Well, I suppose the heat wave is almost over. I can tell because I’m currently not dripping with sweat, sticking to my chair, or wishing I would die. However, all of this hot stuff has got me thinking about hot things: tea, snuggies, and spicy foods. Then the curry craving came, and well, we all know how that goes. Which brings me to today’s topic… the many benefits of spicy food.
It may seem weird, especially if you’re one of those people who goes out to Thai and sticks with the fried rolls, sweet and sour sauce and a Thai Tea. However, despite the very counter intuitive notion that such striking pain in your mouth could be good for you, that the hot pepper that sent you to other people’s tables, drinking their water, just might save your life. (Or at least make it last a bit longer.) Here are ten very noteworthy health benefits to sucking it up and ordering those noodles Thai hot.
- If you want that disgusting Slim Fast you’re drinking to actually work, I suggest throwing some Tabasco in it. Or, you could just eat real food that has a bit of a bight to it. (I prefer the second option.) Studies have shown that hot peppers and curries can increase your metabolic rate and decrease your appetite. How’s that for a waist trimmer?
- While you may think you’re about to have a stroke from the fire you just swallowed, it’s quite the opposite. Capcaisin, or the spicy stuff, can help get rid of blood clots, lower cholesterol and the chance of stroke, decrease swelling of the arteries, and significantly lower your chances of a heart attack.
- Not just good for your heart, but your circulation too, spicy foods raise the internal body temperature and get the blood flowing. This, in the long run, will lower your blood pressure and keep your vascular system healthy. Peppers are high in vitamins A and C, and therefore aid in strengthening the blood vessels.
- Capcaisin can not only help to prevent cancer, being that it is an anti-oxidant, but it can kill certain types of cancer cells before they become a problem. In countries with higher spice consumption (such as Mexico and India) there is a lower rate of certain types of cancers.
- There can often be a lot of blame placed on spicy food for digestive problems. In reality, it’s most likely everything else that’s in your chili dog that’s giving you gas and heartburn. Capcaisin will increase blood flow to your stomach as well as the mucus lining. Additionally, spicy foods can kill bad bacteria in your stomach and cure/prevent ulcers.
- As before mentioned, many spicy foods have anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, Turmeric, in particular, can decrease joint swelling in arthritis sufferers, fight bone decay, and help relieve arthritic pain.
- It’s almost sick season, so this bit should come in handy. Capcaisin can reduce the discomfort of cold and flu symptoms, make you sweat out bacteria, and open the sinuses. Additionally, the aforementioned vitamin C content can help you out on the prevention side of things.
- Instead of reaching for that Ambien, grab a pepper. In Australia (I don’t know why, but that makes perfect sense to me) researchers have found that regular consumption of spicy foods can help you sleep better and wake up rested and chipper.
- If the fall blues are about to get you down, spicy goodness can help there, too. Because there is some physical pain when you bite into the spicy gold, the brain will release endorphins and serotonin, giving you relief from the pain and a sense of well being. As a result, this can help fight depression and relieve stress.
- Breathe easy, you chose Thai. Hot foods can relieve symptoms of virtually all common respiratory problems, and, as you probably know from the pile of tissues in front you that you’ve acquired after being inspired to get some spice in your life, hot foods will always clear your sinuses.
There you have it: ten reasons to go for level 10 spicy, or at least as hot as you can take it. Come on, don’t be a wuss. My Grandmother is seventy and eats Jalapenos whole (that’s probably how she got to be seventy.) Maybe just don’t go for a Bhut Jolokia. See you all at Spike’s for their crazy hot wings? This message brought to you by Bambu Batu and life Mojo.
Bonus Video: Dummy eats world’s hottest pepper.