Is Spicy Food Good For You?

Is Spicy Food Good For You

Is spicy food good for you? Is it bad for you? Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of spicy food.

Spices play an important role in many recipes and give great flavor to food. But is spicy food good for you? What is the real deal with spices and what are the pros and cons of spicy food? To understand the subject better we need to study spices and the effects they have on your health. You may be surprised to learn that adding spices to your daily dishes can offer a multitude of benefits:

1. Hot Peppers

Spices can be potent in flavor and are a welcomed addition to food. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which makes the peppers very hot, and will kick-start your metabolism and increase energy. There are pros and cons to spicy food that contains capsaicin, but one of the advantages is weight loss. Foods that contain jalapeno peppers will increase body temperature and may begin to burn off extra calories resulting in weight loss. This spice also reduces inflammation in the body and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.

Specific cultures that consume hot peppers have been shown to have a reduced history of heart disease and stroke. Capsaicin has also been shown to kill some forms of leukemia and cancer cells. Are hot peppers good for you? Even with the benefits, it is wise to know there are disadvantages of spicy food that contains capsaicin. Consuming too much hot food can cause adverse health effects in some people such as: nausea, vomiting, irritation of mucous membranes, hypertension, and poisoning (especially in small children). Spices containing capsaicin should be stored in child-proof bottles that are kept hidden and out-of-reach of children.

2. Tumeric

With autoimmune disease on the rise, many people are incorporating tumeric into their food. This bright yellow spice is traditionally used by eastern cultures and offers a flavorful addition to meals. Tumeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that dramatically reduces inflammation, which is the precursor of many diseases such as cancer, heart disease and others. Inflammation causes stress on the body, chronic pain, and increases the aging process. Tumeric contains the antioxident curcuminoid, which is a potent pain reliever, liver cleanser and anti-inflammatory. It should be used together with black pepper to increase its beneficial effects.

While tumeric has some wonderful health benefits and also helps to prevent cancer, there is a negative side to this delicious spice. One of the disadvantages of spicy food that contains tumeric is that it can irritate the stomach. Tumeric accelerates the production of gastric acids in the stomach and can cause indigestion. Tumeric also thins out your blood, so anyone who is on a prescription blood-thinner should avoid using too much turmeric and speak with his/her physician before using.

3. Curry

Curry is a spice that has become increasingly popular in the west. Curry is a mixture of several ingredients and has potent anti-inflammatory properties. The spice has traditionally been used to treat specific diseases such as arthritis, pancreatitis, chronic inflammation of the iris of the eye, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease. What are the disadvantages of spicy food that contains curry? Curry contains turmeric, which thins the blood and inhibits blood clotting, so it should not be used in large amounts. Adverse effects of curry in some people are nausea, dizziness, gastro-intestinal problems, and GERD.

4. Ginger

Ginger has long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Ginger is a strong spice that reduces inflammation, pain and nausea. This incredible spice contains a multitude of compounds and metabolites that have a positive effect on your health. Some of the advantages of ginger include relieving gastrointestinal irritation, suppressing gastric contractions, and stimulating the production of saliva and bile. It is also believed that ginger can help prevent the risk of colon cancer.

During cold and flu season, ginger is used to warm the body and produce sweating in patients who are experiencing chills. Ginger is also a great ally in suppressing menstrual pain, and it reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Ginger also reduces bad cholesterol, the risk of blood clots, and relieves pain from rheumatoid arthritis, treats upper respiratory tract infections, and aids in maintaining good blood glucose levels.

What are the disadvantages of spicy food that contains ginger? Too much ginger can cause heartburn and stomach problems and should not be taken by individuals with bleeding disorders, ulcers, gallstones and women who are pregnant.

Is spicy food good for you? There certainly are many benefits as long as the spices are used in small amounts. These are just a few of the pros and cons of spicy food. If you are going to try a new spice, start off with a small quantity to determine if you have an allergic reaction to it, or if you experience other adverse effects. To learn more about spices and other foods to add to your diet, visit


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