Recent studies seem to indicate that which all chili pepper fans have been trying to tell us for years – spicy food benefits the heart. Indeed it would appear that cultures that use a lot of cayenne and chili pepper in their food have a lower rate of heart attack and stroke. The real surprise is that spicy food benefits a lot more than the heart.
Cold and Flu
Since eating hot peppers causes perspiration, hot peppers can ease the unfortunate side effects of cold and flu illnesses. This is in addition to opening the nasal passages, but that isn’t much of a surprise. Anyone that’s ever eaten a hot pepper is likely aware of that ‘benefit’.
Because hot peppers are mucolytic agents, they can help people with breathing conditions such as chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema find relief and begin to breathe easier.
One of the most surprising developments in the area of real spicy food benefits is the possible link between curry and the cognitive impairment common with Alzheimer’s patients. Those who rarely ate food with curry were 49% more likely to have these impairments than those who consumed it often.
Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Researchers believe they have found evidence that capsaicin – a key compound found in chillies, curry and garden peppers – may in fact be useful in the treatment of pancreatic cancer; slowing the growth of cancer cells. It’s a huge breakthrough and may prove to be one of the move valuable spicy food benefits.
One of the other health benefits of spicy foods is that Capsaicin, when applied to the skin, can help relieve all manner of pain from shingles to arthritis.
While some of us may not be able to stomach the idea of ingesting more peppers, the spicy food benefits on the body might be too numerous to ignore. I, for one, will be adding a little more curry to my diet. I will also personally be eating organic food only. Hand me the water.