There are some of us who love hot peppers and there are others that don’t, whichever category you fall into, it’s time that you took another look at this incredibly underrated ingredient. Hot peppers, or more specifically, cayenne peppers, have the potential to help you shed excess weight, burn calories and even suppress the appetite. Find out more about how this ingredient can help us achieve our weight loss goals and improve our overall health.
What Makes Hot Peppers So Special?
Basically, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, capsaicin is responsible for increasing the metabolic rate in your body and for suppressing your appetite. This is due to the thermogenic chemical present in the pepper. In fact, studies have shown that people who adopted a regular diet with cayenne pepper felt fuller and were less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks. This, in turn, can decrease the intake of calories throughout the day and aid in weight loss.
Additionally, other research has shown that people who consumed fresh chilli pepper had a higher metabolic rate compared to those who didn’t. As you may already be aware, your metabolic rate directly impacts the speed of your body’s ability to convert the drinks and food you consume into energy. This essentially means that when your metabolism is higher, your body converts nutrients into energy instead of stored fat. This will ultimately help you shed off excess fat quickly in half the time.
Effectively Burns Calories
Apart from increasing your metabolic rate, cayenne pepper also works to burn off calories. Consuming any variety of spicy pepper will cause a rise in body temperature, after which the body goes into a cooldown mode. At the cooldown stage, your body will start burning calories from food. However, it is important to note that the human body is highly adaptive, what this basically means is, the human body is built to adapt to changes. In this case, consuming cayenne pepper on a long-term basis can cause the body to build up a tolerance to spicy food. Hence, this might cause stagnation in terms of metabolism or weight loss, if that’s all you are doing to meet your weight goals.
Benefits of Cayenne Pepper For Health
Apart from burning calories, kickstarting your metabolism, and suppressing the appetite, cayenne pepper also has other benefits for the overall health. Studies have shown that cayenne pepper is potent enough to potentially inhibit the growth of ulcers in rats. Additionally, they are also found to be anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective. In a study involving 198 healthy participants, it was found that participants who were given cayenne pepper supplements experienced an improvement in their gastrointestinal conditions. This improvement can be credited to the active ingredient that we mentioned earlier, capsaicin.
Additionally, capsaicin also has positive vascular effects, hence it might be immensely helpful for people who are suffering from diabetes and obesity. Another advantage that this active ingredient provides the body is it lowers the risk of high blood pressure and stroke in the body.
Incorporating Cayenne Pepper in Your Diet
The best thing about cayenne pepper is that it is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into any dish. You can with cook with the pepper in the food or alternatively, if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, you can purchase powdered cayenne pepper and add it to a salad or in your protein shake or smoothie. It might take some time to get used to the taste, especially if you don’t have an affinity for spicy food. It is estimated that 28 grams of fresh chilli pepper or even one gram of dried chilli pepper is enough to provide the body with all the benefits it needs. Start with small amounts and add them to flavourful dishes to make it more appetising. If you find it difficult to consume cayenne pepper in its raw or powdered form, you can also consume them as supplements. This way you would reap the full benefits of the ingredient without having to experience any of the uncomfortable sensations that follow. As a rule of thumb, start with a small dose to observe how your body reacts to the change in your diet, this is especially true if you don’t usually add spice to your food.
Who Should Avoid Cayenne Pepper?
Although cayenne pepper is packed with benefits for the body, there are people who should restrict or completely avoid cayenne or any type of hot peppers in their diet. Avoid cayenne pepper supplements if you are already on high blood pressure medication, scheduled for surgery, or on medication that slows down blood clotting. If you don’t generally consume large amounts of hot peppers, it is best to consult a doctor before making a big diet switch. It’s also important to note that not everyone will react the same way to a huge shift in your diet. Although consuming cayenne pepper might jumpstart your weight loss journey, maintaining a healthy diet with an active lifestyle will go a long way to help you meet your weight and health goals.