Losing weight is just a few spicy peppers away, according to a recent report out of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Researchers there say that the capsaicin compounds found in peppers that give them their spicy taste, actually help to burn calories as well.
Scientists believe that the reason why capsaicin burns calories is because the compound uses energy to raise a person’s body temperature, which provides a similar effect as the one obtained by engaging in traditional exercise routines.
Because capsaicin is usually pretty spicy, it might be a turn-off to many people who simply would not be able to tolerate the sensation. Fortunately, some chili peppers produce a form of capsaicin called dihydrocapsiate, or DCT, that is milder and more palatable.
For the study, the research team evaluated 34 different people trying to lose weight. They gave some of the volunteers DCT pills with their meals and others placebo pills. Upon observation, those that took the DCT pills exerted a lot more energy than those who took the dummy pills, indicating that more calories are being burned due to the compound’s effects.
In fact, those who took the DCT burned almost twice as much energy as those who took the placebo.
The research team is suggesting that people who are trying to lose weight stick to just eating peppers at this point rather than going out and trying to buy isolated DCT. Simply integrating more peppers into your meals will help to shed some extra pounds and keep that weight off.
Another interesting fact about chili peppers is that they warm the body in the winter and cool it off during the summer. It may seem strange for something that produces heat to cool during the summer, but the peppers actually help to increase perspiration which ultimately decreases body temperature.
Another benefit of capsaicin, and chili peppers in general, is its efficacy as an anticoagulant in helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Chili peppers are naturally anti-inflammatory and they help to keep blood pressure at normal levels as well. They are also rich in bioflavanoids, which help to maintain strong blood vessel walls.
So no matter what, you cannot go wrong with eating chili peppers. They provide numerous health benefits that make them a worthwhile food to integrate into your regular meals. Just be sure you can handle the heat.