Opinions about spicy food vary: some consider it unhealthy, while others write the habit of eating spicy regularly, increasing their well-being. While some eat spicy to boost digestion, there are people who get heartburn or diarrhea from a spicy meal. Spicy spices are indeed beneficial - but you should not overdo it.
Eating hot makes you happy
capsaicin is the name of the active ingredient which, along with other capsaicinoids, is responsible for the sharp taste in chili and paprika. Although it is tasteless, it irritates the nerve endings, which usually perceive heat impulses. We perceive this as a burning sharpness.
In fact, our brain receives a pain signal when we eat spicy. Consequently, endorphins are released. The situation is similar with the substance piperine in the pepper; one speaks thus also of the "Pepper high effect". Chili and other spicy spices are therefore sometimes even referred to as a kind of natural drug, because the happiness hormones can have a relaxing effect on the body.
Eat hot: healthy or unhealthy?
Imagine eating a particularly fiery portion of chili con carne. Already after a few bites you get hot and you have the beads of sweat on your forehead. The reason is that spicy food the heat receptors activate. This stimulates the blood circulation of the tissue, the pores open, we sweat - one suspects therein the reason for the often spicy cuisine in many hot countries, because spicy food thus lowers the body temperature.
Furthermore, many ingredients of spicy or spicy foods have an antibacterial effect. Spicy vegetables such as onions, garlic and leeks have an antibiotic and disinfectant effect. For oral hygiene too, spicy food - assuming your own health - is good because the salivation is stimulated.
Lose weight through spicy food
Spicy food stimulates the circulation of the mucous membranes, which affects the taste buds. Spicy spices therefore also function as flavor enhancers. Gastric juice production is also promoted by spicy food.
In addition, the digestion, especially of fatty foods, stimulated - Italian scientists conducted in Bologna, a study in which people under dyspepsia (commonly referred to as "indigestion"), a significant relief of their symptoms, such as constipation could achieve a multi-week intake of paprika.
Another research was carried out by a research team at the University of Tasmania in Australia. A comparison of two test groups proved that spicy food - in this case chili - regulates insulin levels. The higher the insulin level rises, the higher the likelihood of gaining weight.
Spicy food can also have a boosting effect on the conversion of calories into heat - that is, increase calorie consumption. Those who are not used to spicy seasonings eat at the same time slower and reach their saturation limit with smaller amounts.
Eat hot: Unhealthy in pregnancy?
Many expectant or nursing mothers fear that spicy food harms their children. In fact, doctors reassure: Even during lactation and pregnancy, you can eat spicy, as long as mother and child feel comfortable and you do not take tons of very spicy spices.
Mothers from spicy countries do not usually change their eating habits during pregnancy, and their children are not harmed. It is important that one can not eat very hot overnight, but that the level of severity should gradually be increased - whether pregnant or not, child or adult.
5 facts about chili - © Eric Kangiri
When is spicy food unhealthy?
However, spicy food can become unhealthy if there are stomach problems: as the production of gastric juices is stimulated, complaints such as heartburn can be aggravated. Chronic heartburn in turn can promote the development of esophageal cancer. In addition to years of intense smoking and alcohol consumption, the consumption of very spicy foods over long periods of time is sometimes added to the list of causes of esophageal cancer.
Even stomach pains and gastritis can be the result when a sensitive stomach needs to digest spicy food. Some people also react with diarrhea. Furthermore, a possible connection between bladder irritation and bladder incontinence and excessive consumption of spicy spices is discussed.
List of spicy spices and their effects
Some popular spicy spices can have beneficial effects on health:
- Peppers, chillies and hot peppers: diet for arthritis and rheumatism, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action
- Mustard: Regulates blood pressure
- Garlic: Prevents arteriosclerosis and donates selenium
- Ginger: works against nausea, seasickness, (pregnancy) vomiting
- Pepper: Cranks digestion and circulation, has aphrodisiac properties, good for bronchitis and colds
Sharp recipe for fruity-hot shrimp
This recipe is ideal for a warm summer evening. For four people you need:
- 250 g ready-to-cook prawns
- 2 glasses of dried tomatoes
- 3 cans of tomatoes in pieces
- 10 chopped garlic cloves
- 60 g herb butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of parsley
- 10 small red piri piri from the glass
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- salt and pepper
Garlic, tomato paste and herb butter are slightly sweated. Add piri piri and dried tomatoes. Then the sauce with the passed tomatoes is poured, mix the remaining spices well. Now spread the sauce on small baking pans or clay pots and put the shrimp on top. Bake in the oven at 210 degrees (convection). Serve with rice, tortillas or baguette.