Are you a spicy food lover ?
Well, adding spices is a good way to make your boring food interesting. In fact, a lot of Indian cuisine are full of spicy foods. Rather, it is thrilling for a lot of people to have some extra chillies in their food and it’s no bad to enjoy the meals this way. But one must know how does the ingredients or any extra components in your food affect your body, especially when it comes to spices which is common ingredient in a number of foods.
This is what spicy food to do you brain and your body :-
Peppers trick your brain to think that your mouth is on your fire. But, actually there is no heat on a pepper. All this happens due to a chemical compound called capsaicin. This compound binds to our pain receptors on our nerves called TRPV1. These nerves normally react to heat by sending warning signals to brain. Capsaicin causes these nerves to send those same signals when eaten peppers. So, you react as if there is something hot in your mouth. Interesting, to know the science behind the body, right?
So, does that mean that spices actually do nothing bad to your body? Perhaps, there is some areas of health that spices benefit. On the other hand , there is some ugly side to it as well.
Let’s quickly get along with the benefits first :-
1. Weight loss
One of the most well-known health benefits of spicy food is its ability to aid weight loss. Spicy food increases your heat rate and by producing more heat in the body, it causes you to burn more calories. The presence of antioxidants in food help in boosting metabolism. Spicy food reduces your appetite and increases your energy expenditure thereby helping you to loose weight.
2. Helps preventing cancer
Capsaicin, an active compound present in chillies can cause cancer cells to self destruct. Spicy food helps to eliminate or constrict the growth of cancer cells. As per studies, capsaicin present in spicy food helps in inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells without actually harming the good tissues around.
3. Metabolism boost
Studies reveal that spicy dishes can boost your metabolism temporarily upto 8 percent.
Capsaicin present in spicy food can help boost metabolism making you burn more calories. Spicy foods can also increase the feeling of fullness.
4. Longer life
Some studies reveal that the capsaicin compound present in chillies is linked to various health benefits one of which is lower mortality rates. Spices in your food may help you live longer.
Now, let’s switch to the other side of coin.
1. Intestinal issues
The common harm gives by spices is the intestinal and gastritis issues. The burning sensation of spices might give you a kick but over adding spices to your food can even damage stomach lining causing stomach ulcers and intestinal diseases. So, if one suffers from indigestion after consuming spicy food, it is better to avoid eating spices or eat them in moderation. It might also become the reason of constipation in some people as capsaicin have laxative effect making it hard for the meal to make its way through digestive system.
The irritant and acidic properties present in spices can cause serious issues like heartburn and acid reflux. Spicy foods irritate esophagus that increases the chance of heartburn symptoms. Secondly, the capsaicin compound present in spices can cause the food to stay in stomach for longer leading to slow digestion again, increasing the risk of heartburn.
3. Acne problems
Although spicy foods are not the direct reason of acne breakouts. The symptoms such as upset stomach that might cause inflammation can make cause the skin to flush out causing acne, pimples or reddening of face especially when someone has less spice tolerance.
4. Sore throat
Spices such as chillies, nutmag and hot sauces can cause the inflammation in the throat worse especially when there is already any irritation or inflammation in the throat previously. Further, sour or pickled food, spicy seasonings can irritate the throat inflammation even more.
Spicy foods serves various health benefits. The spice tolerance differs from person to person and so do the effects of spicy food. It can lead you to symptoms causing ulcers and acne if you are someone who prefers mildly spicy food. It might give you irritable bowel movements and stomach pain. It might not be the exact reason of hemorrhoids, but can make you feel the burn if you have anal fissures. On the other hand, capsaicin may help combat obesity. So, the best way to use spices in your favor is to know how your body reacts to spicy dishes. Spice up your meals if they benefit or avoid it or use it in a balanced way to avoid unfavorable health conditions.