Chilies are some of the most popular spices in the world. Chilies are both a food and a spice, or more accurately, a food that is used as a spice. Grown in warmer climates, chilis are integrated into the food of many cultures around the world. Jamaica, for example, is famous for using one of the hottest chilies around, the scotch bonnet. Many Asian countries use chilies as well, like in Thailand and Vietnam, while the jalapeno pepper is quite popular in Mexican cuisine.
While chilies are quite rich in nutrients like vitamins and minerals, they’re eaten so sparingly compared to other foods that they aren’t used as a food source. However, even in the small amounts that chilies are consumed, they still offer many health benefits, including protecting the heart and boosting metabolism.
Is Chili Healthy?
Chilies are quite healthy for you, provided you don’t eat more than your digestive system can handle. They are an acquired taste, both for the palate and the rest of your body. When eating chilies, try to avoid the seeds if you’re new to spicy foods, and chew thoroughly to help your body digest them. Just like with exercise, you’ll want to slowly build up your tolerance of spice over time. Too much chili can upset your digestive system. Or, you can take a chili nutritional supplement, if you can’t tolerate spicy foods, or simply want as much chili in your system as possible. Cayenne pepper is usually the chili used to make a chili supplement.
It’s worth it to find a way to get more chilies into your diet. Capsaicin, the compound in chilies that gives them their heat, deeply impacts the body in a variety of ways. Capsaicin interacts with a nerve receptor, TRPV1, which is found in the brain, peripheral nerves, bladder, and blood vessels among many others. Scientists are excited to continue to research capsaicin and its many potential health benefits.
What scientists do know is that capsaicin is a powerful anti-inflammatory. A study found that that taking capsaicin for three months greatly lowered the risk of heart disease in adults who had low HDL levels. This anti-inflammatory action makes capsaicin a popular ingredient in topical pain-relieving creams. In the next section, we’ll discuss chili and metabolism.
Is Chili Good for Your metabolism?
The good news about chilies and health continues. Chilies are good for metabolism. Chilies can boost metabolism and support weight loss! Research shows that capsaicin, the active chemical in chilies, is thermogenic. Thermogenesis is when the body uses energy to produce heat. A thermogenic chemical like capsaicin helps speed up your body’s use of energy, which is another way of saying it boosts your metabolism. When your metabolism rate is boosted, it increases the speed at which your body uses energy and burns off fat. It appears that this boost lasts about 30 minutes after eating chilies or taking a chili supplement. So, frequent intake of chili peppers will boost your metabolism regularly. Part of this process includes increased breathing, which increases oxygen levels, and a rise in body temperature. The rise in body temperature also helps with weight loss. When your body heats up after eating a chili pepper, it uses energy, or burns calories, to cool down.
Chilies also contain another potent plant compound that boosts metabolism. It’s called dihydrocapsiate and it’s similar to capsaicin. One study showed that taking a dihydrocapisate supplement for one month raised participants’ metabolic rates by 50 calories.
One way chilies impact weight loss is that it supports you in keeping the weight off, once you’ve lost it. It also appears that chilies lower a person’s appetite, which is also helpful for weight loss. Chilies do this by supporting a feeling of fullness after eating and reducing cravings.
How Much Chili Should I eat?
The good news here is that there are chili supplements out there that are generally well tolerated by people who are sensitive to heat. If you’re not used to hot chili peppers, then you’ll need to start slow and gradually build up your tolerance over time. However, this might take a while, so feel free to grab a cayenne pepper supplement and start with their recommended dosage. This is better than getting impatient and eating too many chilies for your body to handle and suffering the gastrointestinal consequences. The benefits of chilies stretch far beyond their healthful qualities. Chilies add flavor and crunch to foods and can give you a window into other food cultures from around the world.
To get the health benefits of chili, and get an energy boost too, try Seattle Gummy’s Red Hot Chili Pepper Mocca Shot! This spicy chocolate gummy combines the antioxidant qualities of red pepper and Dutch cocoa with 200 mg of caffeine. This caffeine gummy is formulated to give you steady, clean energy with no jitters or crashes. The next time you want a spicy pick me up, reach for a Red Hot Chili Pepper Mocca Shot!