3 Unexpected Benefits of Eating Spicy Food

If you want to get healthy then pick up some peppers! Yup, that guy sweating over a bowl of 5 alarm chili may be reaping some surprise rewards. Teresa Strasser and One Medical Group’s Natasha Bhuyan, MD are looking at three unexpected health benefits of spicy food.

1.  Weight Loss

There's actually some pretty good research that shows spicy food can temporarily increase the rate at which we burn calories by about 8 percent. Doctors also know that people who eat a spicy appetizer usually end up eating less during their meal by about 200 calories.

2.  Hot Pepper High

This is really surprising research, but we do know that capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers, it is a nerve pain inhibitor. What it actually does is it changes our perception of pain and so it can create this euphoric sensation. It's that hot pepper high.

3.  May Prevent Stomach Ulcers

We always thought that spicy food caused stomach ulcers and now we're finding it is actually the opposite. Spicy foods can prevent stomach ulcers. The way it works is when you eat spicy foods your own body makes less gastric acid and you increase blood flow to your stomach. Those two mechanisms help to prevent ulcers and so the research shows that eating spicy foods can decrease peptic ulcers by about 53 percent.

Do you prefer your food mild, medium or hot? Join the conversation!

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