Feeling cold during these winter months? Add some warmth with chili peppers. It may help in more ways than one.
Several prospective and observational studies found that those who consume chili pepper may have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and general all causes. The benefits likely come from the active compound capsaicin found in chili peppers. Small studies have shown capsaicin to be anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant (helps prevent damage to cells), and support blood and sugar regulation. Capsaican also has shown to help decrease pain.
In these studies the frequency and type of chili pepper varied greatly, so it still remains unclear how often or how much chili peppers should be consumed. It is very unlikely that eating chili peppers in any amount will solve any health problems, while still having an unhealthy diet. The take home message still remains to follow a healthy diet; one that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains, such that of the Meditarrean Diet.
It is not recommended or advised to start to eat copious amounts of chili peppers, but sprinkling some chili pepper flakes on your grilled chicken or vegetable medley from time to time never hurt.
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