Some like it hot. As in… spicy hot. Foods that pack heat are a great way to intensify flavor without adding calories or sodium. An entire cup of jalapeño peppers will only set you back about 25 calories and has nearly no sodium.
A little spice can go a long way to transform your meals and help you feel more satisfied and it can affect your body in ways that might surprise you.
Spice is cool
Hot peppers contain capsaicin, the compound that gives them their peppery hot taste. It seems counterintuitive, but this blazing hot capsaicin actually has a cooling effect on the body. Peppers make you feel warm when you first bite into them, but the effect of dissipating all that heat (like through sweating!) helps to cool your body. It makes sense that spicy foods are often found it tropical climates like Thailand, Caribbean islands and the southern US.
Spice tames inflammation
Aside from providing your body a little A/C, capsaicin is also touted for being a powerful anti-inflammatory. This can mean big time relief for those suffering from painful inflammatory conditions like arthritis and psoriasis.
Spice helps with weight control
Amping up the heat of your meals has other perks too — it can slightly rev your metabolism and help to suppress your appetite. While the effect is subtle, the results on your waistline can be significant over time.
Try adding dry spices like cayenne, chili powder, and curry to your soups, grilled meats, or roasted veggies. Keep a bottle of your favorite hot sauce on hand for a little added kick.
And heat-lovers, you’ll want to get your hands on our latest concoction —Holy Habanero — our fire-roasted habaner0-seasoned corn kernels. With a decent 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and just 170 calories per bag, it promises plenty of crunchy snackisfaction.
Want to know who’s HOT and who’s NOT?
Whether you like five-alarm fire or just a sprinkle of sizzle, you can enjoy the benefits of a little spice. Here’s a handy reference that ranks peppers from hot to not:
- Ghost (Holy caliente!)
- Bell (Spice? What spice?)
Tell us your favorite spicy foods in the comments below!