Did you know that spicy food helps you live longer by reducing mortality, and is useful for losing weight and losing fat? But they are not its only benefits.
If you regularly consume spicy food, it is quite likely that, at some point or other, you have wondered if it is actually a suitable type of food, especially for the health of our digestive system.
In fact, some time ago we asked ourselves the following question: are spicy foods bad for the stomach? Thanks to this, we were able to discover that this type of food is not suitable for people with digestive problems or stomach ulcers, since capsaicin (the component that causes this “itch” when we consume them), tends to irritate the stomach lining.
For this reason, many doctors advise against the consumption of spicy foods in patients with digestive problems, stomach ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux. Although its consumption is allowed for those who do not suffer from this type of problem…
What’s more, recent scientific studies have confirmed many of the benefits that spicy food offers us: it helps us live longer, it is useful to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and it also helps us lose weight.
What benefits does spicy food offer us?
We must bear in mind that most of the benefits that spicy food offers us is due to capsaicin, the active ingredient and the main “culprit” that this type of food generates heat or burning and the symptoms that it generates when we eat it.
It is a substance with irritating qualities, which the plants of the Capsicum variety produce in order to defend themselves. And it is the one that in turn offers us all the qualities that chili or chilli and hot pepper provide us. And what are those benefits? Take note:
- Helps reduce the risk of cancer: An experiment carried out with mice found that capsaicin was capable of inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer tumors, specifically by 80%. On the other hand, other research carried out in India found that capsaicin is capable of attacking the membranes of cancer cells.
- Promotes fat loss: It has been shown that spicy food, and in particular capsaicin, is capable of promoting fat loss, thanks to the fact that it acts through a thermogenic effect, increasing the calories our body consumes when digesting the meal.
- It helps us live longer: a population study carried out by Harvard University One, in which half a million people were analyzed, found that spicy food was capable of reducing mortality by 14%, including common causes such as cancer, respiratory diseases and coronary or cardiovascular diseases.
Recommendations to keep in mind when eating spicy
But far from what you might think, this does not actually mean that spicy food damages the stomach, but rather that when it comes into contact with stomach tissue, it releases substance P, a chemical capable of “fooling” the nervous system and making us believe that there is digestive damage, when in reality there is not.
However, substance P can become depleted when there is repeated exposure to capsaicin, hence those who consume spicy food regularly tend not to develop the typical discomforts or symptoms that anyone can develop when consumed in a specific way or for the first time, by becoming more tolerable to these signs.
However, despite its qualities, it is advisable not to abuse spicy food, and avoid it especially when we suffer from gastroesophageal reflux or digestive ulcers, since these are the main contraindications when consuming this type of food.