You crave the heat and the delicious pain, but did you know that your love of spicy chili peppers can also help keep you healthy and living longer? The burning heat of a chili pepper comes from the active ingredient capsaicin, which has a host of health benefits, many of which can add years to your life as you spice things up.
Promote Heart Health
Lowering blood pressure helps keep your ticker in tip top shape, but it’s not the only way that chili peppers protect your heart. The spicy capsaicin helps lower cholesterol and prevent harmful oxidation that leads to inflammation in the heart and cardiovascular system.
Losing weight helps decrease your risk factors for many diseases that could shorten your life span. Heat things up in your battle against the belly by using chili peppers as your newest weapon. Increasing amounts of research show that capsaicin helps inhibit fat storage while revving up metabolism. Eat Drink Live Well points out that it also helps you feel satisfied without eating as much food.
Regulate Blood Sugar
Capsaicin helps even out blood sugar levels after eating. Not only does this reduce problematic spikes in blood sugar that can lead to heart disease and other ailments, it also may help reduce the amount of insulin needed for diabetics to control blood sugar, according to Eat Drink Live Well. Additionally, research shows that chilis may hold the key to staving off the metabolic decline that naturally occurs with aging, leading to an overall increase in longevity.
Going pink and wearing ribbons aren’t your only options for fighting cancer. Capsaicin can help prevent certain cancerous cells from growing without having harmful effects on healthy cells. Promising research indicates that it may be effective in reducing the risk of tumors associated with bladder, pancreatic, prostate and breast cancers.
Calm Inflammation and Relieve Pain
Extinguish disease-promoting inflammation and pain to lengthen your life and improve your health. Chili peppers can help you do this by fighting systemic inflammation and the oxidation that can cause inflammation. Eating a chili-rich diet causes the release of pain-killing endorphins that can help treat the discomfort associated with certain inflammatory disorders, including diabetes, arthritis and psoriasis.
The New York Times reports that capsaicin has antimicrobial effects, which helps fight infection. Additionally, the warming effects of eating a chili pepper helps hammer away at congestion and mucus, aiding the body’s natural detoxification capabilities.