Here’s a reason to kick your meals up a notch—studies show that people who consume spicy foods are more likely to consume fewer calories than those who eat non-spicy meals. Researchers tested those who ate chili peppers during a meal and found that they will typically consumer fewer calories than those whose meals are blander—up to 75 calories less! While 75 calories might not be a big difference to some, chili peppers and are spicy foods trigger other responses in your body to slow down your appetite.
Chili peppers contain unique chemicals called capsaicinoids which play an important part in kicking your metabolism into high gear. In the stomach, capsaicinoids signal certain fat cells to start burning calories and raise your internal temperature. That hot, slightly-prickled feeling you get just before a sweat breaks out? That’s your body responding to the chili pepper or other spicy foods.
Not only do chili peppers help with weight loss, but they are also good for your heart as well. There’s preliminary research that shows that a spicy diet can help prevent heart disease. But don’t start throwing chilis into every meal—those who devour jalapenos and other spicy treats have a higher risk for developing stomach cancer. Moderation in everything!
So next time you’re whipping up a meal, try adding some chili peppers or other spicy details to liven up your meal. Your heart and stomach will thank you!