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Get Spicy: The Health Benefits of Spicy Foods

By Sara Butler

Are you an adventurous eater who doesn't mind a little spice? A lot of people in the world love spicy food and that's a far better thing than most realize. The truth is that spicy foods do more than tantalize your taste buds. There are some health benefits to adding a little spice to your life too.

Breathing Easy

Most of the time when you eat something spicy your nose will start to run. That's because of a chemical in many spicy peppers called capsaicin. This chemical has been found to reduce sinus pressure, sinus pain, and nasal congestion. So, if you're feeling a little stuffy, then the key may be to have a meal with a little kick to help you breathe a bit easier.

Improved Heart health

There have been studies that revealed that capsaicin and other compounds found in spicy peppers are good for your heart. They can help to reduce bad cholesterol and improve your circulation, both things that can help to improve your chances of warding off heart disease.

Of course, moderation is key to any food that's good for you. While spicy foods may be good for your blood vessels and heart, you probably don't want to eat chilis to excess. And eating chilis certainly won't make up for other foods you may be eating that aren't great for heart health.

Better Digestion

While eating too much spice can result in heartburn or stomach upset, many studies have shown that spicy foods can have a positive impact on the health of your gut. It's thought that capsaicin can help to heal and prevent stomach ulcers by promoting healthy circulation to the digestive system and reducing acid production in the stomach.

A Healthy Weight

While hot wings may not be the breakfast of champions, there is something to be said for a little spice in your life if you're trying to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Research has found that raising the temperature of the body with spicy foods that contain black pepper, ginger, and capsaicin can have a temporary impact on metabolism.

It's also been found that people who add hot peppers to their meals burned more calories overall than those who don't. It seems that spicy foods can have a bit of an appetite-suppressing effect on people who eat them and curbs the desire for sweet, salty, and fatty foods, too.

Go ahead, get a little spicy. It's better for you than you may think!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fontana, Calif.

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