It is a known fact that spicy food is really good for your metabolism. Most people believe that the heat from this type of food helps you literally burn up fatty tissue from the inside. However, this is just a belief and has not been proven as a scientific fact. The reality is that it isn’t how spicy food manages to speed up your metabolism, nor how long it will work. Spicy food usually contains chilies, and chilies are hot because of the capsaicin contained within them. It is believed that capsaicin is responsible for this effect on our metabolism, because it raises our internal body temperature and hence creates heat.
What Is Capsaicin?
While there is a belief that capsaicin may suppress appetite and increase metabolism, there are also many known facts about it. These include the fact that it is a pain suppressor because it makes the body produce endorphins.
And it’s exactly that endorphin rush that makes capsaicin an effective remedy for pain and other medical conditions, researchers say.
It helps with arthritis pain, psoriasis and other skin conditions. It also helps to kill cancer cells, and particularly prostate cancer. In fact, it is now even used to treat certain ear infections. Clearly, capsaicin is a miracle natural product.
What Is Metabolism?
To better understand this, it is vital to take a look at the nature of metabolism.
Metabolism is closely linked to nutrition and the availability of nutrients. Bioenergetics is a term which describes the biochemical or metabolic pathways by which the cell ultimately obtains energy. Energy formation is one of the vital components of metabolism.
Our metabolism is affected by our personal and individual body composition. People with a lot of muscle tissue have a much faster metabolic rate than those with fewer muscles. If people have a fast metabolism, they are also able to eat more calories without putting on weight. This is why the best way to lose weight is to engage in strength and muscle building activities, as muscles can burn off fat much more quickly.
So What About Capsaicin?
Capsaicin is found in the majority of hot peppers. These include habaneros, jalapenos and cayenne. It is completely colorless. It is known that it has many health benefits, as described above. A recent study in Thailand found that the chance of having blood clotting illnesses is much lower in people who eat a lot of chilies, as they do in Thailand.
Spicy Foods and Your Metabolic Rate
There have now been a number of studies that show people who eat a spicy meal will notice an increase in their metabolic rate. This increase is believed to be about 8%.
Generally, studies have shown that on average a meal containing a spicy dish, like a bowl of chili, can temporarily increase metabolism by about 8 percent over a person’s normal rate, an amount considered fairly negligible. But besides a slight uptick in metabolism, spicy foods may also increase feelings of satiety.
That is a key factor of importance. If you feel fuller after a meal, it means that you will consume less of it. One study showed that adults who ate a spicy appetizer before their main meal would drop their overall calorific intake by around 200 calories. As such, chilies may indeed be an appetite suppressant. Add to this an 8% increase in metabolic rate, and there may be a cause to be made for chilies actually working to help people lose weight.
Clearly, we don’t yet know exactly why spicy food works positively on a person’s metabolism. We do know that there is a difference, and we certainly know that there are many other health benefits to consuming chilies regularly. In places where spicy food is part of the staple diet, incidents of various cancers are significantly lower than in other parts of the world. So even if you don’t end up losing weight by adding some chili to your food, it certainly isn’t going to harm you.
Healthy Recipe Idea
There are literally thousands of different chili recipes all over the world. While seen as ‘cowboy food’ by many, it is actually a very healthy dish, if cooked properly. It is quick to cook and doesn’t need complex ingredients. It is also very filling (which could be because of the capsaicin) and full of fibers, which helps with digestion. Chili is an interesting, flavorsome dish with an equally interesting history.
The origins of chili are uncertain, but it’s natural to think of it as an American classic. Chili has many regional interpretations, and within each region almost as many recipes as there are cooks.
Most people would agree, however, that there are two key ingredients to chili: chilies and beans. Add a bit of meat and you will have the famous chili con carne, but there are many different variations of that particular dish as well. One of the healthiest and easiest chilies to make is the ‘All American Chili’, which you can prepare with ground turkey meat. In terms of the chilies, you will need chili powder and jalapeno peppers. Naturally, if you like it really hot, you can replace the jalapeno with a habanero or even a ghost chili if you’re really daring. Don’t forget the whole tomatoes and kidney beans, plus any spices that you like for flavor, and you will have a gorgeous and healthy recipe that is perfect for a huge cookout.
What do you think? Share your opinion and your healthy recipes with us in the comment section below.
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