Hot peppers belong to the genus capiscum and are native to the tropical Americas. While
people often shy away from these brightly colored, pungent fruits, eating peppers is actually quite beneficial if
you can handle the heat! Peppers are vegetables rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals but low in calories, making
them a great addition to any weight-loss diet. The fiery burn of hot peppers, such as ghost peppers, provide
an even better weight-loss boost, containing elements that rev up the metabolism and help you eat less and burn fat.
Eating spicy foods such as the ghost pepper helps you eat more slowly, allowing the body's natural satiety indicators
to be triggered and tell you when to stop eating. Hot peppers are particularly good at the task of signalling when you are
full and satisfied. The component capsaicin, which gives hot peppers their zing, binds to receptor in the tongue and intestinal
tract that tells that brain that it's time to stop eating. This means you'll eat ghost pepper foods more slowly than a bland
dish and stop eating sooner, meaning you will consume fewer calories.
Hot peppers like the ghost
pepper are low in calories and high in nutrients. A whole small ripe pepper, or about 3/4 of a cup of chopped fresh pepper,
has less than 20 calories and is high in vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Loading a salad or pizza with peppers, hot
and sweet, creates a large bulk of flavor and dietary fiber that will be a filling meal, but with very few calories. Replacing
part of the calorie-dense meats and cheeses in chili, burritos or nachos with chopped peppers increases the flavor and decreases
the fat and calorie content, making the dish a boon to a weight-loss diet.
CapsaicinThe burn felt while eating a ghost
pepper comes directly from the food’s capsaicin. Capsaicin, though odorless and flavorless, is primarily found in the
pepper’s seeds and ribs, but is also evenly distributed throughout the vegetable’s flesh. Capsiate,
a component of the capsaicin, increases metabolism by increasing resting oxygen consumption and burning body fat. Eating capsiate
increases feelings of alertness, leading people who eat it to feel more awake and energized by triggering an adrenaline response.
This response burns more calories even at rest, but also makes it easier and more inviting to engage in fat-burning exercise.
Caffeine and ephedra create similar feelings of alertness and energy, but with potentially negative side effects not found
in eating capsiate-containing hot peppers. However, exposure to capsaicin is highly irritating to the eyes, nose, skin and
Chili peppers trigger
the process of thermogenesis, by which cells turn fuel energy to heat. Capsaicin alters the usual activity of a muscle protein
called SERCA, causing it to burn off energy as heat. And the heat produced by the capsaicin in hot peppers sends neurotransmitters
scrambling to relieve the burning sensation. While the thermogenic effect of eating peppers is small, it does amount to burning
off calories as heat, and so serves as an aid to dieters.
A Healthier Life!
secret is out…hot peppers like ghost peppers are definitely the spice to a healthier life.
The pepper’s capsaicin has been proven to kill cancer cells, prevent sinus infections, serve
as an anti-inflammatory agent, provide gastric relief and produce fat oxidation. A common myth exists that
hot peppers cause ulcers and small intestine irritation. However, in fact, a daily dose of hot peppers can make you breathe
easier, feel less pain and lower body fat. As an added benefit, this age-old vegetable has similar effects
to those of Aleve, Tylenol, Advil, Tums and chemotherapy all wrapped in one—except this food has zip, taste and no fearful
side effects beyond its spicy heat and care in handling.
Click here to read more on the many health benefits of hot peppers!
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