In addition to taste, they can spice up your health and sex life.
I love spicy food; it’s like an extra burst of flavor in an already delicious concoction. It adds fun to a meal (and can be a serious culinary challenge for an inexperienced chef). But it turns out that those flavors and spices could be good for more than just your palette. So if you prefer to keep your food bland and shy away from hot dishes, it’s time to reconsider your standard menu. Time.com has some excellent reasons why you should try to spice up your food (and your diet as a whole).
1. Spicy Foods Can Help Reduce Your Risk For Tumors
The chemicals that make peppers and other hot foods so spicy could play an important role in reducing your risk for tumors. A new study involving mice hints at the idea that the chemicals help reduce the receptors that encourage tumor growth. Obviously further research is needed, but those extra hot wings could be boosting your health.
2. Spicy Foods Pump Up Your Sex Life
Look, there are endless debates about aphrodisiacs (natural and otherwise), and whether they actually work. But in the case of spicy foods, there’s solid science to back up the claim: Spices like ginseng and saffron have both been linked to improved libidos and increased sexual appetites. So before you head to the bedroom, you and your significant other might want to eat some spicy foods. If nothing else, it will get you both in the mood for a hot night.
3. Spicy Foods Can Help You Lose Weight
Hot foods have long been used to make you feel fuller (or burn your tongue so badly that you can’t imagine enjoying another bite). And now there’s another reason to add cayenne to your dinner: apparently all those spices are helping your body to burn extra calories. The same flavors that get your tastebuds going jump-start your body and actually result in you burning more calories. So increasing your spicy foods intake will keep you full longer and let your body burn more calories — sounds like a foolproof weight-loss plan!
4. Spicy Foods Can Help You Live Longer
You read that right: your penchant for hot foods could result in you leading a longer and healthier life. Studies show that people who eat hot foods 6-7 times per week were 14% less likely to suffer premature death. They also had healthier hearts, lungs, and were overall in better condition than their bland food-eating counterparts. Scientists are still determining the secrets spicy foods hold for our health, but the benefits of a hot diet are already obvious.
5. Spicy Foods Have Major Nutritional Value
All those chillies and peppers do more than spice up a meal; they provide your body with a profound source of vital nutrients. These spicy snacks are an ideal way to get your necessary minerals and vitamins in a decidedly tasty package. You can throw them on your salad, add them as a topping to your pizza, or (if you’re particularly brave) eat them without any accompaniment.