The 5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Spicy Foods

Cayenne, jalapeno, habanero, chili–it seems like there are a million different kinds of hot peppers you can buy. And not only are they a great route to add flavor to your recipes, research shows that they may have a astonishingly positive effect on your health.

Hot peppers, like jalapenos and colds, are rich in a component called capsaicin . “What we now know about capsaicin is that it has many benefits in terms of adding to the resistance to disease, ” says Cary Present, M.D ., a medical oncologist at City of Hope hospitalin California and author ofSurviving American Medicine. “Capsaicin as a local therapy can help with ache. Feeing peppers can also strengthening of immunity, and we know from huge study done in China that people who ate peppers a few times a week had a longer life.”

Another go-to spice for improving your health: Tumeric, the yellow spice often used in Indian food and curries. The main active component of turmeric is curcumin , which studies demonstrate can help prevent cancer, decrease inflammation in the body, and have other positive effects. Read on to find out more.

1. Weight loss

While there is no replacing exercising and cutting back on processed foods, adding spice to your recipes can speed up weight loss. “Research is demonstrated that when you feed hot peppers, it increases your body heat, which boosts metabolism up to five percentage, and increases fat burning up to 16 percent, ” says nutritionist Pamela Peeke, M.D ., writer ofThe Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction. That means your body is burning calories more quickly. “Capsaicin promotes the stimulation of brown fat, which aids in metabolism, ” she adds. Spicy food may also help you with your food cravings. Research from Purdue Universityfound that eating spicy foods can decrease appetite and lower the amount of calories you feed.

2. Heart disease

When it comes to the heart, peppers and turmeric have “a whole host of potential benefits, ” says Michael Miller, M.D ., prof of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and author of Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Both tumeric and red peppers have definite effects on the body’s circulation. “With respect to capsaicin( hot pepper ), it can affect blood vessels and causes them to dilate, which can lead, to some degree, to blood pressure lowering, ” he says. Capsaicin also may help prevent blood clots. “Tumeric( curcumin) has really powerful anti-inflammatory components, ” Dr. Miller continues, “it can help to reverse damage to blood vessels, and research by my colleagues at the University of Maryland shows that it may help lower cholesterol and avoid bad cholesterol from building up.”

3. Longevity

The secret to living longer may very well be eating a hot pepper or two…or three. A study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Scienceand Harvard School of Public Health looked at the eating habits of 500, 000 people aged 30 -7 9 in China over a five-year period, and found that the ones who consume spicy foods six or seven times a week had a 14 percentage lower danger of succumbing prematurely. “That number isn’t huge, but it is statistically significant, ” says Dr. Presant. If that’s not convincing enough, Dr. Peeke looks at the idea of spicy food aiding in longevity this way: “Eating spicy foods helps with cancer prevention, you have a healthier heart, and they help you lose weight. All those things together can definitely help you live longer, ” she says.

4. Cancer prevention

“Curcumin has has astonishing impacts in cancer cells.” says Dr. Presant. “There is good laboratory evidence that it works in reducing the growth of cancer cells and avoiding them as well.” Survey have found that curcumin has a positive effect on slowing breast cancer, cervical cancer, and stomach cancer, as well as others. As for capsaicin, a study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centerin Los Angeles found that it killed 80 percent of prostate cancer cells in mice, while leaving normal cells unharmed.”The capsaicin blocks the cancer cells, ” explains Dr. Peeke.

5. Pain relief

If you’ve get pain from arthritis, shingles, or even some kinds of headaches, doctors often use an over-the-counter cream with capsaicin as the active ingredient. While you could try rubbing the region with hot peppers in a pinch, Dr. Present suggests utilizing the cream since it has a concentrated quantity of capsaicin, and has been proven to be effective.

How much do you need to eat ?

Sorry to say, bell peppers and crushed black pepper are not considered spicy foods . Bell peppers do not have capsaicin even though they are technically in the same family with chili peppers. “You’re going to have to eat something that starts firing it up a little bit, ” says Dr. Peeke. “You don’t have to dive into a habaneros tomorrow, but you do have to add a small amount of something like crushed red pepper or ground cayenne . ”

Black pepper doesn’t have capsaicin either, although Dr. Peeke points out that “the active substance in black pepper is piperine , which dedicates it flavor but also blocks the formation of new fat cells.” Combine black pepper with a little capsaicin, which speeds up metabolism, and “you’ve got yourself a great thing, ” she says.

As for how much spicy food you need to eat to get the benefits , physicians recommend that you try to include hot pepper and turmeric in your diet two to three times a week . Since eating them raw can be a challenge, you can sautee them or cook them, says Dr. Miller, and they retain their healthful benefits.

If you have trouble tolerating spicy foods or they bother your stomach, “a lot of people couple it with yogurt or something that will line the stomach wall, ” says Dr. Peeke. Otherwise, if you can’t tolerate the spice, skip it, and talk to your doctor about taking a curcumin or capsaicin supplement.

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7 Medical Conditions That Affect Women More Than Men

You knew that there were some sickness that affect more females than men; breast and osteoporosis, for example, are two illness we hear about year in and year out.

But what about the other ones? What about the multitude of conditions that moms, sisters, daughters, and grandmothers tend to develop more frequently than papas, brethren, sons, and grandpas? Women are prone to everything from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to multiple sclerosis to stroke, and its about day we knew what to look out for.
We spoke to Dr. Nieca Goldberg, Director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at New York Universitys Langone Medical Center, about ailments that primarily target femaleswhat they are, why females get them, and what we can do about them.

Thyroid Disease

Odds are youve considered a woman with a smiley face-shaped scar at the base of her neck, a.k.a. the hallmark of thyroid surgery. You may even have one yourself, since, according to the American Thyroid Association, about 12 or 13 percent of women will be affected by a thyroid disorder at some point in their lives. “Women are seven times more likely to develop thyroid issues than men, ” tells Dr. Goldberg, “and women should understand that the therapy is very important because the thyroid is a matter of governing metabolism.”

Conditions like hypothyroidism( fatigue, weight gain, etc .) and hyperthyroidism( fatigue, weight loss, etc .) come with a host of symptoms that can be easily rejected or mistaken for other conditions, stimulating thyroid illnes easy to overlook. Theres good news, though, says Dr. Goldberg: “Because theres more awareness, more women are being screened.” And that entails treatment is more accessible than ever, as well.

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American Thyroid Association


“Heart disease is the leading killer of women, ” tells Dr. Goldberg, “and merely 1 in 5 girls realise she is at risk.” One chief risk factor is hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure, and before age 55, men are likelier to have it. “But as girls get older, ” she says, “their blood pressure goes up because their blood vessels arent as flexible.” By age 65, women overtake men. Ten year later, the gulf is sizable: About 4 of 5 U.S. women are hypertensive, versus 2 of 3 men.

While genetics play a role in your odds of developing the condition, your physical wellbeing is a big determinant. “There are things that improve blood vessel flexible, such as feeing right and exert, ” tells Dr. Goldberg. The key is to start early: “Studies that say that women who go into menopause resulting a healthy lifestylewho maintain it through menopausego to the hospital less.”

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American Heart Association


Until age 75, more humen have strokes than women. Between 75 and 85, women catch up. Then, after age 85, far more females have strokes, making it the fourth-leading cause of death among American females, outrankingdiabetes and even Alzheimers Disease. And that’s not all: Across all ages, women who survive cerebrovascular accidents are likelier to have recurrent strokes and become disabled after an event.

A large part of the difference in demises is simple life expectancy; older people are more likely to suffer a stroke, and American females outlive humen by five years on average, to age 81. That means, all told, 425,000 U.S. females will have a stroke this year, versus 380,000 humen.

The silver lining in all this? Stroke demises are declining overall. According to the American Heart Association, “From 2001 to 2011, the relative rate of stroke demise fell by 35.1% and the actual number of stroke deaths declined by 21.2%. ” And that’s a positive development for everybody.

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National Stroke Association

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is a double whammy for women. Not only have studies determined that our health declines faster, but our chances of developing AD are much higher than menalmost 2 to 1. In fact, in 2013, Alzheimers killed around 59,000 women compared to about 26,000 humen.

While some of it has to do with life expectancyolder people develop Alzheimers more, and women live longermedical experts are still trying to piece together the gender divergence. “Right now we know that there is abnormal buildup of proteins[ in females ], ” tells Dr. Goldberg.Hormonal interactions and lifestyle changes are also being explored, but little can be declared definitively.

What is known, however, is that a healthy lifestyle could help ward off Alzheimers, and as a result, dementia: “There are emerging studies that show that people who are physically active help improve their brain function. Its important to feed less processed foods for overall health, toofruit, veggies, and whole grains.” Good ol diet and workout does it again.

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Alzheimers Association


Mysterious, awful headaches that they are able put a person out of committee for days at a time, migraines affect three women for every one human, and up to a one-quarter of all women, period. Hormonal changes are known to be involved, though the exact cause of the ache hasnt been pinpointed yet. “Different people with migraines have different triggers, ” tells Dr. Goldberg. “It could be perfume, altered in humidity,[ or even] food, like red wine.”

Take heart, though: “Sometimes females are more likely to get their migraines around their menstrual periods, ” says Dr. Goldberg. “So, as females get older and go across menopause, some women who tend to get migraines dont tend to get them frequently.” Three cheers for menopause!

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The Migraine Trust

Autoimmune Diseases

“Autoimmune Diseases” is an umbrella word for a group of over 100 chronic illnesses including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Graves Disease, in which the body basically turns on itself. About 75 percent of people affected are women, though for some maladies, like lupus, the numbers are more like 90 percent. And while many autoimmune cancers have a genetic component, “We dont truly understand the reason why women are disproportionately affected, ” says Dr. Goldberg.
Beyond the often debilitating symptoms associated with each respective condition, autoimmune diseases have another nefarious side effect: “Those inflammatory conditions also increase a women hazard for heart disease.”

5 Route To Cheat Aging, According To Dietitians

Many of us are undoubtedly concerned about the style we’ll age on the outside, fearing wrinkles, lines and gray hairs. But what’s really important is how well we’re aging on the inside.

Australian dietitian Ngaire Hobbins, author of “Eat to Cheat Aging ,” said the concept of “cheating” age came to her after years of working in geriatrics.

It’s not about living forever, it’s about aging so you can live as well as you perhaps can, ” Hobbins told The Huffington Post. “Keep your internal health going and you’ll maintain your external health, too.”

We asked Hobbins and dietitian Joan Salge Blake, a clinical prof at Boston University, what recommendations they can stimulate to help us all live better, for longer.

1. Make protein a part of every meal.

Hobbins says protein is an essential part of preserving your muscles as you get older. We lose muscle mass naturally as we get older, due to lower testosteronelevels and also from not being as active. Muscle is important in keeping your body strong, helping you keep your balance and also for keeping you mobile as you age. You can get protein from meats, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes, so it’s easy to make it part of each snack. Salge Blake, who is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says it’s important to spread out your protein intake throughout the day, and not just pile it on at one meal.

2. Eat an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich diet.

The food on your plate shouldn’t be all one color. Load it up with different fruits and veggies, dietitians say, to get your antioxidants. “Antioxidants protect your cells from oxidation, ” Hobbins says. Oxidation is a natural process that occurs in cells, generating free radicals, which are able to damage the body.

Antioxidants help protect you from that damage. “The great thing is, there are hundreds of antioxidants. Science shows us this is necessary as many different ones as you get get, to get the best benefit, ” Hobbins said.

Along with get antioxidants, from sources like berries, peppers and tomatoes, it’s important to protect your body from inflammation.

Inflammation occurs in the body from a number of conditions, Salge Blake says. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and being overweight can all contribute.

“The aging process itself perpetuates more rednes, ” she said.

To fight inflammation, it’s important to have a diet rich in omega-3s, like those found in fatty fish, as well as in the rainbow diet. Extra virgin oil and oils derived from seeds and nuts are the best style to run, Hobbins says. Oh — and exert helps immensely with inflammation, too.

3. Don’t lose a lot of weight, rapidly.

This entails both accidental weight loss — caused by illness or drugs — or weight loss through restrictive dieting. It’s important to preserve your muscle tone, Hobbins stresses.

Having a little bit of extra fat on the body can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, Salge Blake says, but of course, you don’t want to have the extra weight if it’s contributing to chronic illness like high blood pressure or diabetes.

If you do have a few extra pounds you need to lose, the best way to do it is through workout be included with a healthy, nutritious diet — not just extreme calorie-slashing.

4. Support gut health.

“Emerging research says a healthy intestine can have a whole slew of wonderful impacts on the body, ” Salge Blake says. “Just having a healthy intestine with a diet that is rich in probiotics, high fiber, yogurt with active cultures would help with a healthy body overall.” Salge Blake says.

Fermented foods, like kimchi and sauerkraut, are also good for your intestine, along with fibrous vegetables and legumes. Hobbins says it’s best to eat these foods as close to their natural form as possible, with little processing, to receive the maximum benefits.

5. Watch your vitamins .

We know that as you age, skin get thinner and drier. You’re losing some elasticity, ” Salge Blake said. Compounds called keratinoids can help boost the antioxidant capability of your scalp. Corn, oranges, peppers and egg yolks are some of the best sources of keratinoids. Vitamin E also has skin benefits, though many Americans don’t get enough. Try adding sunflower seeds and almonds to your diet to make sure you’re get adequate quantities.

Some research has shown that vitamin E working for you with vitamin C, so it doesn’t hurt to add vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruits, to your diet.

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3 Reason To Add More Protein To Your Diet

Research shows that high-quality protein ate throughout the day can help with weight loss, according to Dr. Melina Jampolis, who says that protein is the starting point for The Doctor On Demand Diet: Your Prescription For Lasting Weight Loss .

There are three reasons for this πŸ˜› TAGEND

1. Protein helps keep your blood sugar stable.
When you eat carbohydrate-containing foods, your body violate them down into simple sugar( glucose) and sends it into your bloodstream. Your pancreas, an organ situated behind your stomach, renders the hormone insulin, whose chore it is to usher blood sugar into your cells for energy.

Foods that break down rapidly into simple sugars cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar, followed by an equally rapid fall. When blood sugar fells, low blood sugar triggers hunger and stifles your energy level and, often, your mood. This series of events can lead to cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, because sugary foods create your blood sugar more quickly than other foods. You may have experienced this after eating a high-sugar or high-carb breakfast — a donut, tart, or bagel with orange juice, for example. Your energy peaked initially due to the large rush of sugar you dumped into your system, but then it fell just as rapidly, leaving you feeling hungry, low, and craving more sweets.

Our goal in all phases of the Doctor On Demand Diet is to keep blood sugar relatively stable, because that helps you control hunger and cravings. One of the best ways to do this is to include protein in your meals and snacks.

2. Protein helps control starvation and cravings.
Calorie for calorie, protein is more filling than carbohydrates or fat. Research has shown — and I’ve insured it among my patients as well — that on a higher-protein diet, people feed less and feel fuller than when they feed a high-carb diet. This consequence may be especially significant with a higher-protein breakfast.

4 Ways To Boost Your Chances Of Slimming Down

3. Protein helps you lose the right kind of weight.
Your goal is to lose fat rather than lean muscle. Various studies have shown that diets higher in protein can assist you preserve muscle mass and lose more fat( especially belly fat ). This is good for your metabolism, because muscle burns more calories than fat. Having less belly fat also improves your health because excess bely fat is associated with several chronic diseases.

I don’t advise you to go overboard on protein, or to think that eating protein means helping yourself to large portions of fatty meat, unlimited amounts of nuts, or large portions of full-fat dairy foods. But because protein helps control hunger and maintain blood sugar stable throughout the day, it can help you stick to your healthy eating scheme and feel good along the way. That’s why I recommend feeing some sort of protein with every dinner and most of your snacks.

Modified excerpt from The Doctor On Demand Diet: Your Prescription For Lasting Weight Loss by Melina Jampolis, MD( Ghost Mountain Books ). Ghost Mountain Books, Inc ., along with Doctor on Demand, is owned, in part, by Dr. Phillip C. McGraw and Jay McGraw .

Join Doctor On Demand and Dr. Jampolis for a Twitter Q& A Thursday, 11/12, from 11 am-noon PST. Submit your questions utilizing #AskDrMelina.

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