Regular consumption of spicy food like chili peppers results in a longer lifetime and improves overall health. A recent study of the University of Vermont proves this statement. For more than 18 years, the researchers documented the eating behavior of 16,000 people. The risk of premature death was 13 % less with test persons who ate chilis at least twice a week.
Why is spicy food healthy?
Chili peppers contain capsaicin. Capsaicin has a health-promoting effect; it is neutralizing free radicals, decreases the cholesterol level, and has an anti-bacterial effect. Due to the spiciness, endorphins are released. Chili and other spicy food make happy and therefore support well-being. At the same time, our metabolism is stimulated. Spicy food leads to hot flashes – the body starts sweating. This lowers our body temperature and the organism is cooling down. Furthermore, capsaicin stimulates gastric motility and enhances secretion of gastric juices. This especially supports digestion of fatty food. Salivation increases with spicy food; this positively effects dental health. Already Native Americans externally used chili for pains. Nowadays, chilis are used in heat plasters for treatment of rheumatic pains, lumbago, migraine or shingles and so on.
How to dose spicy food
The different chili products contain different amounts of capsaicin. The more capsaicin the hotter. Scoville is the measuring unit of the spiciness. Capsicum, for example, reaches ten Scoville-units, Tabasco from 2,500 to 5,000 and cayenne pepper from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville-units. Pure capsaicin is indicated with 16 million Scoville-units.
The intake of an unusually big amount of spicy chili products is not recommended. Excessive consumption may lead to health impairments like nausea or high blood pressure. Especially kids react very sensitively to chili. For grown-ups, the moderate intake of spicy food has several health-promoting effects and therefore is advisable. But, avoid spicy food in the evening. Hot spices have a negative influence on our sleeping quality. This is due to the rise of the body temperature and the inner unrest. A good time for consuming spicy food is lunchtime.
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