A wide bunch of research is pointing to hot chillies as a surprising superfood which reduces food cravings, prevents liver damage and may even increase levels of testosterone.
- A massive recent Chinese study of half a million people aged 30 to 70 found that those who consumed spicy food most days of the week had a 14 percent lower risk of premature death from all causes compared with people who ate spicy food less than once a week.
- While the Chinese study didn’t point to a specific mechanism, it’s believed chilli’s active ingredient capsaicin is responsible for several beneficial effects. A separate study by the University of Adelaide found that hot chilli peppers activate receptors in the stomach that bring on a feeling of fullness, reducing hunger and food cravings. These are the same receptors that activate gastric nerves when the stomach stretches that tell the body it’s full.
- Capsaicin may also protect the liver. In a study presented to the 2015 International Liver Congress, capsaicin was found to reduce the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in mice that cause liver fibrosis, which is the formation of damaging scar tissue in response to liver damage.
- And if that’s not convincing enough, a French study of 114 men recently showed that the more spicy food they ate the more likely they were to have higher levels of endogenous testosterone.
Next time, order it extra spicy!