If you’re a fan of spicy food, you might be wondering if chilli is actually good for you. Here’s a look at the science behind the spice to see what the verdict is.
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The benefits of chilli
Chilli peppers are not only delicious, but they also offer some health benefits. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chilli peppers their heat, has been shown to boost metabolism and lower blood pressure. Chilli peppers also contain a high amount of antioxidants, which can help keep your cells healthy. So, next time you’re looking for a healthy way to spice up your meal, reach for a chilli pepper.
Chilli can help to boost your metabolism
Chilli is often used as a weight-loss aid because it is claimed to boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories.
There is some scientific evidence to support these claims. A study in the Journal of Proteome Research found that eating chilli can increase your metabolic rate by up to 5% for 3 hours after eating (1).
Another study showed that those who ate a chilli powder supplement burned more calories over a 24-hour period than those who didn’t (2).
Furthermore, a review of nine studies found that capsaicin, the active compound in chilli peppers, can increase energy expenditure by up to 50 calories per day (3).
While these effects are modest, they may still contribute to weight loss over time.
Chilli can help to burn fat
When it comes to Weight loss, the Capsaicin found in chilli has thermogenic properties which can help to boost your metabolism and burn fat. In a study conducted by Kyoto University, when capsaicin was consumed before exercise, there was an increase in energy expenditure and greater reduction of body fat.
Chilli can also help to reduce appetite and cravings, especially when combined with other spices such as ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that people who added chilli to their meals felt fuller for longer and ate less throughout the day.
So, if you’re looking to spice up your weight loss journey, add some chilli to your meals!
Chilli can help to reduce inflammation
Chilli peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which has potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Capsaicin is the main active compound in chilli peppers that gives them their characteristic pungent flavor.
It also acts as a natural pain reliever and has been shown to be effective at reducing inflammation.
A study in rats showed that capsaicin was able to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis (1).
In another study, humans with arthritis who applied a cream containing capsaicin to their joints experienced significant reductions in pain and inflammation (2).
The risks of chilli
Chilli is a spice that can be added to food to make it more flavourful. However, there are some risks associated with eating chilli. For example, chilli can irritate the digestive system and can cause heartburn. Chilli can also cause indigestion and can aggravate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Chilli can cause indigestion
One of the main digestive problems which can be caused by eating chilli is indigestion. This can either be in the form of heartburn, where stomach acid rises up into the oesophagus (food pipe), or dyspepsia, which is general pain or discomfort in the upper stomach region. These are both common digestive complaints and generally nothing to worry about if they only occur occasionally. However, if you frequently experience either heartburn or dyspepsia after eating chilli then it’s worth seeking medical advice as these could be signs of more serious conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) or peptic ulcers.
Chilli can cause heartburn
One of the compounds in chilli peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin gives chillies their heat and is also responsible for that burning feeling you get when you eat them. While this can add to the pleasure of eating chillies for some people, it can also cause heartburn and indigestion in others.
Capsaicin stimulates a nerve called the TRPV1 receptor. This receptor is also stimulated by heat and inflammation, which is why capsaicin has a burning effect when it comes into contact with your skin or mucous membranes.
When capsaicin stimulates the TRPV1 receptor in your gut, it increases the production of gastric acid. This can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Capsaicin may also increase intestinal motility, which can cause diarrhea.
Chilli can cause an upset stomach
Chilli peppers can cause an upset stomach in some people. This is because they contain a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is responsible for the spiciness of chilli peppers, but it can also irritate the lining of the stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may experience cramping, nausea, or vomiting after eating chilli peppers. If you experience these symptoms, it’s best to avoid eating chilli peppers or eat them in moderation.
Other potential risks associated with consuming chilli peppers include:
-Heartburn: Chilli peppers can increase acid secretion in the stomach, which can lead to heartburn. If you are prone to heartburn, you may want to avoid eating chilli peppers or eat them in moderation.
-Irritable bowel syndrome: Chilli peppers can trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may want to avoid eating chilli peppers or eat them in moderation.
-Migraines: Some people who suffer from migraines find that their headaches are triggered by eating chilli peppers. If you suffer from migraines, you may want to avoid eating chilli peppers or eat them in moderation.