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Health Benefits of Spicy Food

If you like spicy foods like chilli, curry and hot sauce, you're in luck. The compound that makes hot chili is called capsaicin and the one that gives it the best is curcumin found in turmeric. Both have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help our body in several ways:

Arthritis: Turmeric has been shown to reduce joint inflammation and bone destruction in a 2006 study of arthritis mice.

Cancer: Many studies show that regular use of chilli and curry reduces the risk of cancer. Both capsaicin and curcumin have been shown to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells in a separate study in 2007. Curcumin reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

Alzheimer disease: A 2006 study found that parents who consumed curry were almost half as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or cognitive impairments as those who did not or had never eaten spicy foods. Curcumin can slow down the process of forming plaques in the brain.

Heart: Chili pepper and capsaicin help the body dissolve blood vessels, fight inflammation that is a risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and improve circulation.

Lung: Capsaicin helps people with chronic lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema by acting as an expectorant.

Cold and Cold: Capasicin causes us to sweat which helps with flu and flu. It also helps to open the nasal passages.

Weight Loss: Capsaicin speeds up metabolism that helps the body burn calories faster. It also inhibits appetite and helps kill fat cells.

Relieving pain: Capsaicin has been shown to reduce neurotransmitter levels and is used as a cream to relieve pain in arthritis, nervous system problems, psoriasis, post surgery and chemotherapy effects.

Moods: Chili pepper increases the levels of endorphins that hurt and give us a sense of well-being. It has long been used as a cure for depression.

Bacteria: Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent.

Sinus: The strong antibacterial properties of capsaicin help fight and prevent sinus infections and also stimulate secretions that help clear the mucus from the nose and alleviate sinus-related allergy symptoms.

Liver: Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier.

Intestines: Capsaicin helps kill bacteria like H. pylori and helps prevent or cure stomach ulcers.

There are hundreds of varieties of chili out there and the hotter they are the more capsaicin they contain. Until recently, Pepper Habanero was considered the hottest chili with the Scoville Unit scorching heat of 300,000 but in 2000, a chick from Assam India India called the Jolokia Dragon recorded 855,000 burns, almost three times hotter. Pure capsaicin steps in at 16 million Scoville Units while the most popular type enters about 30,000. Most of the heat in the pepper is in the ribs and seeds.

Turmeric is one of the most powerful medicines of nature and has been used in India for thousands of years. The medicinal properties of curcumin in turmeric are slowly gaining popularity in the western world. Turmeric is edible in many ways besides curry and its use is limited only by your imagination. For example, you can use it for color rice and add it to egg salad. But like all new foods, you should check with your doctor for any contraindications that may occur to you.


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