always eat hot peppers raw or find ways to add them to recipes, you can also choose from any one of the many hot pepper products and hot sauce flavors already on the market.