For some people, spicy foods are a one-way ticket to heartburn and other digestive issues “ not to mention the desperate search for any cold drink to cool down your mouth. But if you can stand the heat of spicy foods, you could find yourself enjoying some surprising health benefits.
Recent studies have shown that when a liberal dose of these spices were added to high-fat meals, those who ingested them saw as much as a 30 per cent drop in triglycerides in their blood. Not only that, but their insulin levels also dropped by as much as 20 per cent! All it took was the simple inclusion of garlic, paprika, rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, or cloves. Cinnamon in particular can help you feel less hungry and prevent you from feeling bloated or gassy after eating.
Research performed at the Chinese University of Hong Kong determined that it’s the capsaicinoids, the key ingredient in spicy foods, that helps lower cholesterol in blood and decrease blood pressure at the same time. Even better, the capsaicinoids were also shown to block the effects of a gene that makes arteries constrict, meaning that if you eat them, your blood can flow better through your heart and the rest of your body.
Cilantro leaves and coriander seeds probably won’t make your mouth burn, but they’ll still provide you with some valuable health benefits. They’re ripe with antioxidants, and they help contribute to better digestion, as well as improving liver function. If you’re a person who likes to drink alcohol with dinner (or just drink it anytime), this is a definite plus!
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go out and eat as much spicy food as you can “ too much will certainly cause your body some problems. Begin slowly, gradually introducing spice into your diet, and remember that moderation is the key to reaping spice’s health benefits.