Is it true that spicy foods, such as cayenne, hot peppers, and other chili peppers have the ability to burn extra calories? You may have heard this claim for a long time and still curious if this is true.
Several studies aim to support the claim that spicy foods could be your new partner in weight loss. In a recent study published in the Obesity Open Access journal, it was found that chili peppers have the ability to burn extra 116 calories in a day.
The Thermogenic Effect of Spices
Researchers explained that the compound causing the spicy flavor called capsaicinoids in chili peppers is the one responsible for the “thermogenic effect.” This is the reaction that happens when you eat spicy foods. Your body forms heat, you perspire, which burns the calories.
Another research from the Purdue University showed the same result. They found that eating spicy food, in this case, the red pepper, can increase the metabolic rate and lower the food intake.
So if you are fond of eating spicy buffalo wings, you’ll likely experience the “thermogenic effect” that burns calories. However, this effect has limits too. Once the reaction of the body to eating spicy foods is done, the body returns to normal temperature and to the normal rate of metabolism prior to eating the spicy food.
Spices Decreases The Appetite
Not only the “thermogenic effect” of spices can help people to lose weight. In 2012, a new study by the Chemical Senses showed that eating spicy foods may help you shed some pounds because it decreases your appetite.
In the research, the subjects reported that their cravings for sweet, fatty and salty foods were reduced when they eat food with spices. Sweet and fatty foods contribute to high calories in the diet. As an effect, the individuals were able to reduce a few pounds.
A more recent study in 2014 that was published in Appetite showed that spices help individuals to feel fuller. The subjects who eat food with spices had increased fullness and satiety. They were also less likely to overeat.
Spices Boosts Metabolism
In relation to claims that spicy foods improves one’s metabolism, the Chemical Senses review showed that spices increases the body temperature, which increases the ability of the body to burn calories. The authors of the review reported that cayenne can burn as much as 119 calories a day.
The researchers explained that the result may vary with overweight or obese individuals. The effects are may not last long since overweight or obese people have better tolerance to heat.
In 2008, a different research published in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that although spicy foods may not have an effect on metabolism in overweight and obese, but they may actually burn fat. The study showed that the subjects had an abdominal fat loss.
Nutritional Benefits Of Spices
Although the ability of spicy foods to reduce weight may still appear controversial, it has been found that eating them provide a lot of nutritional benefits. In 2015, s research in China reported that eating spicy food everyday can lower the risk of death by 14 percent.
This is because spices, such as cayenne pepper, can lower acidity and improve the body’s circulation. This powerful spice also has digestive benefits to cure a number of stomach problems. Many people over the centuries use it for treating heart and blood vessels issues, heart disease and to reduce cholesterol.
Cayenne contains vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E, flavonoids, manganese and potassium that makes it an effective antioxidant. Other conditions that improve with cayenne include malaria, fever, alcoholism, shingles and arthritis.
Carol Danes practice her profession as an internal medicine doctor in one of the well-known hospitals in Arizona. She writes about health, nutrition and physical fitness during her free time. Right now, she is setting up a fund drive to help low-income individuals, who are sick and can’t afford to get a treatment such as medications for heroin addiction.