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Can Spicy Food Help Boost Weight Loss?


Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their tear- and sweat-inducing burn, also happens to be a powerful antioxidant.
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Q: Is it true that eating spicy food at home and at restaurants can help fire up weight loss?

A: Spicy food is certainly nothing new.  Fiery chili peppers of all shapes, sizes and Scoville heat units have been used to spice up cooking around the world for thousands of years.  What is new is the link between spicy food and weight loss, making this a popular question.  The short answer to your question is that the jury is still out on whether or not the key ingredient in chili peppers, capsaicin, can actually help with weight management, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add some spice to your diet if your taste buds can handle it.

Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their tear- and sweat-inducing burn, also happens to be a powerful antioxidant, showing promise at improving circulation, fighting inflammation, relieving pain and fighting certain kinds of cancer cells.  On top of that, peppers are a great way to get vitamins A and C (including sweet bell peppers).

When it comes to weight loss, there is still much research to be done on capsaicin, but preliminary studies indicate that it does show promise.  That doesn’t mean you should jump on the Master Cleanse (in fact, steer clear of fad and quick fix diets like that!).  Instead, add a little spice to your favorite foods and get adventurous with new ones.  To add a little more capsaicin to your healthy diet, try cuisines such as Thai and Mexican, which are known for their heat, top menu choices with a dash of hot sauce or jalapeños or order one of these dietitian-recommended menu choices:
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