The Jakarta Post
Even testosterone, the hormone tied to libido, can be increased by eating spicy food. (Shutterstock/File)
Either you love it, or you hate it: Spicy food is not only delicious but also good for you. Whether it's jalapeños, habaneros or chili powder – the spice itself has the real power.
Women´s Health names seven facts about spicy food and if it is actually healthy or not.
1. Spicy foods increase your metabolism
According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and Read It Before You Eat It, the active compound capsaicin helps boost your metabolism. You find it in hot chili peppers, but also in turmeric and cumin. Of course, eating spicy food is no method of losing weight, but can be a part of a healthy diet.
2. You eat less sugar
Can´t stop thinking about cookies, chocolate and candy? According to Taub-Dix it is as simple as toothpaste: Once your mouth is burning (or minty fresh) you usually don´t want to eat sweets anymore. More spicy food, less sugar. Easy.
3. It reduces inflammation
As already mentioned, the powerful capsaicin not only boosts your metabolism, but also reduces inflammation. This can have a positive effect on illnesses like cancer or heart issues.
4. It may boost your immune system
A strong immune system is important when having a cold. “Spices contain antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that protect against bacteria in the body,” claims Taub-Dix. So, how about adding some cayenne to your hot lemon water next time you are sick?
Read also: Eating spicy food can prolong life: Study
5. It may spice up your libido
Even testosterone, the hormone tied to libido, can be increased by eating spicy food. A recent study from the journal Physiology and Behavior confirms that eating spicy leads to higher levels of testosterone.
6. It makes you thirsty
Who doesn’t know this feeling? After eating some chili your mouth and lips are burning and you get thirsty. Spicy food makes you drink more water. And as we all know, drinking enough water is important for our body. Plus, it also helps with constipation.
7. It may reduce symptoms of depression
Last but not least, chili & co can release the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain that alleviates depression. Self-evidently, mental health issues need professional treatment and not just spicy food. It can boost your mood but is no cure. So, don´t worry, eat spicy. (sop/kes)
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